This paper proposes and evaluates a new approach to directory-based cache coherence protocols called Reactive NUMA (R-NUMA). An R-NUh4A system combines a conventional CC-NUMA coherence protocol with a more-recent Simple-COMA (S-COMA) protocol. What makes R-NUMA novel is the way it dynamically reacts to program and system behavior to switch between CC-NUMA and S-COMA and exploit the best aspects of both protocols. This reactive behavior allows each node in an R-NUMA system to independently choose the best protocol for a particular page, thus providing much greater performance stability than either CC-NUMA or S-COMA alone. Our evaluation is both qualitative and quantitative. We first show the theoretical result that R-NUMA’s worst-case performance is bounded within a small constant factor (i.e., two to three times) of the best of CC-NUMA and S-COMA. We then use detailed execution-driven simulation to show that, in practice, R-NUMA usually performs better than either a pure CC-NUMA or pure S-COMA protocol, and no more than 57 % worse than the best of CC-NUMA and S-COMA, for our benchmarks and base system assumptions.
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