Visit additional Tabor Communication Publications
July 18, 2012
NEW YORK, July 18 -- ACM’s Special Interest Groups on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT) and Operating Systems (SIGOPS) have recognized two research papers that fundamentally changed parallel computing in both theory and practice. In 1993, Maurice Herlihy and J. Eliot B. Moss introduced transactional memory, a new abstraction for multiprocessor architecture that greatly simplifies programming of concurrent computer systems. Two years later, Nir Shavit and Dan Touitou built on the hardware-based transactional synchronization methods of Herlihy and Moss, offering a novel software method for supporting the transactional memory abstraction used on parallel computing operations. Today, they will receive the 2012 Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize, sponsored jointly by SIGACT, SIGOPS, and the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS), for their outstanding papers in distributed computing at the ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC) July 16-18, in Madeira, Portugal.
In terms of fostering research, transactional memory has become a truly transformative idea for parallel computing in shared memory systems where all processors share a memory that can be used to exchange information between processors. Nearly 1,400 citations were recorded for the Herlihy and Moss paper since it was published, and almost 1,000 citations were reported for the Shavit and Touitou paper. In addition, software architects have developed dozens of runtime implementations of remarkable algorithmic variety. At least four major compilers now support transactional memory in C++. Hardware implementations have been developed by Azul, Sun (Oracle), AMD (on paper), IBM, and Intel. The IBM and Intel implementations, in particular, ensure that hardware support is likely to continue.
At first, Herlihy and Moss’s proposal, introduced in their paper titled “Transactional Memory: Architectural Support for Lock-Free Data Structures,” proved too ambitious for the hardware of the day, and their work was largely ignored within the architecture community for most of the 1990s. Within the theory community, however, it inspired multiple explorations of the limits of software emulation, most notably the “Software Transactional Memory” paper of Shavit and Touitou.
A professor of computer science at Brown University, Maurice Herlihy was awarded the 2003 Dijkstra Prize for “Wait-free Synchronization.” He is a co-recipient with Nir Shavit of the 2004 Gödel Prize for their paper titled “The Topological Structure of Asynchronous Computation.” An ACM Fellow and co-author with Shavit of the textbookThe Art of Multiprocessor Programming, Herlihy graduated with an A.B. degree in Mathematics from Harvard University. He received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
J. Eliot B. Moss is a professor of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A Fellow of ACM and a Fellow of IEEE, he authored Nested Transactions: An Approach to Reliable Distributed Computing. He was educated at MIT, where he earned a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science as well as M.S., E.E., and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science.
Nir Shavit is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and a professor of Computer Science at Tel Aviv University. A co-recipient with Maurice Herlihy of the 2004 Gödel Prize for their paper titled “The Topological Structure of Asynchronous Computation,” he co-authored the textbook The Art of Multiprocessor Programming with Herlihy. Shavit received B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Computer Science from The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Dan Touitou has spent the last fifteen years working for the data storage and networking industries. He is currently Chief Technology Officer at Toga Networks, a company that provides consulting services to network equipment vendors. Before that position, he was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco Systems. He received a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Tel Aviv University.
The Dijkstra Prize includes an award of $2,000, and is named in honor of Edsger W. Dijkstra, a pioneer in distributed computing. He received the 1972 ACM A.M. Turing Award for fundamental contributions to developing programming languages. The Dijkstra Prize is given for outstanding papers on the principles of distributed computing, whose significance and impact on the theory and/or practice of distributed computing have been evident for at least a decade.
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery www.acm.org, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.
The ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory http://sigact.acm.org fosters and promotes the discovery and dissemination of high quality research in the domain of theoretical computer science. The field includes algorithms, data structures, complexity theory, distributed computation, parallel computation, VLSI, machine learning, computational biology, computational geometry, information theory, cryptography, quantum computation, computational number theory and algebra, program semantics and verification, automata theory, and the study of randomness. Work in this field is often distinguished by its emphasis on mathematical technique and rigor.
