Libraries are at the heart of our HPspmd model. From one point of view, the language extensions are simply a framework for invoking libraries that operate on distributed arrays. Hence an essential component of the ongoing work is definition of a series of bindings from HPspmd languages to established SPMD libraries and environments. Because the language model is explicitly SPMD, such bindings are a more straightforward proposition than in HPF, where one typically has to pass some extrinsic interface barrier before invoking SPMD-style functions.
We can group the existing SPMD libraries for data parallel programming into three categories. In the first category we have libraries like ScaLAPACK [#!SCALAPACK!#] and PetSc [#!PETSc1!#] where the primary focus is similar to conventional numerical libraries--providing implementations of standard matrix algorithms (say) but operating on elements in regularly distributed arrays. We assume that designing HPspmd interfaces to this kind of package will be relatively straightforward. ScaLAPACK for example, provides linear algebra routines for distributed-memory computers. These routines operate on distributed arrays--specifically, distributed matrices. The distribution formats supported are restricted to two-dimensional block-cyclic distribution for dense matrices and one-dimensional block distribution for narrow-band matrices. Since both these distribution formats are supported by HPspmd, using ScaLAPACK routines from the HPspmd framework should present no fundamental difficulties.
In a second category we place libraries conceived primarily as underlying support for general parallel programs with regular distributed arrays. They emphasize high-level communication primitives for particular styles of programming, rather than specific numerical algorithms. These libraries include compiler runtime libraries like Multiblock Parti [#!structured!#] and Adlib [#!PCRC_based!#], and application-level libraries like the Global Array toolkit [#!Global_Arrays!#]. Adlib is a runtime library that was designed to support HPF translation. It provides communication primitives similar to Multiblock PARTI, plus the Fortran 90 transformational intrinsics for arithmetic on distributed arrays. The Global Array (GA) toolkit, developed at Pacific Northwest National Lab, provides an efficient and portable ``shared-memory'' programming interface for distributed-memory computers. Each process in a MIMD parallel program can asynchronously access logical blocks of distributed arrays, without need for explicit cooperation by other processes (``one-sided communication''). Besides providing a more tractable interface for creation of multidimensional distributed arrays, our syntax extensions should provide a more convenient interface to primitives like ga_get, which copies a patch of a global array to a local array.
Regular problems (such as the linear algebra examples in section 3.4) are an important subset of parallel applications, but of course they are far from exclusive. Many important problems involve data structures too irregular to represent purely through HPF-style distributed arrays. Our third category of libraries therefore includes libraries designed to support irregular problems. These include CHAOS [#!CHAOS!#] and DAGH [#!HDDA_DAGH!#]. We anticipate that irregular problems will still benefit from regular data-parallel language extensions--at some level they usually resort to representations involving regular arrays. But lower level SPMD programming, facilitated by specialized class libraries, is likely to take a more important role. For an HPspmd binding of the CHAOS/PARTI library, for example, the simplest assumption is that the preprocessing phases yield new arrays. Indirection arrays may well be left as HPspmd distributed arrays; data arrays may be reduced to ordinary Java arrays holding local elements. Parallel loops of an executor phase can then be expressed using overall constructs. More advanced schemes may incorporate irregular maps into generalized array descriptors [#!HPF2Standard!#,#!FortranD!#,#!ViennaFortran!#] and require extensions to the baseline HPspmd language model.