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Using Simple Page Placement Policies to Reduce the Cost of Cache Fills in Coherent Shared-Memory Systems.
ROCHESTER UNIV NY DEPT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE
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The cost of a cache miss depends heavily on the location of the main memory that backs the missing line. For certain applications, this cost is a major factor in overall performance. We report on the utility of OS-based page placement as a mechanism to increase the frequency with which cache fills access local memory in a distributed shared memory multiprocessor. Even with the very simple policy of first-use placement, we find significant improvements over round-robin placement for many applications on both hardware and software-coherent systems. For most of our applications, dynamic placement allows 35 to 75 percent of cache fills to be performed locally, resulting in performance improvements of 20 to 40 percent. We have also investigated the performance impact of more sophisticated policies including hardware support for page placement, dynamic page migration, and page replication. We were surprised to find no performance advantage for the more sophisticated policies in fact in most cases performance of our applications suffered.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE