Designing a Modern Skeleton Programming Framework for Parallel and Heterogeneous Systems

August Ernstsson
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Software and Systems, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
Linköping University, 2020


   title={Designing a Modern Skeleton Programming Framework for Parallel and Heterogeneous Systems},

   author={Ernstsson, August},


   school={Link{"o}ping University Electronic Press}


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Today’s society is increasingly software-driven and dependent on powerful computer technology. Therefore it is important that advancements in the low-level processor hardware are made available for exploitation by a growing number of programmers of differing skill level. However, as we are approaching the end of Moore’s law, hardware designers are finding new and increasingly complex ways to increase the accessible processor performance. It is getting more and more difficult to effectively target these processing resources without expert knowledge in parallelization, heterogeneous computation, communication, synchronization, and so on. To ensure that the software side can keep up, advanced programming environments and frameworks are needed to bridge the widening gap between hardware and software. One such example is the pattern-centric skeleton programming model and in particular the SkePU project. The work presented in this thesis first redesigns the SkePU framework based on modern C++ variadic template metaprogramming and state-of-the-art compiler technology. It then explores new ways to improve performance: by providing new patterns, improving the data access locality of existing ones, and using both static and dynamic knowledge about program flow. The work combines novel ideas with practical evaluation of the approach on several applications. The advancements also include the first skeleton API that allows variadic skeletons, new data containers, and finally an approach to make skeleton programming more customizable without compromising universal portability.
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