LLVM Project News and Details from the Trenches

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2016 LLVM Developers' Meeting - Experience from Johannes Doerfert, Travel Grant Recipient

This blog post is part of a series of blog posts from students who were funded by the LLVM Foundation to attend the 2016 LLVM Developers' Meeting in San Jose, CA. Please visit the LLVM Foundation's webpage for more information on our Travel Grants program.

This post is from Johannes Doerfert:
2016 was my third time attending the US LLVM developers meeting and for the third year in a row I was impressed by the quality of the talks, the organization and the diversity of attendees. The hands on experiences that are presented, combined with innovative ideas and cutting edge research makes it a perfect venue for me as a PhD student. The honest interest in the presented topics and the lively discussions that include students, professors and industry people are two of the many things that I experienced the strongest at these developer meetings.

For the last two years I was mainly attending as a Polly developer that talked about new features and possible applications of Polly. This year however my roles were different. First, I was attending as part of the organization team of the European LLVM developers meeting 2017 [0] together with my colleagues Tina Jung and Simon Moll. In this capacity I answered questions about the venue (Saarbruecken, Germany [1,2]) and the alterations in contrast to prior meetings. Though, more importantly, I advertised the meeting to core developers that usually do not attend the European version. Second on my agenda was the BoF on a parallel extension to the LLVM-IR which I organized with Simon Moll. In this BoF, but also during the preparation discussion on the mailing list [3], we tried to collect motivating examples, requirements as well as known challenges for a parallel extension to LLVM. These insights will be used to draft a proposal that can be discussed in the community.

Finally, I attended as a 4th year PhD student who is interested in contributing his work to the LLVM project (not only Polly). As my current research required a flexible polyhedral value (and iterationspace) analysis, I used the opportunity to implement one with aninterface similar to scalar evolution. The feedback I received on this topic was strictly positive. I will soon post a first version of this standalone analysis and start a public discussion. Since I hope to finish my studies at some (not too distant) point in time, I seized the opportunity to inquire about potential options for the time after my PhD.

As a final note I would like to thank the LLVM Foundation for their student travel grant that allowed me to attend the meeting in the first place.

[0] http://llvm.org/devmtg/2017-03/
[1] http://sic.saarland/
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saarbr%C3%BCcken
[3] http://lists.llvm.org/pipermail/llvm-dev/2016-October/106051.html