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A Hardware Approach to Fairly Balance the Inter-Thread Interference in Shared Caches

Research Area: Processor Architecture Year: 2017
Type of Publication: Article
Authors:
Journal: IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems PP
Number: 99
Abstract:
Shared caches have become the common design choice in the vast majority of modern multi-core and many-core processors, since cache sharing improves throughput for a given silicon area. Sharing the cache, however, has a downside: the requests from multiple applications compete among them for cache resources, so the execution time of each application increases over isolated execution. The degree in which the performance of each application is affected by the interference becomes unpredictable yielding the system to unfairness situations. This paper proposes Fair-Progress Cache Partitioning (FPCP), a low-overhead hardware-based cache partitioning approach that addresses system fairness. FPCP reduces the interference by allocating to each application a cache partition and adjusting the partition sizes at runtime. To adjust partitions, our approach estimates during multicore execution the time each application would have taken in isolation, which is challenging. The proposed approach has two main differences over existing approaches. First, FPCP distributes cache ways incrementally, which makes the proposal less prone to estimation errors. Second, the proposed algorithm is much less costly than the state-of-the-art ASM-Cache approach. Experimental results show that, compared to ASM-Cache, FPCP reduces unfairness by 48% in four-application workloads and by 28% in eight-application workloads, without harming the performance
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