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le (1h1m21s)

Semantics in the Time of Computing

Much of the technical terminology of computer science betrays its logical heritage: ‘language’, ‘symbol’, ‘syntax’, ‘semantics’, ‘value’, ‘reference’, ‘identifier’, ‘data’, etc.  Classically, such terms were used to name essential phenomena underlying logic, human thought and language — phenomena, it was widely believed, that would never succumb to scientific (causal, mechanical) explanation.  Computer science, however, now uses all these terms in perfectly good scientific ways, to name respectable scientific (causally explicable, mathematically modellable) phenomena. There are two possibilities.  The first is that ...
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le (1h55s)

Concurrent Disjoint Set Union

The disjoint set union problem is a classical problem in data structures with a simple and efficient sequential solution that has a notoriously complicated analysis. One application is to find strongly connected components in huge, implicitly defined graphs arising in model checking. In this application, the use of multiprocessors has the potential to produce significant speedups. We explore this possibility. We devise and analyze concurrent versions of standard sequential algorithms that use single and double compare-and-swap primitives for synchronization, making ...
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