[oshug] Superoptimization and supercomputing talks, Wed 26th November at The RSA.

Andrew Back arback at computer.org
Tue Nov 11 16:37:23 UTC 2014


There are no hardware talks this month, but the BCS OSSG is hosting
two talks on open source software with a "super" theme —
supercomputing and superoptimization.

Details and a link to registration are below. Also note that this
month the venue is the Royal Society of Arts on The Strand, and not
the BCS!




Location: The Prince Philip room
Royal Society of Arts
8 John Adam Street
London WC2N 6EZ
Date: Wednesday 26 November
Time: 6:00pm for 6:30pm start
Price: Free for BCS members and non-members

Booking link:  https://events.bcs.org/book/1320/
(Please remember to book your place.)

N.B. Note the change of venue, due to a double booking at the BCS.
The RSA is just the other side of the strand from the BCS.
map: RSA, 8+John+Adam+St,+London+WC2N,

This month we have two talks on a "super" theme.

Talk 1: Superoptimization: How fast can your code go.
Speaker: James Pallister, University of Bristol

Modern compiler optimization can take almost any code and produce a
reasonably efficient binary at the end. However compiler
"optimization" doesn't make your code "optimal", just better.

In contrast, superoptimization can produce perfect code - the fastest,
the smallest or the most energy efficient code. The technique, first
introduced in the late 80s found in some cases it could do 25% better
than the best assembly programmer, and 40% better than the best
compiler at the time.

Free software has always played a central role in superoptimization
research, with the GNU Superoptimizer being one of the very first
tools constructed.

However there is a downside. Superoptimization today is incredibly
demanding of compute time, so currently it is limited to short
instruction sequences. At present it is most valuable in optimizing
code hotspots and key library routines, and can also be a valuable aid
to the compiler writer for peephole optimization. Recent research has
developed new techniques that can make superoptimization more
applicable to general code.

In this talk I will introduce superoptimization and give some examples
of the weird and wonderfully short sequences of code it produces. I
will introduce the GNU superoptimizer and show how it is used,
including some of the recent improvements I have contributed. The
final part of my talk will look at the latest research including
machine learning and constraint solving, and show how in future
superoptimizers may be able to optimize much larger programs.

Talk 2: Open-source Software in UK Scientific HPC
Speakers: Neil Morgan and Phil Ridley, Hartree Centre, STFC Daresbury

There are hundreds of scientific applications, libraries and tools
that are used within the UK's academic HPC community and a large
number of these are open-source. To demonstrate this usage and the
benefits of open-source to this community, a short review of some of
these will be given. Applications will be included which are used for
performing atomistic and molecular simulations, computational fluid
dynamics, and statistics for bioinformatics. All of these are able to
utilise the capabilities of high end computing architectures with
thousands of cores to facilitate new science. Furthermore, since
efficient object code is of greatest importance in HPC, the use of
open-source in compilers, tools and libraries will also be described.

N.B. Note the change of venue to the RSA.
Booking link:  https://events.bcs.org/book/1320/
(Please remember to book your place.)

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