A Month of Math Software – August 2011

September 2nd, 2011 | Categories: Month of Math Software | Tags:

Welcome to August’s ‘A Month of Math Software’ where I look at everything from blog posts about math libraries through to the latest releases.  Click here for earlier articles in the series.

Mathematical software packages

“Sho is an interactive environment for data analysis and scientific computing that lets you seamlessly connect scripts (in IronPython) with compiled code (in .NET) to enable fast and flexible prototyping.”

Sho console

It certainly looks very interesting with features such as direct integration with Azure (Microsoft’s cloud computing product), Optimization and loads more.  Let me know what you think of it if you try it out.

Mathematical Software Libraries

  • The AMD Core Math Library was upgraded to version 5.0 this month.  I think the following is the complete change-log
    • DGEMM and SGEMM have been tuned for AMD Family 15h processors.  These take advantage of AVX and FMA-4 instructions to achieve high efficiency using either one or both threads of a compute unit.
    • The Fortran code base for the library is compiled with AVX and FMA-4 flags to support the AMD Family 15h processors.  This library will not run on processors that do not support AVX and FMA-4.  The package includes legacy libraries with SSE/SSE2 instructions suitable for use on AMD Family 10h and AMD Family 0fh processors.
    • New 2D and 3D real-to-complex FFT functions have been introduced.  Included are samples demonstrating how to use the new functions.
    • The L’Ecuyer, Whichmann-Hill, and Mersenne Twister random number generator have been updated to improve performance on all processor types.
    • The vector math library dependency has been removed from the library, and libacml_mv has been removed from the build.  These AMD math functions are available as a separate download from the AMD web page.
  • While on the subject of the ACML, check out this interview about the library with Chip Freitag, one of its developers, that was recorded earlier this month.
  • AMD have also released version 1.4 of the AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing Math Libraries (APPML).  This is an OpenCL library aimed at GPUs.  As far as I can tell, this is just a bug fix release and so there are no new routines available.
  • Jack Dongarra et al have moved their linear algebra library for heterogeneous/hybrid architectures, MAGMA, from release candidate 5 to a full version 1.0 release.  Roughly speaking, you can think of this project as LAPACK for CUDA GPUs (although this scope will probably widen in the future).  I believe that it is used in products such as MATLAB’s parallel computing toolbox and Accelereyes’ Jacket (Correction: I’ve since learned that Jacket uses CULA and not MAGMA) among others.
  • Odds and Ends
    • Intel have come up with a new hardware-based random number generator.  Read about it at http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/behind-intels-new-randomnumber-generator/ I wonder if hardware based generators will ever replace pseudo random number generators for simulation work?
    • Finally, William Hart released a new version of Coopr back in July but I didn’t learn about it in time to get it into July’s edition of Month of Math Software.  So, I’m telling you about it now (more accurately, I’m quoting William).  ‘Coopr is a collection of Python software packages that supports a diverse set of optimization capabilities for formulating and analyzing optimization models’

    That’s it for this month.  Thanks to everyone who contacted me with news items, this series would be a lot more difficult to compile without you.  If you have found something interesting in the world of mathematical software then feel free to let me know and I’ll include it in a future edition.

    1. MySchizoBuddy
      September 3rd, 2011 at 18:41
      Reply | Quote | #1

      Have you used Orange ( http://orange.biolab.si/features.html ). It’s a statistical and data mining software that uses visual programming like Labview.

      R-Studio ( http://rstudio.org/ ) which is an excellent UI for R.

      Red-R ( http://www.red-r.org/ ) another UI for R but one that is based on Orange 1.0 essentially R using visual programming.

    2. September 3rd, 2011 at 21:05
      Reply | Quote | #2

      Of the three you mention, I’ve used R-Studio a little. Never heard of the other two but I’ll take a look in the future.


    3. MySchizoBuddy
      September 4th, 2011 at 15:39
      Reply | Quote | #3

      loading your blog autostarts my Wolfram CDF Player. Some of your posts on the main page are using cdf widgets correct?

    4. MySchizoBuddy
      September 4th, 2011 at 15:41
      Reply | Quote | #4

      Do you know anyway seriously using Matlab for creating GUIs for engineering/math applications.

    5. September 5th, 2011 at 09:26
      Reply | Quote | #5

      “loading your blog autostarts my Wolfram CDF Player. Some of your posts on the main page are using cdf widgets correct?” – Yes. At the moment it is http://www.walkingrandomly.com/?p=3715 I wrote a tutorial on how I did it at http://www.walkingrandomly.com/?p=3323

      “Do you know anyway seriously using Matlab for creating GUIs for engineering/math applications.” – Was this a typo? Not sure what you mean.

    6. MySchizoBuddy
      September 5th, 2011 at 22:00
      Reply | Quote | #6
    7. MySchizoBuddy
      September 8th, 2011 at 17:11
      Reply | Quote | #7

      LibCL a new open source OpenCL library has been released. It’s pretty basic though

    8. September 9th, 2011 at 09:49
      Reply | Quote | #8

      Thanks for the tip. It is basic but you gotta start somewhere :)

    9. September 9th, 2011 at 20:58
      Reply | Quote | #9

      Mike, a small correction. We do not use MAGMA, our upstream library comes from EMPhotonics’ CULA (http://www.culatools.com/)

    10. September 10th, 2011 at 10:00

      Thanks Pavan, I’ve included the correction in the main text.

    11. MySchizoBuddy
      September 12th, 2011 at 19:36

      while researching libCL i came across this video title “Integrating libCL with OpenCL Studio”
      Hmm OpenCL Studio, never heard of that before.

      Btw Netbeans IDE now has a OpenCL Plugin http://michael-bien.com/mbien/entry/netbeans_opencl_pack