News FocusComputer Science

'Self-Tuning' Software Adapts to Its Environment

Science  01 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5437, pp. 35
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5437.35

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New "self-tuning" software probes the capabilities of the hardware it's running on and generates code that takes advantage of what it finds. The software--mostly designed for scientific computation--creates subroutines for common computational tasks, such as multiplying matrices. The gain in efficiency from such subroutines can be dramatic, computer scientists say, offering up to 300% improvement in performance over "portable" codes that run on a wide range of machines.