Automatic Logging of Operating System Effects to Simplify Application-Level Architecture Simulation

Satish Narayanasamy, Cristiano Pereira, Harish Patil, Robert Cohn and Brad Calder
October 18, 2005

Modern architecture research relies heavily on detailed pipeline simulation. A time consuming part of building a simulator is correctly emulating the operating system effects when performing application-level simulation. This requires hand coding the emulation of any system effect (e.g., system call, interrupts, DMA transfers) used by the workload. This can be tedious, especially when having to support running the simulator on completely different operating systems or different versions of the operating system. Once a simulator has correctly emulated the system effects, it can also be costly to maintain this emulation, since the emulation can break with new versions of the operating system the simulator is running on. In addition, system effect emulation can cause some variance in simulation results. In this paper we describe an approach that automatically logs operating system effects to guide architecture simulation of user code. The benefit of this approach is that (a) we do not have to build or support any infrastructure for emulating operating system effects, and (b) the system effect logs provide deterministic simulation in the presence of these system effects.

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