Prefetch optimizations on large-scale applications via parameter value prediction

Shih Wei Liao, Tzu Han Hung, Donald Nguyen, Hucheng Zhou, Chinyen Chou, ChiaHeng Tu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)


A typical data center application requires the processor cycles of thousands of machines. Even a single-digit performance improvement can significantly reduce the cost and power consumption of a data center. Unfortunately, achieving sustained improvement, even if modest, is difficult. Data centers are dynamic environments where applications are frequently released and servers are continually upgraded. For maintainability and fault tolerance, the physical capabilities and configuration of the servers are abstracted from the application programmer. We study application performance under different processor prefetch configurations. These configurations are largely transparent to the programmer, yet we observe a wide range of performance when comparing the worst and best configurations, with relative performance improvement ranging from 1.4% to 75.1%. Alarmingly, one application that consumes many processor cycles has a 23.6% improvement. Default prefetch configurations favor aggressively prefetching memory, which benefits most applications, but some data center applications have highly tuned memory behavior and aggressive prefetching severely decreases performance. We develop a tuning framework which attempts to predict the optimal configuration based on hardware performance counters. It applies to a large number of performance-critical data center applications without modifying the source code or binaries. The framework achieves performance within 1% of the best performance of a suite of important data center applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICS'09 - Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Supercomputing
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Nov 24
Event23rd International Conference on Supercomputing, ICS'09 - Yorktown Heights, NY, United States
Duration: 2009 Jun 82009 Jun 12

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Supercomputing


Other23rd International Conference on Supercomputing, ICS'09
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityYorktown Heights, NY

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)


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