comments Jeffrey Mark Siskind (24 Apr 2020 18:59 UTC)
Re: comments Jeffrey Mark Siskind (24 Apr 2020 19:53 UTC)
Re: comments Bradley Lucier (17 May 2020 21:40 UTC)
Re: comments Jeffrey Mark Siskind (24 Apr 2020 19:54 UTC)
Re: comments John Cowan (24 Apr 2020 21:13 UTC)
Re: comments Bradley Lucier (25 Apr 2020 23:34 UTC)
Re: comments Bradley Lucier (26 Apr 2020 00:09 UTC)
Re: comments John Cowan (26 Apr 2020 03:46 UTC)
Re: comments Bradley Lucier (28 Apr 2020 20:03 UTC)
Re: comments Bradley Lucier (26 Apr 2020 22:11 UTC)

comments Jeffrey Mark Siskind 24 Apr 2020 18:58 UTC

I haven't had the time to go throught the SRFI in detail. Hoever, I have several
very-high-level comments.

 1. From a historical perspective, the MIT Lisp Machine had displaced arrays.
    All of the derivatives (Symbolics, LMI, and TI) thus also did. I think
    that Interlisp-D did as well. I don't remember about Maclisp. Displaced
    arrays were used in the Lisp Machines (both the MIT variants and
    I think also the PARC variants) to implement the window system. Windows
    were displaced arrays into the hardware screen buffer. Alan Bawden just
    copied this idea into Scheme. He was one of the MIT Lisp Machine developers.
 2. I think a very important design goal of any array system for Scheme should
    be to fully support not only the functionality of systems like (Py)Torch
    and cuDNN but also the actual code base. (Py)Torch has an API for
    multidimensional arrays that has become the defacto standard for deep
    learning and GPUs. It is similar in many ways to the proposed SRFI. I
    haven't had time to check in detail, but it would be good if it were 100%
    compatible. So that in a Scheme implementation with a suitable FFI, one
    could make bindings for the entire C backend to Torch (now replaced with
    ATen) and all of cuDNN. Inter alia, this means support for GPU resident
    arrays as well as CPU resident arrays. (You also need to be able to
    support residency on different GPUs as well as migration between GPUs and
    between GPUs and the CPU.) Also, Torch tensors [sic] aka arrays support
    the notion of "stride" in addition to lower and upper bounds. This allows
    downsampling/decimation through descriptors without copying. It also
    allows reversal through negative strides. I haven't thought deeply enough
    about whether the SRFI framework can support this.
 3. One of the things about GPUs is that they support a variety of different
    models of fold aka reduce, some of which are deterministic in their
    parallelism and some of which are not. Because of the nonassociativity of
    floating point addition this may make results nondeterministic. Sometimes
    people tolerate this because of faster speed. Sometimes not. Frameworks
    have ways of specifying whether or not you require deterministic results.
    Similarly, some frameworks, like cuDNN, have a single API for things like
    convolution, but take an argument that specifies an algorithm to use that
    trades off time vs. (temporary) space.
 4. The (Py)Torch tensor model distinguishes between contiguous and
    noncontiguous tensors and has mechanisms for producing a contiguous tensor
    from an noncontiguous one by copying. Some operations require contiguous
    tensors or are more efficient on such. Some implicitly convert to
    contiguous. There is an efficiency hack. Suppose you to a map + over two
    tensors with compatible dimensions. Instead of doing it through the
    descriptors you can do it directly on the underlying 1D storage and just
    wrap the result in the appropriate descriptor. So that underlying map is a
    simple low-lever 1D map instead of a map of higher oder through

Just a side comment. In my lab, we have a language and implementation called
checkpointVLAD which is a slight variant of a pure subset of Scheme. We made a
version of checkpointVLAD called Scorch (Scheme Torch, scorching hot) that has
tesnor types compatible with Torch and has a complete set of basis functions for
manipulating them in a way that is compatible with both Scheme and Torch,
along with a set of FFI bindings to Torch and cuDNN.

    Jeff (