Onward! 2017
Sun 22 - Fri 27 October 2017 Vancouver, Canada
co-located with SPLASH 2017
Fri 27 Oct 2017 11:00 - 11:30 at Regency B - Usability and Performance Chair(s): Sam Tobin-Hochstadt

On current architectures, the optimisation of an application’s performance often involves data being stored according to access affinity — what is accessed together should be stored together, rather than logical affinity — what belongs together logically stays together. Such low level techniques lead to faster, but more error prone code, and end up tangling the program’s logic with low-level data layout details.

Our vision, which we call SHAPES, is that the layout of a data structure should be defined only once, upon instantiation, and the remainder of the code should be layout agnostic. This enables performance improvements while also guaranteeing memory safety, and supports the separation of program logic from low level concerns. In this paper we investigate how this vision can be supported by extending a programming language.

We describe the core language features supporting this vision: classes can be customized to support different layouts, and layout information is carried around in types; the remaining source code is layout-unaware and the compiler emits layout-aware code. We then discuss our SHAPES implementation through a prototype library, which we also used for preliminary evaluations. Finally, we discuss how the core could be expanded so as to deliver SHAPES’s full potential: the incorporation of compacting garbage collection,
ad hoc polymorphism and late binding, synchronization of representations of different collections, support for dynamic change of representation, etc.

Fri 27 Oct

10:30 - 12:00: Onward! Papers - Usability and Performance at Regency B
Chair(s): Sam Tobin-HochstadtIndiana University
onward-2017-Onward-Papers10:30 - 11:00
John WrennBrown University, Shriram KrishnamurthiBrown University, USA
onward-2017-Onward-Papers11:00 - 11:30
Juliana FrancoImperial College London, Martin Hagelin(Dirac), Tobias WrigstadUppsala University, Sophia Drossopoulou, Susan EisenbachImperial College London
onward-2017-Onward-Papers11:30 - 12:00
Raoul VeroyTufts University, Sam GuyerTufts University