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2015 International Conference on Parallel Architecture and Compilation (PACT) (2015)
San Francisco, CA, USA
Oct. 18, 2015 to Oct. 21, 2015
ISSN: 1089-795X
ISBN: 978-1-4673-9524-3
pp: 87-98
Energy efficiency is an essential requirement for all contemporary computing systems. We thus need tools to measure the energy consumption of computing systems and to understand how workloads affect it. Significant recent research effort has targeted direct power measurements on production computing systems using on-board sensors or external instruments. These direct methods have in turn guided studies of software techniques to reduce energy consumption via workload allocation and scaling. Unfortunately, direct energymeasurementsarehamperedbythelowpowersampling frequency of power sensors. The coarse granularity of power sensing limits our understanding of how power is allocated in systems and our ability to optimize energy efficiency via workload allocation. We present ALEA, a tool to measure power and energy consumption at the granularity of basic blocks, using a probabilistic approach. ALEA provides fine-grained energy profiling via statistical sampling, which overcomes the limitations of power sensing instruments. Compared to state-of-the-art energy measurement tools, ALEA provides finer granularity without sacrificing accuracy. ALEA achieves low overhead energy measurements with mean error rates between 1.4% and 3.5% in 14 sequential and parallel benchmarks tested on both Intel and ARM platforms. The sampling method caps execution time overhead at approximately 1%. ALEA is thus suitable for online energy monitoring and optimization. Finally, ALEA is a user-space tool with a portable, machine-independent sampling method. We demonstrate three use cases of ALEA, where we reduce the energy consumption of a k-means computational kernel by 37%, an ocean modeling code by 33%, and a ray tracing code by 6% compared to high-performance execution baselines, by varying the power optimization strategy between basic blocks.
Energy measurement, Power measurement, Energy consumption, Instruments, Hardware, Radiation detectors

L. Mukhanov, D. S. Nikolopoulos and B. R. Supinski, "ALEA: Fine-Grain Energy Profiling with Basic Block Sampling," 2015 International Conference on Parallel Architecture and Compilation (PACT), San Francisco, CA, USA, 2015, pp. 87-98.
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