Course pages 2016–17
Modern Compiler Design
Principal lecturer: Dr David Chisnall
Additional lecturer: Dr Timothy Griffin
Taken by: MPhil ACS, Part III
Hours: 16 (8 × two-hour seminar sessions)
Prerequisites: Undergraduate courses on C/C++ and compilers (see also “pre-course reading” below), enough practical C++ to augment a large open-source system (LLVM).
The module aims to give students practical experience with a state-of-the art compiler architecture used in research and academia. The main focus is on code generation for two categories of language: late-bound dynamic languages and parallel languages.
- Static Single Assignment form and its uses [1 lecture]
- The LLVM intermediate representation and transform pipeline [2 lectures and 2 practicals]
- Strategies for implementing dynamic dispatch and duck typing [2 lectures and 2 practicals]
- Autovectorisation algorithms [1 lecture and 2 practicals]
- Optimisation constraints for GPU and heterogeneous architectures [1 lecture]
- Parallel execution strategies [1 lecture and 2 practicals]
On completion of this module, students should:
- Understand the performance characteristics of modern processors
- Have experience with algorithms for automatically taking advantage of SIMD, SIMT, and MIMD parallelism
Some prior knowlege on the following compiler ideas (e.g. reading the Wikipedia articles on them) is advised:
Write a 4,000-word project report in IEEE journal format, including results from an analysis of modern compiler optimisation techniques.
Several short exercises implementing and benchmarking simple optimisations.
Design and implement a small set of optimisations for one of the example languages in the course or an existing language such as OpenCL C to generate experimental results. Several project ideas, including some proposed by members of ARM's compiler team, will be available to choose from or students may propose their own for this component.
- The 4,000-word project report will be graded (80%).
- The ticked practical work will be reviewed with the student (a short oral) (20%)
Alfred V. Aho, Monica S. Lam, Ravi Sethi and Jeffrey D. Ullman (Sep 10, 2006). Compilers: Principles, Techniques, & Tools.
Addison Wesley (2nd ed.).
Steven Muchnick, (1997). Advanced Compiler Design and Implementation. Morgan Kaufmann.