Algebraic and Humble Programming

Staff - Faculty of Informatics

Date: 21 February 2023 / 10:30 - 11:30

USI Campus Est, room D0.02, Sector D

Speaker: Dr. Albert-Jan N. Yzelman, Huawei

We first recall the concept of a "humble programmer" and contrast it to that of a "hero programmer". Classically, the former focuses on achieving high productivity, while the latter focuses on extracting peak performance on a given system. Given the complexity of programming novel architectures increases, and the trend of producing heterogeneous systems that combine multiple complex architectures, humble programming models that automatically achieve scalable and high performance regardless of system architecture details is becoming a necessity. This talk introduces the free and open-source Algebraic Programming (ALP) paradigm as one such a candidate solution. With ALP, programmers must annotate their code with algebraic information, which the compiler then 1) exploits for optimization including auto-parallelisation, 2) to detect programmer errors, and 3) to disallow expressions that do not scale. Beyond ALP/GraphBLAS which provides sparse linear algebraic programming, ALP/Dense covers dense linear algebra while ALP/Pregel simulates vertex-centric programming on top of ALP/GraphBLAS. We demonstrate the ALP paradigm’s efficiency and scalability for diverse workloads from numerical linear algebra, graph algorithms, machine learning, and beyond.

Biography: Albert-Jan N. Yzelman is a Research Scientist and Expert at the Computing Systems Laboratory in the Huawei Zürich Research Center, and previously held Senior and Principal research positions at Huawei Paris. He obtained his doctorate from Utrecht University, and has held post-doctoral positions at KU Leuven and the Intel ExaScience Labs. His research interests center around paradigms for irregular and parallel computing, focusing on easy to use, yet high-performance, scalable, as well as portable programming principles and associated system design.

Host: Prof. Olaf Schenk