System-wide profiling and optimization with virtual machines

Shih Hao Hung, Tei Wei Kuo, Chi Sheng Shih, Chia Heng Tu

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

14 Citations (Scopus)


Simulation is a common approach for assisting system design and optimization. For system-wide optimization, energy and computational resources are often the two most critical limitations. Modeling energy-states of each hardware component and time spent in each state is needed for accurate energy and performance prediction. Tracking software execution in a realistic operating environment with properly modeled input/output is key to accurate prediction. However, the conventional approaches can have difficulties in practice. First, for a complex system such as an Android smartphone, building a cycle-accurate simulation environment is no easy task. Secondly, for I/O-intensive applications, a slow simulation would significantly alter the application behavior and change its performance profile. Thirdly, conventional software profiling tools generally do not work on simulators, which makes it difficult for performance analysis of complicated software, e.g., Java applications executed by the Dalvik virtual machine. Recently, virtual machine technologies are widely used to emulate a variety of computer systems. While virtual machines do not model the hardware components in the emulated system, we can ease the effort of building a simulation environment by leveraging the infrastructure of virtual machines and adding performance and power models. Moreover, multiple sets of the performance and energy models can be selectively used to verify if the speed of the simulated system impacts the software behavior. Finally, performance monitoring facilities can be integrated to work with profiling tools. We believe this approach should help overcome the aforementioned difficulties. We have prototyped a framework and our case studies showed that the information provided by our tools are useful for software optimization and system design for Android smartphones.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASP-DAC 2012 - 17th Asia and South Pacific Design Automation Conference
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event17th Asia and South Pacific Design Automation Conference, ASP-DAC 2012 - Sydney, NSW, Australia
Duration: 2012 Jan 302012 Feb 2

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Asia and South Pacific Design Automation Conference, ASP-DAC


Other17th Asia and South Pacific Design Automation Conference, ASP-DAC 2012
CitySydney, NSW

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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