LASER: Light, Accurate Sharing dEtection and Repair

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false sharing
true sharing
cache contention
performance counters
Computer and Systems Architecture
Computer Engineering
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Luo, Liang
Sriraman, Akshitha
Hu, Shiliang
Pokam, Gilles
Newburn, Chris J

Contention for shared memory, in the forms of true sharing and false sharing, is a challenging performance bug to discover and to repair. Understanding cache contention requires global knowledge of the program's actual sharing behavior, and can even arise invisibly in the program due to the opaque decisions of the memory allocator. Previous schemes have focused only on false sharing, and impose significant performance penalties or require non-trivial alterations to the operating system or runtime system environment. This paper presents the Light, Accurate Sharing dEtection and Repair (LASER) system, which leverages new performance counter capabilities available on Intel's Haswell architecture that identify the source of expensive cache coherence events. Using records of these events generated by the hardware, we build a system for online contention detection and repair that operates with low performance overhead and does not require any invasive program, compiler or operating system changes. Our experiments show that LASER imposes just 2% average runtime overhead on the Phoenix, Parsec and Splash2x benchmarks. LASER can automatically improve the performance of programs by up to 19% on commodity hardware.

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2016 IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA) was held March 12-16, 2016, in Barcelona, Spain.
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@INPROCEEDINGS{7446070, author={L. Luo and A. Sriraman and B. Fugate and S. Hu and G. Pokam and C. J. Newburn and J. Devietti}, booktitle={2016 IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA)}, title={LASER: Light, Accurate Sharing dEtection and Repair}, year={2016}, pages={261-273}, doi={10.1109/HPCA.2016.7446070}, month={March},}