Comparing and Optimising Parallel Haskell Implementations for Multicore Machines

Jost Berthold, Kevin Hammond, Simon Marlow, Abyd Al Zain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we investigate the differences and tradeoffs imposed by two parallel Haskell dialects running on multicore machines. GpH and Eden are both constructed using the highly-optimising sequential GHC compiler, and share thread scheduling, and other elements, from a common code base. The GpH implementation investigated here uses a physically-shared heap, which should be well-suited to multicore architectures. In contrast, the Eden implementation adopts an approach that has been designed for use on distributed-memory parallel machines: a system of multiple, independent heaps (one per core), with inter-core communication handled by message-passing rather than through shared heap cells. We report two main results. Firstly, we report on the effect of a number of optimisations that we applied to the shared-memory GpH implementation in order to address some performance issues that were revealed by our testing: for example, we implemented a work-stealing approach to task allocation. Our optimisations improved the performance of the shared-heap GpH implementation by as much as 30% on eight cores. Secondly, the shared heap approach is, rather surprisingly, not superior to a distributed heap implementation: both give similar performance results.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICPPW 2009
Subtitle of host publicationThe 38th International Conference on Parallel Processing Workshops, Vienna, Austria, September 22–25 2009.
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-7695-3803-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-4244-4923-1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009


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