Mathijs Saey

Office: 10 F 722
Phone: +32 2 629 34 91
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Faculty of Sciences, DINF – SOFT
Pleinlaan 2
B-1050 Brussels, Belgium

Job Description

I am a PhD student at the Software Languages Lab, which is part of the Computer Science Department of the Faculty of Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Research Description

The developments in the hardware industry are showing a clear shift towards highly parallel systems. However, writing programs that make effective use of such systems is still hard. On the one hand, different algorithms and approaches need to be found that partition the computation in multiple parallel executable parts. On the other hand, one is forced to deal with the data movement and synchronisation issues involved in making all these parts cooperate. The latter issue will only grow more important as the number of cores in clusters and even single processors keeps growing.

My research focuses on facilitating the creation and execution of highly parallel programs. In order to do this, I investigate the dataflow paradigm. Any instruction in a dataflow program can be executed once the input data of this computation is present. This property causes dataflow programs to be inherently parallel in a very fine-grained manner.

A few unsolved scientific issues prevent the use of dataflow as a general purpose programming paradigm. First of all, the lack of a total sequence of operations make it hard for a dataflow program to communicate and synchronise with its external environment. Furthermore, there is currently no efficient pure dataflow execution engine for mainstream hardware which allows dynamically moving data towards the correct computational processes.

I aim to solve these issues in order to enable dataflow to be used as a way to easily create parallel programs. In order to achieve this, I am working on a framework that uses the dataflow paradigm for the efficient definition and execution of highly parallel programs.


My research output can be found here.