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Computer manufacturers spend a huge amount of time, resources, and money in designing new systems and newer configurations, and their ability to reduce costs, charge competitive prices and gain market share depends on how good these systems perform. In this work, we develop predictive models for estimating the performance of systems by using performance numbers from only a small fraction of the overall design space. Specifically, we first develop three models, two based on artificial neural networks and another based on linear regression. Using these models, we analyze the published Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) benchmark results and show that by using the performance numbers of only 2% and 5% of the machines in the design space, we can estimate the performance of all the systems within 9.1% and 4.6% on average, respectively. Then, we show that the performance of future systems can be estimated with less than 2.2% error rate on average by using the data of systems from a previous year. We believe that these tools can accelerate the design space exploration significantly and aid in reducing the corresponding research/development cost and time- to-market.
Date of Conference: 8-13 June 2008