Structures for Phase Classification

Jeremy Lau, Stefan Schoenmackers, and Brad Calder

IEEE International Symposium on Performance Analysis of Systems and Software, March 2004


Most programs are repetitive, where similar behavior can be seen at different execution times. Proposed algorithms automatically group these similar intervals of execution into phases, where all the intervals in a phase have homogeneous behavior and similar resource requirements.

In this paper we examine different program structures for capturing phase behavior. The goal is to compare the size and accuracy of these structures for performing phase classification. We focus on profiling the frequency of program level structures that are independent from underlying architecture performance metrics. This allows the phase classification to be used across different hardware designs that support the same instruction set (ISA). We compare using basic blocks, loop branches, procedures, opcodes, register usage, and memory address information for guiding phase classification. We compare these different structures in terms of their ability to create homogeneous phases, and evaluate the accuracy of using these structures to pick simulation points for SimPoint.