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Automatic Characterization and Mitigation ofShared-resource Contention in Multi-coreSystems


Publication Type:

Doctoral Thesis


Multi-core computers are infamous for being hard to use in time-critical sys-tems due to execution-time variations as an effect of shared resource con-tention. In this thesis, we study the problem of shared resource contention,which occurs when multiple applications executing on different cores do nothave exclusive access to a shared hardware resource. We investigate perfor-mance variations of parallel tasks in multi-core systems and present a methodto pinpoint the source of the contention using hardware performance counters.We investigate mitigation methods for performance variations due to resourcecontention, including the Jailhouse hypervisor and the cache-partitioning toolPALLOC. We propose a benchmark strategy that quantifies the isolation gainedfrom a specific technique and exemplify this strategy using the Jailhouse hy-pervisor. We furthermore present and implement solutions for cache-partitionallocation during application runtime. Our implementation aims to avoid over-provisioning of cache through pre-runtime estimations of an application’s de-pendency towards the cache and continuous re-partitioning of the cache mem-ory during application runtime.The primary goal of this thesis is to contribute to a process that automates someof the tedious manual testing needed to detect resource contention bottlenecks.The methods we present in this provide a holistic solution for automaticallymitigating resource-contention in a multi-core system. First, we evaluate therisk for shared resource contention when several applications execute simulta-neously. We then allocate partitions to mitigate resource contention for appli-cations that risk severe performance degradations. We finally present methodsthat dynamically re-allocate partition space to meet the performance require-ments of the running applications.


author = {Jakob Danielsson},
title = {Automatic Characterization and Mitigation ofShared-resource Contention in Multi-coreSystems},
isbn = {978-91-7485-527-2},
editor = {ePRINT},
month = {November},
year = {2021},
school = {M{\\"{a}}lardalen University},
url = {}