Modeling program predictability
Smith, James E.
PublisherIEEE Comp Soc
SourceConference Proceedings - Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture, ISCA
Proceedings of the 1998 25th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture
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Basic properties of program predictability - for both values and control - are defined and studied. We take the view that program predictability originates at certain points during a program's execution, flows through subsequent instructions, and then ends at other points in the program. These key components of predictability: generation, propagation, and terminationare defined in terms of a model. The model is based on a graph derived from dynamic data dependences and a predictor. Using the SPEC95 benchmarks, we analyze the predictability phenomena both separately and in combination. Examples are provided to illustrate relationships between model-based characteristics and program constructs. It is shown that most predictability derives from program control structure and immediate values, not program input data. Furthermore, most predictability originates from a relatively small number of generate points. The analysis of obtained results suggests a number of ramifications regarding predictability and its use.