Productivity with performance: property/behavior-based automated composition of parallel programs from self-describing components

Mahmood, Nasim, 1976-
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Development of efficient and correct parallel programs is a complex task. These parallel codes have strong requirements for performance and correctness and must operate robustly and efficiently across a wide spectrum of application parameters and on a wide spectrum of execution environments. Scientific and engineering programs increasingly use adaptive algorithms whose behavior can change dramatically at runtime. Performance properties are often not known until programs are tested and performance may degrade during execution. Many errors in parallel programs arise in incorrect programming of interactions and synchronizations. Testing has proven to be inadequate. Formal proofs of correctness are needed. This research is based on systematic application of software engineering methods to effective development of efficiently executing families of high performance parallel programs. We have developed a framework (P-COM²) for development of parallel program families which addresses many of the problems cited above. The conceptual innovations underlying P-COM² are a software architecture specification language based on self-describing components, a timing and sequencing algorithm which enables execution of programs with both concrete and abstract components and a formal semantics for the architecture specification language. The description of each component incorporates compiler-useable specifications for the properties and behaviors of the components, the functionality a component implements, pre-conditions and postconditions on the inputs and outputs and state machine based sequencing control for invocations of the component. The P-COM² compiler and runtime system implement these concepts to enable: (a) evolutionary development where a program instance is evolved from a performance model to a complete application with performance known at each step of evolution, (b) automated composition of program instances targeting specific application instances and/or execution environments from self-describing components including generation of all parallel structuring, (c) runtime adaptation of programs on a component by component basis, (d) runtime validation of pre-and post-conditions and sequencing of interactions and (e) formal proofs of correctness for interactions among components based on model checking of the interaction and synchronization properties of the program. The concepts and their integration are defined, the implementation is described and the capabilities of the system are illustrated through several examples.