MIT researchers develop new programming language for image processing

Researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL; Cambridge, MA, USA) aim to make writing image-processing algorithms easier with a new programming language called Halide.

Aug 2nd, 2012
MIT researchers develop new programming language for image processing
MIT researchers develop new programming language for image processing

Researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL; Cambridge, MA, USA) aim to make writing image-processing algorithms easier with a new programming language called Halide.

The researchers claim that Halide programs are easier to read, write and revise than image-processing programs written in a conventional language. And because Halide automates code-optimization procedures that would ordinarily take hours to perform by hand, they are also significantly faster.

In tests, the MIT researchers used Halide to rewrite several common image-processing algorithms whose performance had already been optimized by seasoned programmers. The Halide versions were typically about one-third as long but offered significant performance gains -- two-, three-, or even six-fold speedups. In one instance, the Halide program was actually longer than the original -- but the speedup was 70-fold.

Jonathan Ragan-Kelley, a graduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), and Andrew Adams, a CSAIL postdoc, led the development of Halide, and they will shortly release the code online here. In the meantime, readers can discover more about the Halide programming language in a technical article here.

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