TransForm - Theoretical Foundations of Transactional Memory




Major chip manufacturers have shifted their focus from trying to speed up individual processors into putting several processors on the same chip. They are now talking about potentially doubling efficiency on a 2x core, quadrupling on a 4x core and so forth. Yet multi-core is useless without concurrent programming. The constructors are now calling for a new software revolution: the concurrency revolution. This might look at first glance surprising for concurrency is almost as old as computing and tons of concurrent programming models and languages were invented. In fact, what the revolution is about is way more than concurrency alone: it is about concurrency for the masses.

The current parallel programming approach of employing locks is widely considered to be too difficult for any but a few experts. Therefore, a new paradigm of concurrent programming is needed to take advantage of the new regime of multicore computers. Transactional Memory (TM) is a new programming paradigm which is considered by most researchers as the future of parallel programming. Not surprisingly, a lot of work is being devoted to the implementation of TM systems, in hardware or solely in software. What might be surprising is the little effort devoted so far to devising a sound theoretical framework to reason about the TM abstraction. To understand properly TM systems, as well as be able to assess them and improve them, a rigorous theoretical study of the approach, its challenges and its benefits is badly needed. This is the challenging research goal undertaken by this MC-ITN. Our goal through this project is to gather leading researchers in the field of concurrent computing over Europe, and combine our efforts in order to define what might become the modern theory of concurrent computing. We aim at training a set of Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in this direction and hope that, in turn, these ESRs will help Europe become a leader in concurrent computing.

Academic Partners
Industrial Partners

The Training Process

TransForm aims at improving the career perspectives of researchers by offering structured training in the challenging research area of Transactional Memory, as well as providing complementary skills and exposing the researchers to other sectors including private companies. More specifically, the ESRs will work in close collaboration with leading researchers in the field of concurrent computing over Europe. Strong collaboration among the research teams is a must for Marie-Curie Initial Training Netowrks and the ESRs will have the opportunity of visits and secondments to the institutions of the other partners of the network. 
Additionally, the ESRs will be given the opportunity to come in touch with strong industrial partners since researchers from well-known companies, like Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Microsoft Research, Cambridge (UK), the Sun Microsystems Labs, and the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in the US, stand at the supervisory board of the project.

Training also includes network-wide training activities with the long-term goal of providing a full-power training to the ESRs. Examples of such activities are the attendance of workshops and summer schools, courses that provide complementary training (such as project management, presentation skills, language courses, ethics, IPR, communication, etc.), involvement in the organisation of network activities, and other aspects such as proposal writing, task co-ordination, etc.

Useful Links

National Contact Points for MC-ITN
Marie Curie Fellows Association
Marie Curie ITN Home Page
"Euraxess jobs" portal
7th Framework Programme

Guide for Applicants, Marie-Curie Actions, Initial Training Network
European Charter for Researchers & Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers

Guide to IPR


Postal Address:
Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)
Institute of Computer Science (ICS)
100 N. Plastira Ave., Vassilika Vouton
GR-70013 Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Contact Person:
Prof. Panagiota Fatourou
Tel.: +30 2810391727
Fax: +30 2810391609

Last Modified: Fri, March 12, 1:45:30 EET DST 2010, by Panagiota Fatourou