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Using Information from the Programmer to Implement SharedMemory Optimizations

Summary: Using Information from the Programmer
to Implement Shared­Memory Optimizations
Without Violating Sequential Consistency \Lambday
Sarita V. Adve
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Rice University
Houston, Texas 77005­1892
Rice University ECE Technical Report 9603, March 1996, revised June 1998
The memory consistency model of a shared­memory system is a formal specification of the semantics of shared­
memory. The most commonly assumed model, sequential consistency, provides simple semantics but is not easily
amenable to high performance. This paper focuses on using information from the programmer to determine system
optimizations that will not violate sequential consistency. Previous efforts on using this approach have involved an
ad hoc process to postulate useful program information, and complex correctness proofs to confirm the optimizations
enabled by the information. The ad hoc nature of this process also does not provide insight on possible future
optimizations or useful program information.
This paper develops a general framework to derive an explicit relationship (or mapping) between potential opti­
mizations and the corresponding information. The mapping enables an easier exploration of optimizations for future
systems. We apply our mapping to determine the information required for optimizations of out­of­order execution,


Source: Adve, Sarita - Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences