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Do Not Believe Everything You Read in the Papers

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Evaluating parallel algorithms is difficult: there are lots of possible metrics, lots of possible ways to run experiments, and lots of ways in which low-level details of the hardware can have unexpectedly large impacts on performance. Tim is going to talk about some of the ways in which he has been bitten by these problems in the past, and then some of the techniques he uses to try to organize his own experimental work.

Bio: Tim Harris leads the Oracle Labs group in Cambridge, UK. His research interests span multiple layers of the stack, including parallel programming, VMM / OS / runtime-system interaction, and opportunities for specialized architecture support for particular workloads. He has also worked on the implementation of software transactional memory for multi-core computers, and the design of programming language features based on it. He is a co-author of the Morgan Claypool book Transactional Memory.

Tim has a BA and PhD in computer science from Cambridge University Computer Laboratory. He was on the faculty at the Computer Laboratory from 2000-2004 where he led the department’s research on concurrent data structures and contributed to the Xen virtual machine monitor project. He was at Microsoft Research from 2004, and then joined Oracle Labs in 2012.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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