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Python code parallelization for ALMA, challenges and alternatives

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posted on 24.11.2015, 00:00 by Gonzalez, Justo, Taylor, Julian, Castro, Sandra, Kern, Jeff, Knudstrup, Jens, Zampieri, Stefano, Manning, Alisdair

In the last few years development of Python code for science and data reduction purposes has gained significant popularity. ESO in itself uses a Python-based archiving  system for VLT and ALMA data. Also the data reduction suite for ALMA data is python-based. Rapid development is fostered by a big community and a wide range of already available packages. However Python enforces locking mechanisms, to ensure thread safety, that effectively reduce the capacity of Python to use only one core. In this context a number of alternatives have been developed by the community to emulate actual multi-threading and make parallel processing easier to use from Python, preserving interactivity.

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