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  1. Programmers and researchers are increasingly developing surrogates of programs, models of a subset of the observable behavior of a given program, to solve a variety of software development challenges. Programmers train surrogates from measurements of the behavior of a program on a dataset of input examples. A key challenge of surrogate construction is determining what training data to use to train a surrogate of a given program.

    We present a methodology for sampling datasets to train neural-network-based surrogates of programs. We first characterize the proportion of data to sample from each region of a program's input space (corresponding to different execution paths of the program) based on the complexity of learning a surrogate of the corresponding execution path. We next provide a program analysis to determine the complexity of different paths in a program. We evaluate these results on a range of real-world programs, demonstrating that complexity-guided sampling results in empirical improvements in accuracy.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 16, 2024
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  3. Predicting the number of clock cycles a processor takes to execute a block of assembly instructions in steady state (the throughput) is important for both compiler designers and performance engineers. Building an analytical model to do so is especially complicated in modern x86-64 Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC) machines with sophisticated processor microarchitectures in that it is tedious, error prone, and must be performed from scratch for each processor generation. In this paper we present Ithemal, the first tool which learns to predict the throughput of a set of instructions. Ithemal uses a hierarchical LSTM–based approach to predict throughput based on the opcodes and operands of instructions in a basic block. We show that Ithemal is more accurate than state-of-the-art hand-written tools currently used in compiler backends and static machine code analyzers. In particular, our model has less than half the error of state-of-the-art analytical models (LLVM’s llvm-mca and Intel’s IACA). Ithemal is also able to predict these throughput values just as fast as the aforementioned tools, and is easily ported across a variety of processor microarchitectures with minimal developer effort. 
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