Beyond Classical Parallel Programming Frameworks: Chapel vs Julia

Authors Rok Novosel, Boštjan Slivnik

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Rok Novosel
  • Faculty of Computer and Information Science, University of Ljubljana, Ve\v cna pot 113, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Boštjan Slivnik
  • Faculty of Computer and Information Science, University of Ljubljana, Večna pot 113, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


The authors want to thank Janez Pintar for valuable discussions at the beginning of this work.

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Rok Novosel and Boštjan Slivnik. Beyond Classical Parallel Programming Frameworks: Chapel vs Julia. In 8th Symposium on Languages, Applications and Technologies (SLATE 2019). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 74, pp. 12:1-12:8, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)


Although parallel programming languages have existed for decades, (scientific) parallel programming is still dominated by Fortran and C/C++ augmented with parallel programming frameworks, e.g., MPI, OpenMP, OpenCL and CUDA. This paper contains a comparative study of Chapel and Julia, two languages quite different from one another as well as from Fortran and C, in regard to parallel programming on distributed and shared memory computers. The study is carried out using test cases that expose the need for different approaches to parallel programming. Test cases are implemented in Chapel and Julia, and in C augmented with MPI and OpenMP. It is shown that both languages, Chapel and Julia, represent a viable alternative to Fortran and C/C++ augmented with parallel programming frameworks: the programmer’s efficiency is considerably improved while the speed of programs is not significantly affected.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Computing methodologies → Parallel programming languages
  • parallel programming languages
  • Chapel
  • Julia


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