LANS Publications

"OpenAD: Algorithm Implementation User Guide"

J. Utke

Technical Memorandum ANL/MCS-TM-274

Preprint Version: [pdf]

Research in automatic differentiation has led to a number of tools that implement various approaches and algorithms for the most important programming languages. While all these tools have the same mathematical underpinnings, the actual implementations have little in common and mostly are specialized for a particular programming language, compiler internal representation, or purpose. This specialization does not promote an open test bed for experimentation with new algorithms that arise from exploiting structural properties of numerical codes in a source transformation context. OpenAD is being designed to fill this need by providing a framework that allows for relative ease in the implementation of algorithms that operate on a representation of the numerical kernel of a program. Language independence is achieved by using an intermediate XML format and the abstraction of common compiler analyses in OpenAnalysis. The intermediate format is mapped to concrete programming languages via two front/back end combinations. The design allows for reuse and combination of already implemented algorithms. We describe the set of algorithms and basic functionality currently implemented in OpenAD and explain the necessary steps to add a new algorithm to the framework