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The Nornir Run-Time System for Parallel Programs Using Kahn Process Networks

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Executive Summary

Shared-memory concurrency is the prevalent paradigm used for developing parallel applications targeted towards small- and middle-sized machines, but experience has shown that it is hard to use. This is largely caused by synchronization primitives which are low-level, inherently nondeterministic, and, consequently, non-intuitive to use. In this paper, the authors present the Nornir run-time system. Nornir is comparable to well-known frameworks like MapReduce and Dryad, but has additional support for process structures containing cycles. It is based on the formalism of Kahn process networks, which they deem as a simple and deterministic alternative to shared-memory concurrency.

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