- (IEEE TC)
Sampled simulation is a mature technique for reducing simulation time of single-threaded programs. Nevertheless, current sampling techniques do not take advantage of other execution models, like task-based execution, to provide both more accurate and faster simulation. Task-based programming models allow the programmer to specify program segments as tasks which are instantiated many times and scheduled dynamically to available threads. Due to variation in scheduling decisions, two consecutive executions on the same machine typically result in different instruction streams processed by each thread. In this paper, we propose TaskPoint, a sampled simulation technique for dynamically scheduled task-based programs. We leverage task instances as sampling units and simulate only a fraction of all task instances in detail. Between detailed simulation intervals, we employ a novel fast-forwarding mechanism for dynamically scheduled programs. We valuate different automatic techniques for clustering task instances and show that DBSCAN clustering combined with analytical performance modeling provides the best trade-off of simulation speed and accuracy. TaskPoint is the first technique combining sampled simulation and analytical modeling and provides a new way to trade off simulation speed and accuracy. Compared to detailed simulation, TaskPoint accelerates architectural simulation with 8 simulated threads by an average factor of 220x at an average error of 0.5% and a maximum error of 7.9%.