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Fast Design Space Exploration Using Local Regression Modeling With Application to ASIPs

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2 Author(s)
Peter Hallschmid ; British Columbia Univ., Vancouver ; Resve Saleh

The configuration of an application-specific instruction-set processor through an exhaustive search of the design space is computationally prohibitive. Consequently, we propose a novel algorithm that models the design space using local regression statistics. With only a small subset of the design space sampled, our model uses statistical inference to estimate all remaining points. This technique enables existing design space exploration approaches to make longer strides toward the optimal point while evaluating fewer points in the design space. We tested our approach on two important aspects of processor architecture. Initially, we optimized the pattern history table (PHT) of a GSelect branch predictor to minimize the total energy of an embedded processor. Our approach was able to find the optimal configuration for the majority of benchmarks tested. By configuring the PHT size using our approach, the total processor energy was reduced by 17.2% on average, which is close to the possible percentage of 17.6% using optimal configurations. We then extended our approach to a multidimensional cache tuning problem where we configured a two-level cache hierarchy with 19 278 possible configurations. In this case, only 1% of the design space was simulated, resulting in a 100 times speedup. In doing so, we were able to identify near optimal configurations for most benchmarks and reduce the overall energy of the processor by 13.9% on average, with one benchmark by as much as 53%.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 3 )