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Language and Virtual Machine Support for Efficient Fine-Grained Futures in Java

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3 Author(s)
Lingli Zhang ; Univ. of California, Santa Barbara ; Krintz, C. ; Nagpurkar, P.

In this work, we investigate the implementation of futures in Java J2SE v 5.0. Java 5.0 provides an interface-based implementation of futures that enables users to encapsulate potentially asynchronous computation and to define their own execution engines for futures. Although this methodology decouples thread scheduling from application logic, for applications with fine-grained parallelism, this model imposes an undue burden on the average users and introduces significant performance overhead. To address these issues, we investigate the use of lazy futures and offer an alternative implementation to the Java 5.0 approach. In particular, we present a directive-based programming model for using futures in Java that uses annotations in Java 5.0 (as opposed to interfaces) and a lazy future implementation to significantly simplify programmer effort. Our directive-based future system employs novel compilation and runtime techniques that transparently and adaptively split and spawn futures for parallel execution. All such decisions are automatic and guided by dynamically determined future granularity and underlying resource availability. We empirically evaluate our future implementation using different Java Virtual Machine configurations and common Java benchmarks that implement fine-grained parallelism. We compare directive-based lazy futures with lazy and Java 5.0 futures and show that our approach is significantly more scalable.

Published in:

Parallel Architecture and Compilation Techniques, 2007. PACT 2007. 16th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

15-19 Sept. 2007