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A Proof Theory for Loop-Parallelizing Transformations

Report ID:
March 2014
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The microprocessor industry has embraced multicore architectures as the new
dominant design paradigm. Harnessing the full power of such computers requires
writing multithreaded programs, but regardless of whether one is writing a program
from scratch or porting an existing single-threaded program, concurrency is hard to
implement correctly and often reduces the legibility and maintainability of the source
code. Single-threaded programs are easier to write, understand, and verify.
Parallelizing compilers oer one solution by automatically transforming sequential
programs into parallel programs. Assisting the programmer with challenging tasks
like this (or other optimizations), however, causes compilers to be highly complex.
This leads to bugs that add unexpected behaviors to compiled programs in ways that
are very difficult to test. Formal compiler verification adds a rigorous mathematical
proof of correctness to a compiler, which provides high assurance that successfully
compiled programs preserve the behaviors of the source program such that bugs are
not introduced. However, no parallelizing compiler has been formally verified.
We lay the groundwork for verified parallelizing compilers by developing a general
theory to prove the soundness of parallelizing transformations. Using this theory, we
prove the soundness of a framework of small, generic transformations that compose
together to build optimizations that are correct by construction. We demonstrate
it by implementing several classic and cutting-edge loop-parallelizing optimizations:
DOALL, DOACROSS, and Decoupled Software Pipelining. Two of our main contributions
are the development and proof of a general parallelizing transformation and a
transformation that coinductively folds a transformation over a potentially nonterminating
loop, which we compose together to parallelize loops. Our third contribution
is an exploration of the theory behind the correctness of parallelization, where we
consider the preservation of nondeterminism and develop bisimulation-based proof
techniques. Our proofs have been mechanically checked by the Coq Proof Assistant.

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