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Types, Regions, and Effects for Safe Programming With Object-Oriented Parallel Frameworks

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Executive Summary

Object-oriented frameworks can make parallel programming easier by providing generic parallel algorithms such as map, reduce, or scan, and letting the user fill in the details with sequential code. However, such frameworks can produce incorrect behavior if they are not carefully used, e.g., if a user-supplied function performs an unsynchronized access to a global variable. The authors develop novel techniques that a framework designer can use to prevent such errors. Building on a language (Deterministic Parallel Java, or DPJ) with an expressive region-based type and effect system, they show how to write a framework API that enables sound reasoning about the effects of unknown user-supplied methods.

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