Computer Architecture Performance Evaluation Methods

Computer Architecture Performance Evaluation Methods

Lieven Eeckhout
ISBN: 9781608454679 | PDF ISBN: 9781608454686
Copyright © 2010 | 145 Pages | Publication Date: 01/01/2010

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Performance evaluation is at the foundation of computer architecture research and development. Contemporary microprocessors are so complex that architects cannot design systems based on intuition and simple models only. Adequate performance evaluation methods are absolutely crucial to steer the research and development process in the right direction. However, rigorous performance evaluation is non-trivial as there are multiple aspects to performance evaluation, such as picking workloads, selecting an appropriate modeling or simulation approach, running the model and interpreting the results using meaningful metrics. Each of these aspects is equally important and a performance evaluation method that lacks rigor in any of these crucial aspects may lead to inaccurate performance data and may drive research and development in a wrong direction. The goal of this book is to present an overview of the current state-of-the-art in computer architecture performance evaluation, with a special emphasis on methods for exploring processor architectures. The book focuses on fundamental concepts and ideas for obtaining accurate performance data. The book covers various topics in performance evaluation, ranging from performance metrics, to workload selection, to various modeling approaches including mechanistic and empirical modeling. And because simulation is by far the most prevalent modeling technique, more than half the book's content is devoted to simulation. The book provides an overview of the simulation techniques in the computer designer's toolbox, followed by various simulation acceleration techniques including sampled simulation, statistical simulation, parallel simulation and hardware-accelerated simulation.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Performance Metrics
Workload Design
Analytical Performance Modeling
Simulation
Sampled Simulation
Statistical Simulation
Parallel Simulation and Hardware Acceleration
Concluding Remarks

About the Author(s)

Lieven Eeckhout, Ghent University
Lieven Eeckhout is an Associate Professor at Ghent University, Belgium. His main research interests include computer architecture and the hardware/software interface in general, and performance modeling and analysis, simulation methodology, and workload characterization in particular. His work was awarded twice as an IEEE Micro Top Pick in 2007 and 2010 as one of the previous year's "most significant research publications in computer architecture based on novelty, industry relevance and long-term impact." He has served on a couple dozen program committees, he was the program chair for ISPASS 2009 and general chair for ISPASS 2010, and he serves as an associate editor for ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization. He obtained his Master's degree and Ph.D. degree in computer science and engineering from Ghent University in 1998 and 2002, respectively.

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