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Characterization of Problem Stores
January-December 2004 (vol. 3 no. 1)
pp. 9
This paper introduces the concept of problem stores: static stores whose dependent loads often miss in the cache. Accurately identifying problem stores allows the early determination of addresses likely to cause later misses, potentially allowing for the development of novel, proactive prefetching and memory hierarchy management schemes. We present a detailed empirical characterization of problem stores using the SPEC2000 CPU benchmarks. The data suggests several key observations about problem stores. First, we find that the number of important problem stores is typically quite small; the worst 100 problem stores write the values that will lead to about 90% of non-cold misses for a variety of cache configurations. We also find that problem stores only account for 1 in 8 dynamic stores, though they result in 9 of 10 misses. Additionally, the problem stores’ dependent loads miss in the L2 cache a larger fraction of the time than loads not dependent on problem stores. We also observe the set of problem stores is stable across a variety of cache configurations. Finally, we found that the instruction distance from problem store to miss and problem store to evict is often greater than one million instructions, but the value is often needed within 100,000 instructions of the eviction.
Citation:
Allison L. Holloway, Gurindar S. Sohi, "Characterization of Problem Stores," IEEE Computer Architecture Letters, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 9, Jan.-Dec. 2004, doi:10.1109/L-CA.2004.4
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