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Performance Optimization of Data Structures Using Memory Access Characterization

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2 Author(s)
Rane, A. ; Texas Adv. Comput. Center, Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA ; Browne, J.

Program performance optimization is generally based on measurements of execution behavior of code segments. However, an equally important task for performance optimizations is understanding memory access behaviors and thus, data structure access patterns and properties. Because memory-related problems in multi-core applications can have a significant impact on overall performance, optimizations in data access patterns will likely give a big boost to application performance. But effective diagnosis of performance bottlenecks requires that the memory measurements be related to high-level data structures (C, C++ arrays, structures, etc.). In this work, we present a low-overhead tool that captures memory traces and computes several metrics for performance characteristics of source-level data structures. Explicit consideration is given to measurement and diagnosis for multicore chips. Case studies which include (manual) use of the data structure memory access metrics to select and implement optimizations are given.

Published in:

Cluster Computing (CLUSTER), 2011 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

26-30 Sept. 2011