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    Classdesc and Graphcode: support for scientific programming in C

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    Object-oriented programming languages such as Java and Objective C have become popular for implementing agent-based and other object-based simulations since objects in those languages can em reflect (i.e. make runtime queries of an object's structure). This allows, for example, a fairly trivial em serialisation routine (conversion of an object into a binary representation that can be stored or passed over a network) to be written. However C++ does not offer this ability, as type information is thrown away at compile time. Yet C++ is often a preferred development environment, whether for performance reasons or for its expressive features such as operator overloading. In scientific coding, changes to a model's codes takes place constantly, as the model is refined, and different phenomena are studied. Yet traditionally, facilities such as checkpointing, routines for initialising model parameters and analysis of model output depend on the underlying model remaining static, otherwise each time a model is modified, a whole slew of supporting routines needs to be changed to reflect the new data structures. Reflection offers the advantage of the simulation framework adapting to the underlying model without programmer intervention, reducing the effort of modifying the model. In this paper, we present the em Classdesc system which brings many of the benefits of object reflection to C++, em ClassdescMP which dramatically simplifies coding of MPI based parallel programs and em Graphcode a general purpose data parallel programming environment.

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    Description

    Title : Classdesc and Graphcode: support for scientific programming in C
    Author(s) : Russell K Standish, Duraid Madina
    Abstract : Object-oriented programming languages such as Java and Objective C have become popular for implementing agent-based and other object-based simulations since objects in those languages can em reflect (i.e. make runtime queries of an object's structure). This allows, for example, a fairly trivial em serialisation routine (conversion of an object into a binary representation that can be stored or passed over a network) to be written. However C++ does not offer this ability, as type information is thrown away at compile time. Yet C++ is often a preferred development environment, whether for performance reasons or for its expressive features such as operator overloading. In scientific coding, changes to a model's codes takes place constantly, as the model is refined, and different phenomena are studied. Yet traditionally, facilities such as checkpointing, routines for initialising model parameters and analysis of model output depend on the underlying model remaining static, otherwise each time a model is modified, a whole slew of supporting routines needs to be changed to reflect the new data structures. Reflection offers the advantage of the simulation framework adapting to the underlying model without programmer intervention, reducing the effort of modifying the model. In this paper, we present the em Classdesc system which brings many of the benefits of object reflection to C++, em ClassdescMP which dramatically simplifies coding of MPI based parallel programs and em Graphcode a general purpose data parallel programming environment.
    Keywords : computational engineering, finance, science, distributed, parallel, cluster computing, mathematical software

    Subject : unspecified
    Area : Other
    Language : English
    Year : 2006

    Affiliations UNSW, Maths and Stats, Sydney, Australia
    Journal : Arxiv preprint cs0610120
    Pages : 1-28
    Url : http://arxiv.org/abs/cs.CE/0610120

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