The ACM Special Interest Group on Operating Systems http://sigops.org addresses a broad spectrum of issues associated with operating systems research and development. Members are drawn from a broad community spanning industry, academia, and government. SIGOPS supports many conferences and workshops. Areas of special interest include: interactions with computer architecture, multiprocessing, distributed, mobile computing, networking, resource management, security, and interprocess communication.
The European Association for Theoretical Computer Science http://eatcs.org is an international organization aimed at promoting research in the wide field of the foundations of computer science (ranging from formal languages, abstract computation models, algorithm design and complexity analysis, to applications of logic and semantics in programming). It facilitates the exchange of ideas and results among computer scientists, in particular through the organization of the annual International Conference on Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP).
Contributing commentator, Andrew Jones, offers a break in the news cycle with an assessment of what the national "size matters" contest means for the U.S. and other nations...
Today at the International Supercomputing Conference in Leipzing, Germany, Jack Dongarra presented on a proposed benchmark that could carry a bit more weight than its older Linpack companion. The high performance conjugate gradient (HPCG) concept takes into account new architectures for new applications, while shedding the floating point....
Not content to let the Tianhe-2 announcement ride alone, Intel rolled out a series of announcements around its Knights Corner and Xeon Phi products--all of which are aimed at adding some options and variety for a wider base of potential users across the HPC spectrum. Today at the International Supercomputing Conference, the company's Raj....
Jun 19, 2013 |
Supercomputer architectures have evolved considerably over the last 20 years, particularly in the number of processors that are linked together. One aspect of HPC architecture that hasn't changed is the MPI programming model.
Jun 18, 2013 |
The world's largest supercomputers, like Tianhe-2, are great at traditional, compute-intensive HPC workloads, such as simulating atomic decay or modeling tornados. But data-intensive applications--such as mining big data sets for connections--is a different sort of workload, and runs best on a different sort of computer.
Jun 18, 2013 |
Researchers are finding innovative uses for Gordon, the 285 teraflop supercomputer housed at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) that has a unique Flash-based storage system. Since going online, researchers have put the incredibly fast I/O to use on a wide variety of workloads, ranging from chemistry to political science.
Jun 17, 2013 |
The advent of low-power mobile processors and cloud delivery models is changing the economics of computing. But just as an economy car is good at different things than a full size truck, an HPC workload still has certain computing demands that neither the fastest smartphone nor the most elastic cloud cluster can fulfill.
Jun 14, 2013 |
For all the progress we've made in IT over the last 50 years, there's one area of life that has steadfastly eluded the grasp of computers: understanding human language. Now, researchers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) are utilizing a Hadoop cluster on its Longhorn supercomputer to move the state of the art of language processing a little bit further.
05/10/2013 | Cleversafe, Cray, DDN, NetApp, & Panasas | From Wall Street to Hollywood, drug discovery to homeland security, companies and organizations of all sizes and stripes are coming face to face with the challenges – and opportunities – afforded by Big Data. Before anyone can utilize these extraordinary data repositories, however, they must first harness and manage their data stores, and do so utilizing technologies that underscore affordability, security, and scalability.
04/15/2013 | Bull | “50% of HPC users say their largest jobs scale to 120 cores or less.” How about yours? Are your codes ready to take advantage of today’s and tomorrow’s ultra-parallel HPC systems? Download this White Paper by Analysts Intersect360 Research to see what Bull and Intel’s Center for Excellence in Parallel Programming can do for your codes.
Join HPCwire Editor Nicole Hemsoth and Dr. David Bader from Georgia Tech as they take center stage on opening night at Atlanta's first Big Data Kick Off Week, filmed in front of a live audience. Nicole and David look at the evolution of HPC, today's big data challenges, discuss real world solutions, and reveal their predictions. Exactly what does the future holds for HPC?
Join our webinar to learn how IT managers can migrate to a more resilient, flexible and scalable solution that grows with the data center. Mellanox VMS is future-proof, efficient and brings significant CAPEX and OPEX savings. The VMS is available today.