Non-deterministic parallelism considered useful

Derek G. Murray, Steven Hand
University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory
Proceedings of the 13th USENIX conference on Hot topics in operating systems, HotOS’13, 2011


   title={Non-deterministic parallelism considered useful},

   author={Murray, D.G. and Hand, S.},

   booktitle={HotOS XIII, 13th Workshop on Hot Topics in Operating Systems},



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The development of distributed execution engines has greatly simplified parallel programming, by shielding developers from the gory details of programming in a distributed system, and allowing them to focus on writing sequential code [8, 11, 18]. The "sacred cow" in these systems is transparent fault tolerance, which is achieved by dividing the computation into atomic tasks that execute deterministically, and hence may be re-executed if a participant fails or some intermediate data are lost. In this paper, we explore the possibility of relaxing this requirement, on the premise that non-determinism is useful and sometimes essential to support many programs.
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