Video: The Future is Parallel, and the Future of Parallel is Declarative

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


In this video, Simon Peyton Jones from Microsoft Research presents: The Future is Parallel, and the Future of Parallel is Declarative.

If you want to program a parallel computer, it obviously makes sense to start with a computational paradigm in which parallelism is the default (ie functional programming), rather than one in which computation is based on sequential flow of control (the imperative paradigm). And yet… functional programmers have been singing this tune since the 1980s, but do not yet rule the world. In this talk I’ll say why I think parallelism is too complex a beast to be slain at one blow, and how we are going to be driven, willy-nilly, towards a world in which side effects are much more tightly controlled than now. I’ll give a whirlwind tour of a whole range of ways of writing parallel program in a functional paradigm (implicit parallelism, transactional memory, data parallelism, DSLs for GPUs, distributed processes, etc, etc), illustrating with examples from the rapidly moving Haskell community, and identifying some of the challenges we need to tackle.

Recorded at the 2011 YOW! Australia Software Developer Conference.