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ROFL: a functional Python dialect for science


Current parallel programming models leave a lot to be desired and fail to maintain pace with improvements in hardware architecture. For many scientific research groups these models only widen the gap between equations and scalable parallel code. The Resilient Optimizing Flow Language (ROFL) is a data-flow language designed with the purpose of solving the problems of both domain abstraction and efficient parallelism. Using a functional, declarative variant of the Python language, ROFL takes scientific equations and optimizes for both scalar and parallel execution.

ROFL is closely tied to Python and the SciPy libraries. ROFL uses Python expression syntax, is implemented in Python, and emits optimized Python code. ROFL's implementation in Python allows ROFL to be embedded in Python. Using Python as a target language makes ROFL extensible and portable. By removing imperative loop constructs and focusing on integration with the NumPy and SciPy libraries, ROFL both supports and encourages data parallelism.

In this presentation, we introduce the ROFL language, and demonstrate by example how ROFL enables scientists to focus more on the equations they are solving, and less on task and data parallelism.