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Publication# Execution Trace Graph of Dataflow Process Networks

Abstract

The paper introduces and specifies a formalism that provides complete representations of dataflow process network (DPN) program executions, by means of directed acyclic graphs. Such graphs, also known as execution trace graphs (ETG), are composed of nodes representing each action firing and by directed arcs representing the dataflow program execution constraints between two action firings. Action firings are atomic operations that encompass the algorithmic part of the action executions applied to both, the input data and the actor state variables. The paper describes how an ETG can be effectively derived from a dataflow program, specifies the type of dependencies that need to be included, and the processing that need to be applied so that an ETG become capable of representing all the admissible trajectories that dynamic dataflow programs can execute. The paper also describes how some characteristics of the ETG, related to specific implementations of the dataflow program, can be evaluated by means of high-level and architecture-independent executions of the program. Furthermore, some examples are provided showing how the analysis of the ETGs can support efficient explorations, reductions, and optimizations of the design space, providing results in terms of design alternatives, without requiring any partial implementation or reduction of the expressiveness of the original DPN dataflow program.

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Dataflow architecture

Dataflow architecture is a dataflow-based computer architecture that directly contrasts the traditional von Neumann architecture or control flow architecture. Dataflow architectures have no program counter, in concept: the executability and execution of instructions is solely determined based on the availability of input arguments to the instructions, so that the order of instruction execution may be hard to predict.

Dataflow

In computing, dataflow is a broad concept, which has various meanings depending on the application and context. In the context of software architecture, data flow relates to stream processing or reactive programming. Dataflow computing is a software paradigm based on the idea of representing computations as a directed graph, where nodes are computations and data flow along the edges. Dataflow can also be called stream processing or reactive programming. There have been multiple data-flow/stream processing languages of various forms (see Stream processing).

Directed graph

In mathematics, and more specifically in graph theory, a directed graph (or digraph) is a graph that is made up of a set of vertices connected by directed edges, often called arcs. In formal terms, a directed graph is an ordered pair where V is a set whose elements are called vertices, nodes, or points; A is a set of ordered pairs of vertices, called arcs, directed edges (sometimes simply edges with the corresponding set named E instead of A), arrows, or directed lines.

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