First and foremost, I would like to thank my advisor, Eduard Ayguade, and co-advisor, Alex Ramirez. This dissertation could not have been written without their patient guidance throughout. They gave me the freedom to try my own ideas and make my own mistakes, while gently steering me in the right direction when necessary. Alex knows how to take a vague idea, make it real, evaluate it, and produce a clear and compelling set of contributions. He persuaded me to stop describing my work with words like simple and obvious. Eduard had the experience and clarity to make sure I was steadily advancing in the right direction. Both were remarkably generous with their time, and they made research an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.
I am indebted to the Barcelona Supercomputing Center under the warm leadership of Mateo Valero. The BSC supported this work by providing a friendly and productive working environment, access to resources and projects, and financial support. Thanks to all the administrative staff, especially Trini Carneros at UPC DAC, who put up with my difficulty in performing even the most undemanding of administrative tasks.
I would like to thank the funding bodies that enabled this work to take place: the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (contract no. TIN2007-60625), the European Commission in the context of the ACOTES project (contract no. IST-34869), ENCORE project (ICT-FP7-248647), and the HiPEAC Network of Excellence (contract nos. IST-004408 and FP7/ICT 217068).
I wish to thank my parents, who have always been there for me. They always believed that everyone should have a passion for something and the opportunity to make their passion into their career. They bought my first computer, a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, when I was aged eight. They continued to support my interests in science and computing, and my brother’s interests in animal medicine and surgery. Now, both their sons are doing what they enjoy.
Finally, I wish to express my warmest thanks to Anja and our two young sons, Ruben and Daniel. Anja has an extraordinary ability to help others grow. She takes an interest in people, and she gives them the push to send that email, or make that call. She was instrumental in my move from successful professional to graduate student, and she has supported me in uncountable ways while I was writing this dissertation. Every day, Anja and my sons show me what is most important in life.