•  Programming environments for:
    •     Clusters, clouds, heterogeneous systems, many-cores
    •     Sensor networks, smartphones, Internet-of-Things
    •  Applied to:
    •    Deep learning, reasoning,  astronomy,  forensics, e-health,
    •    climate, multimedia, NLP , bioinformatics, smart cities ….

The High Performance Distributed Computing (HPDC) group at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam studies programming environments for large-scale distributed systems, hand in hand with current technology and real-world applications. Technology has changed over the years from cluster computers, to grids, clouds, hybrid systems with many-core accelerators, mobile systems, sensors, and Internet-of-Things. Applications from numerous domains have been addressed over the years, including search algorithms, model checking, multimedia, semantic web, bioinformatics, astronomy, climate modelling, digital forensics, e-health, and machine learning.


The group produced well-known programming environments such as Orca, MagPIe, Ibis, JavaGAT, and WebPIE. Current programming systems include Swan (smartphone-based sensors and Internet-of-Things), MCL/Cashmere (programming heterogeneous many-core systems), and VLog (a high-performance Datalog engine). See the “Our software systems” page for more details.


The group has also coordinated the Distributed ASCI Supercomputer (DAS) project for the past 2 decades. The current system is DAS-5. A grant for DAS-6 was accepted by NWO in Fall 2018.


The current focus of the group is on programming methodologies for many-core accelerators, efficient deep learning, distributed sensor applications (for smartphones and IoT), blockchains, and large-scale distributed reasoning. The group has many new recent projects in these areas.


Group leader Henri Bal is the author of 3 books (including Modern Compiler Design, 2012) and about 200 published articles. He has been the promotor of over 25 PhD students. He is the winner of the Euro-Par 2014 Achievement Award, Member of the Academia Europeana, and member Editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (TPDS).


Jacopo Urbani is tenured assistant professor in the group and runs a subgroup (KARMA) on Knowledge Acquisition, Reasoning, and Management.


Lin Wang started as assistant professor in the group in December 2018.