Designing the Language Liszt for Building Portable Mesh-based PDE Solvers

Zachary DeVito, Pat Hanrahan
Stanford University
Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing Program (SciDAC), 2011


   title={Designing the Language Liszt for Building Portable Mesh-based PDE Solvers},

   author={DeVito, Z. and Hanrahan, P.},



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Complex physical simulations have driven the need for exascale computing, but reaching exascale will require more power-efficient supercomputers. Heterogenous hardware offers one way to increase efficiency, but is difficult to program and lacks a unifying programming model. Abstracting problems at the level of the domain rather than hardware offers an alternative approach. In this paper we describe the design of Liszt, a domain-specific language for solving partial-differential equations on meshes. There have been many domain-specific languages and frameworks proposed for physical simulation. Liszt is unique in that it targets current and future heterogeneous platforms. We have found that designing a DSL requires a careful balance between features that allow for automatic parallelization, and features that make the language flexible.
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