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Panda: A Portable Platform to Support Parallel Programming Languages

Raoul Bhoedjang, Tim Ruhl, Rutger Hofman,
Koen Langendoen, and Henri Bal
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Frans Kaashoek
MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, Cambridge MA


Current parallel programming languages require advanced run-time support to implement communication and data consistency. As such run-time systems are usually layered on top of a specific operating system, they are nonportable. This paper reports on our early experiences with Panda , a portable virtual machine that provides general and flexible support for implementing run-time systems for parallel programming languages.

Panda has two interfaces: a Panda interface providing threads, RPC, and totally-ordered group communication, and a system interface which encapsulates machine dependencies by providing machine-independent thread and communication abstractions. We describe the interfaces, our experience with an initial Unix implementation, and the development of a new, portable, and scalable run-time system for the Orca parallel programming language on top of Panda. Unix is a trademark of Unix Systems Laboratories, Inc.

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