[Openmcl-devel] Speed, compilers and multi-core processors

Glen Foy lisp at clairvaux.org
Tue May 19 11:00:37 PDT 2009

Here's an interesting thread about the Connection Machine:

I think Paul Krueger's post is on target.  Not only do we need a Lisp  
that facilitates parallel execution (CM), we need a Lisp that  
facilitates a parallel programming paradigm, genetic algorithms,  
neural nets, etc.

Since Lisp is the "programmable programing language" and extremely  
good for developing embedded languages it is a natural choice.

As Lisp hackers we can go ahead and place orders for those new  
BMWs ...    :-)

On May 19, 2009, at 12:44 PM, Ron Garret wrote:

> Didn't the Lisp community already solve this problem with *Lisp on  
> the Connection Machine?
> On May 19, 2009, at 6:13 AM, Glen Foy wrote:
>> This is a fascinating area and clearly the wave of the future.  We  
>> could have processors with 512 cores ten years from now.  That  
>> power has to be utilized.
>> A Lisp that focused on parallel execution would be an amazing  
>> tool.  New worlds to conquer ...
>> -Glen
>> On May 19, 2009, at 8:05 AM, Alexander Repenning wrote:
>>> not so fast ;-)
>>> The "how can we make use of multiple cores" is currently on the  
>>> the hottest funding topics supported by NSF, DOE, Microsoft, .....
>>> Perhaps it is the Lisp way to look at architectures such as the  
>>> x86 and see mostly limitations when indeed there are plenty of  
>>> opportunities. This is not about registers but about enabling end  
>>> user programmers such as scientists to make use of parallelism.  
>>> The big question is how to reconceptualize programming. One of the  
>>> main problems is the need to overcome bad algorithmic assumptions  
>>> especially the use of unnecessary loops. For instance, in  
>>> Bioinformatics textbooks are full of loop based implementations of  
>>> algorithms dealing with huge data structures such as gene  
>>> sequences. In many cases one could replace sequential loops with  
>>> parallel execution.
>>> Zoom out of the low level view of things. What could multi core  
>>> Lisp do? Look at the computational challenges that users are  
>>> dealing with. Try to come up with new computational paradigms that  
>>> could help. Lisp could be a great platform to explore these  
>>> issues. Careful: if you can contribute to this you may actually  
>>> receive funding.
>>> alex
>>> On May 18, 2009, at 10:45 AM, Brian Mastenbrook wrote:
>>>> On Mon, 2009-05-18 at 10:13 -0400, Glen Foy wrote:
>>>>> My ignorance of compiler design is breathtaking, but could multi- 
>>>>> core
>>>>> compiler techniques be used to compensate for Intel's register- 
>>>>> starved
>>>>> architecture?
>>>> In a word, no.
>>> Prof. Alexander Repenning
>>> University of Colorado
>>> Computer Science Department
>>> Boulder, CO 80309-430
>>> vCard: http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~ralex/AlexanderRepenning.vcf
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