Data-intensive applications are motivating new interactions between the models of databases and the algorithms and platforms of high-performance computing. Considering the cost of development, ad hoc analytics tasks are a severe mismatch for the distributed programming models of HPC. When analytics tasks can be expressed as collection-oriented dataflow, there is a cost to using them: (1) existing dataflow systems are not equipped to make efficient use of HPC environments characterized by fast interconnects, fast messaging libraries, and high CPU to IO capacity; and (2) crossing system boundaries incurs the cost of impedance mismatch in data representation. Hand-tuned algorithms continue to have a role to play in production applications; intermingling high-level dataflow programming with point-to-point message-passing algorithms is an emerging requirement.

To address these costs, we built Radish. Radish uses new techniques for compiling queries for distributed HPC environments, aiming to exploit both database-style algebraic optimization and the performance benefits of parallel compilers.

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