Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Parallel Architectures and Compilation Techniques (2011)
Galveston, Texas USA
Oct. 10, 2011 to Oct. 14, 2011
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/PACT.2011.32
Modern microprocessors have many micro architectural features. Quantifying the performance impact of one feature such as dynamic branch prediction can be difficult. On one hand, a timing simulator can predict the difference in performance given two different implementations of the technique, but simulators can be quite inaccurate. On the other hand, real systems are very accurate representations of themselves, but often cannot be modified to study the impact of a new technique. We demonstrate how to develop a performance model for branch prediction using real systems. The technique perturbs benchmark executables to yield a wide variety of performance points without changing program semantics or other important execution characteristics such as the number of retired instructions. By observing the behavior of the benchmarks over a range of branch prediction accuracies, we can estimate the impact of a new branch predictor by simulating only the predictor and not the rest of the micro architecture. We call this technique Program Interferometry.
branch prediction, performance modeling, statistical methods
Zhe Wang, Daniel A. Jiménez, "Program Interferometry", Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Parallel Architectures and Compilation Techniques, vol. 00, no. , pp. 185-186, 2011, doi:10.1109/PACT.2011.32