Vertical Profiling: Evaluating Computer Architectures using Commercial Applications


This paper demonstrates how a performance analysis technique, vertical profiling, can be used to determine the cause of a performance anomaly: a gradual increase in instructions per cycle over time. Understanding the cause required trace-information from multiple layers of the execution stack (application, Java virtual machine, and hardware), expert knowledge in each layer, and repeated application of the process. To evaluate today’s complex software and hardware systems requires sophisticated performance analysis techniques. Nevertheless, as future software and hardware systems become more complex, these performance analysis techniques must be automated. 1

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