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Introduction to Concurrency in Programming Languages (Chapman & Hall/CRC Computational Science) [Hardcover]

Matthew Sottile , Timothy G. Mattson , Craig E. Rasmussen
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 28, 2009 1420072137 978-1420072136 0

Exploring how concurrent programming can be assisted by language-level techniques, Introduction to Concurrency in Programming Languages presents high-level language techniques for dealing with concurrency in a general context. It provides an understanding of programming languages that offer concurrency features as part of the language definition.

The book supplies a conceptual framework for different aspects of parallel algorithm design and implementation. It first addresses the limitations of traditional programming techniques and models when dealing with concurrency. The book then explores the current state of the art in concurrent programming and describes high-level language constructs for concurrency. It also discusses the historical evolution of hardware, corresponding high-level techniques that were developed, and the connection to modern systems, such as multicore and manycore processors. The remainder of the text focuses on common high-level programming techniques and their application to a range of algorithms. The authors offer case studies on genetic algorithms, fractal generation, cellular automata, game logic for solving Sudoku puzzles, pipelined algorithms, and more.

Illustrating the effect of concurrency on programs written in familiar languages, this text focuses on novel language abstractions that truly bring concurrency into the language and aid analysis and compilation tools in generating efficient, correct programs. It also explains the complexity involved in taking advantage of concurrency with regard to program correctness and performance.

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Editorial Reviews


… a clear focus in this book is on keeping the material accessible. The authors succeed at this brilliantly. … if you are just jumping into the world of concurrent programming, or taking a more theoretical look at the approaches we’ve all been taking for granted for the past 20 years in an attempt to make things better, then this book is a great start. The authors present a clear motivation for the relevance of continuing this work, and provide both the historical context and knowledge of present day practice that you’ll need to get off on the right foot. That they manage to do this while keeping the language clear and the text accessible is a tribute to the effort Sottile, Mattson, and Rasmussen put into the creation of the text.
—, October 2010

Sottile, Mattson, and Rasmussen have successfully managed to provide a nice survey of the current state of the art of parallel algorithm design and implementation in this well-written 300-page textbook, suitable for undergraduate computer science students … this concise yet thorough book provides an outstanding introduction to the important field of concurrent programming and the techniques currently employed to design parallel algorithms. It is clearly written, well organized, and cuts to the point … It is an informative read that I highly recommend to those interested in the design and implementation of parallel algorithms.
—Fernando Berzal, Computing Reviews, May 2010

About the Author

Matthew J. Sottile is a research associate and adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Oregon. He has a significant publication record in both high performance computing and scientific programming. Dr. Sottile is currently working on research in concurrent programming languages and parallel algorithms for signal and image processing in neuroscience and medical applications.

Timothy G. Mattson is a principal engineer at Intel Corporation. Dr. Mattson’s noteworthy projects include the world’s first TFLOP computer, OpenMP, the first generally programmable TFLOP chip (Intel’s 80 core research chip), OpenCL, and pioneering work on design patterns for parallel programming.

Craig E Rasmussen is a staff member in the Advanced Computing Laboratory at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Along with extensive publications in computer science, space plasma, and medical physics, Dr. Rasmussen is the principal developer of PetaVision, a massively parallel, spiking neuron model of visual cortex that ran at 1.14 Petaflops on LANL’s Roadrunner computer in 2008.

Product Details

  • Series: Chapman & Hall/CRC Computational Science
  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Chapman and Hall/CRC (September 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1420072137
  • ISBN-13: 978-1420072136
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,497,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate introduction to concurrency November 12, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent textbook. Well organized. Well written. Easy to follow. Complete.
But, it deserves a much wider audience than the title suggests.

Whether you are an old dog like me, or new to computing, you NEED to understand concurrency. Want to understand concurrency? Just pick up this book and read it. It is very accessible and very clear. Everything is explained in a way that makes you think: "Of course. That just makes sense."

Highly recommended!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Long-winded and superficial November 15, 2012
While the book covers a relatively wide range of topics--from basic concurrency concepts like locks, mutexes and semaphores to high level language-integrated approaches--it does so in an overly verbose, redundant and sometimes superficial fashion. As an example, chapters 6 "Historical Context and Evolution of Languages", and 7 "Modern Languages and Concurrency Constructs" have a lot of overlap, chapter 7 being mostly an expanded version of section 6.2. This is only one prominent example, but this tendency towards repeating content can be seen throughout the book. Also, some parts of the book are incredibly verbose, one such example is section 5.1 where the authors dedicate nine pages to explaining why abstraction is good in programming languages. Either the material is poorly organised--one would imagine that a reader interested in the concurrency part of programming languages is familiar with basic issues of language design such as why abstraction is good--or the authors had a page quota which had to be reached. The length of the book could be reduced by a third and no information would be lost. If you are considering this book, my advice is to look for something else.
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