Neea Rusch

Semantic-preserving optimization algorithm for automatic program parallelization

Presented at Augusta University 37th Annual Graduate Research Day on 1 April 2022. This presentation was recognized with Excellence in Research - Computer & Cyber Sciences award by The Graduate School.


Advanced and resource-intensive computation relies on continuous rise in processing power. Since the 1970s, Moore's law accurately predicted this growth would be achieved through hardware improvements, but this observation is becoming progressively obsolete. Alternative approaches are needed to maintain increase in efficiency. Parallelization is a technique in which larger computational problem is divided into smaller tasks, which are then executed simultaneously, reducing overall time to completion. Specialized software and algorithms are required to enable parallelization.

This research presents a novel algorithm for automatic program parallelization based on loop splitting. In programming, loop statements are used for carrying out repeated computation, but when used extensively or carelessly, will produce performance inefficiencies. Using a graph-based variable dependency analysis, the algorithm detects opportunities for splitting loops into smaller, parallelizable loops; then automatically applies this optimization. Additionally, the algorithm guarantees the preservation of program semantics post-transformation. We hypothesize this algorithm, when combined with OpenMP--an existing state-of-the-art multiprocessing tool--will provide noticeable performance gains for resource-intensive computational tasks. An open-source tool, pyalp, implementing this algorithm on C programs, is currently being developed to demonstrate and measure its efficiency in practice.