On the memory access patterns of supercomputer applications: Benchmark selection and its implications

RC Murphy and PM Kogge, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMPUTERS, 56, 937-945 (2007).

DOI: 10.1109/TC.2007.1039

This paper compares the System Performance Evaluation Cooperative (SPEC) Integer and Floating-Point suites to a set of real-world applications for high-performance computing at Sandia National Laboratories. These applications focus on the high-end scientific and engineering domains; however, the techniques presented in this paper are applicable to any application domain. The applications are compared in terms of three memory properties: 1) temporal locality (or reuse over time), 2) spatial locality (or the use of data " near" data that has already been accessed), and 3) data intensiveness (or the number of unique bytes the application accesses). The results show that real-world applications exhibit significantly less spatial locality, often exhibit less temporal locality, and have much larger data sets than the SPEC benchmark suite. They further quantitatively demonstrate the memory properties of real supercomputing applications.

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