Chen Ding and Trishul Chilimbi
In a multi-threaded execution, threads may negatively interfere when their private data contends for shared cache or positively interact when the data brought in by one thread is used by other threads. This paper presents a model of such cache behavior to predict locality without exhaustive simulation and provide insight into trends. The new model extends prior work that assumes no data sharing and uniform thread interleaving. Based on a single pass over an interleaved execution trace, we compute a set of per-thread statistics that includes the effect of thread interleaving and data sharing. The per-thread statistics is then composed to predict performance for all cache sizes, either for sub-clusters of threads or for futuristic environments with a larger number of similar threads.
We evaluate and validate our model against exhaustive simulation using a server application running on a quad-core machine and productivity, multimedia and gaming applications running on a dual-core machine. The results indicate that our model is accurate and relies on incorporating both irregular thread interleaving and data sharing to achieve this accuracy. In addition, it identifies and separates individual factors affecting locality and scalability and hence opens new possibilities in performance tuning, program scheduling, and hardware cache design for concurrent applications.
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