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MicroLib: A Case for the Quantitative Comparison of Micro-Architecture Mechanisms

Daniel Gracia Perez 1, 2 Gilles Mouchard 1, 2 Olivier Temam 1, 2
1 ALCHEMY - Architectures, Languages and Compilers to Harness the End of Moore Years
LRI - Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique, UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique : UMR8623, Inria Saclay - Ile de France
Abstract : While most research papers on computer architectures include some performance measurements, these performance numbers tend to be distrusted. Up to the point that, after so many research articles on data cache architectures, for instance, few researchers have a clear view of what are the best data cache mechanisms. To illustrate the usefulness of a fair quantitative comparison, we have picked a target architecture component for which lots of optimizations have been proposed (data caches), and we have implemented most of the performance-oriented hardware data cache optimizations published in top conferences in the past 4 years. Beyond the comparison of data cache ideas, our goals are twofold: (1) to clearly and quantitatively evaluate the effect of methodology shortcomings, such as model precision, benchmark selection, trace selection. . . , on assessing and comparing research ideas, and to outline how strong is the methodology effect in many cases, (2) to outline that the lack of interoperable simulators and not disclosing simulators at publication time make it difficult if not impossible to fairly assess the benefit of research ideas. This study is part of a broader effort, called MicroLib, an open library of modular simulators aimed at promoting the disclosure and sharing of simulator models.
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 9, 2006 - 1:03:29 PM
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Daniel Gracia Perez, Gilles Mouchard, Olivier Temam. MicroLib: A Case for the Quantitative Comparison of Micro-Architecture Mechanisms. International Symposium on Microarchitecture, Dec 2004, Portland/USA. ⟨inria-00001110⟩

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