[talks] Talk tomorrow - 3/26 -

Ginny Hogan gch at CS.Princeton.EDU
Tue Mar 25 14:58:17 EDT 2008

Talk Wednesday 3/26 - 4:15pm - Computer Science
Room 105 

Software Transactions: A Programming-Languages Perspective 
Dan Grossman 
University of Washington 

With multicore processors bringing parallel computing to the masses, there
is an urgent need to make concurrent programming easier. Software
transactions hold great promise for simplifying shared-memory
concurrency,and they have received enormous attention from the research
community in the last couple years. This talk will provide an overview of
work done at the University of Washington to help bring transactions to the
next generation of programming languages. No prior knowledge of software
transactions will be necessary. 
Our work complements research done on hardware and software algorithms for
implementing transactions by considering essential issues regarding how
transactions affect language semantics and language implementation. Our
motivation takes the novel view that transactions can improve language
support for concurrency much like garbage collection can improve language
support for memory management. Our language design and language semantics
work has considered the pitfalls of so-called "weak isolation" and how to
avoid them, interaction with other language features like native calls and
exceptions, and the implications for shared-memory consistency models. Our
implementation work includes techniques for the special case of a
uniprocessor, a whole-program static optimization that uses pointer
information to remove unnecessary read- and write-barriers while providing
"strong isolation", and ongoing work for allowing parallelism within

Dan Grossman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science
& Engineering at the University of Washington. His research in the design
and implementation of programming languages is aimed at improving software

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