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Discussion and related work

We have described a conservative set of extensions to Java. In the context of an explicitly SPMD programming environment with a good communication library, we claim these extensions provide much of the concise expressiveness of HPF, without relying on very sophisticated compiler analysis. The object-oriented features of Java are exploited to give an elegant parameterization of the distributed arrays of the extended language. Because of the relatively low-level programming model, interfacing to other parallel-programming paradigms is more natural than in HPF. With suitable care, it is possible to make direct calls to, say, MPI from within the data parallel program. In [3] we suggest a concrete Java binding for MPI.

We will mention two related projects. Spar [11] is a Java-based language for array-parallel programming. Like our language it introduces multi-dimensional arrays, array sections, and a parallel loop. There are some similarities in syntax, but semantically Spar is very different to our language. Spar expresses parallelism but not explicit data placement or communication--it is a higher level language. ZPL [10] is a new programming language for scientific computations. Like Spar, it is an array language. It has an idea of performing computations over a region, or set of indices. Within a compound statement prefixed by a region specifier, aligned elements of arrays distributed over the same region can be accessed. This idea has certain similarities to our over construct. Communication is more explicit than Spar, but not as explicit as in the language discussed in this article.


next up previous
Next: Bibliography Up: HPJava: data parallel extensions Previous: Other features
Bryan Carpenter 2002-07-11