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Simon Wilkinson

Ph.D. Student

Simon Wilkinson

Room number: IT-302
email: simon.wilkinson @ cs.man.ac.uk
Tel.: +44 161 275 3531
Other: contact details

I am a PhD student within the Advanced Processor Technologies research group at the School of Computer Science, University of Manchester, UK. I work within the JAMAICA project, which is investigating the design of multi-core processors and their accompanying software environments. I have been with the group since October 2005, under the supervision of Prof. Ian Watson.

Current Research

To fulfil their performance potential, multi-core processors require workloads with high levels of thread-level parallelism (TLP). Explicit multi-threaded programming is widely considered to be difficult for general purpose applications; therefore my research focuses on the automatic extraction of TLP from otherwise sequential software via thread-level speculative execution (TLS). For a introduction to TLS, see [1] or the PACT99 paper by Oplinger et-al. My current research focuses on the application of TLS to object-oriented programs, specifically, how the predictability of object behaviour can be exploited to generate parallelism. I am also interested how virtual machine environments can act as a platform for TLS implementation. In the course of my research, I have implemented a complete software TLS system based on the Jikes Research Virtual Machine.

Research Interests

Programming Language Implementation.
I have a wide range of interests within programming language implementation, including concurrency, runtime compilation, garbage-collection, VM environments, meta-circular implementation, reflective architectures and meta-level architectures.

Parallel Computing Models.
Based on the work for my PhD, I also have specific interests in speculative thread-level parallelism, data-flow execution models and the exploitation of multi-core / many-core architectures.

Recent Publications

  • Thread and Execution-Context Specific Barriers via Dynamic Method Versioning
    S. Wilkinson and I. Watson
    to appear in Proc. Workshop on Implementation, Compilation, Optimization of Object-Oriented Languages, Programs and Systems (ICOOOLPS), ECOOP 2009.
  • Speculative Multithreading: An Object-driven Approach
    S. Wilkinson and I. Watson
    in Proc. Workshop on Parallel Execution of Sequential Programs on Multicore Architectures (PESPMA), ISCA 2008.

Internships and Collaborations

The Maxine Virtual Machine.
In 2008 I completed an internship for Sun Microsystems Laboratories working on the Maxine VM (a meta-circular research VM for Java). I continue to collaborate on the project and contribute to the open source release.