AwkwardForth: accelerating Uproot with an internal DSL
1 Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States.
2 Institute of Engineering and Management, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
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Published online: 23 August 2021
File formats for generic data structures, such as ROOT, Avro, and Parquet, pose a problem for deserialization: it must be fast, but its code depends on the type of the data structure, not known at compile-time. Just-in-time compilation can satisfy both constraints, but we propose a more portable solution: specialized virtual machines. AwkwardForth is a Forth-driven virtual machine for deserializing data into Awkward Arrays. As a language, it is not intended for humans to write, but it loosens the coupling between Uproot and Awkward Array. AwkwardForth programs for deserializing record-oriented formats (ROOT and Avro) are about as fast as C++ ROOT and 10–80× faster than fastavro. Columnar formats (simple TTrees, RNTuple, and Parquet) only require specialization to interpret metadata and are therefore faster with precompiled code.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
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