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Practical Foundations for Programming Languages by Robert Harper

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39 Nested Parallelism

Parallel computation seeks to reduce the running times of programs by allowing many computations to be carried out simultaneously. For example, if we wish to add two numbers, each given by a complex computation, we may consider evaluating the addends simultaneously, then computing their sum. The ability to exploit parallelism is limited by the dependencies among parts of a program. Obviously, if one computation depends on the result of another, then we have no choice but to execute them sequentially so that we may propagate the result of the first to the second. Consequently, the fewer dependencies among subcomputations, the greater the opportunities for parallelism. This argues for functional models of computation, ...

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