Department of Information Technology
Uppsala Architecture Research Team

Phase-guided Cache Modeling

Statistical cache models are powerful tools for understanding application behavior as a function of cache allocation. However, previous techniques have modeled only the average application behavior, which hides the effect of program variations over time. Without detailed time-based information, transient behavior, such as exceeding bandwidth or cache capacity, may be missed. Yet these events, while short, often play a disproportionate role and are critical to understanding program behavior.

In this work we extend earlier techniques to incorporate program phase information when collecting runtime profiling data. This allows us to model an application's cache miss ratio as a function of its cache allocation over time. To reduce overhead and improve accuracy we use online phase detection and phase-guided profiling. The phase-guided profiling reduces overhead by more intelligently selecting portions of the application to sample, while accuracy is improved by combining samples from different instances of the same phase.

The result is a new technique that accurately models the time-varying behavior of an application's miss ratio as a function of its cache allocation on modern hardware. By leveraging phase-guided profiling, this work both improves on the accuracy of previous techniques and reduces the overhead.

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Data cache behavior as a function of phase. Poster

Updated  2013-07-05 14:19:47 by David Black-Schaffer.