Seminars & Colloquia

Xu Liu

College of William and Mary

"Squeezing Software Performance via Eliminating Wasteful Operations"

Tuesday October 22, 2019 09:30 AM
Location: 3211, EB2 NCSU Centennial Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)


Abstract: Inefficiencies abound in complex, layered software. A variety of inefficiencies show up as wasteful memory operations, such as redundant or useless memory loads and stores. Aliasing, limited optimization scopes, and insensitivity to input and execution contexts act as severe deterrents to static program analysis. Microscopic observation of whole executions at instruction-and operand-level granularity breaks down abstractions and helps recognize redundancies that masquerade in complex programs. In this talk, I will describe various wasteful memory operations, which pervasively exist in modern software packages and expose great potential for optimization. I will discuss the design of a fine-grained instrumentation-based profiling framework that identifies wasteful operations in their contexts, which guides nontrivial performance improvement. Furthermore, I will show our recent improvement to the profiling framework by abandoning instrumentation, which reduces the runtime overhead from 10x to 3% on average. I will show how our approach works for native binaries and various managed languages such as Java, yielding new performance insights for optimization.
Short Bio: Xu Liu is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at College of William & Mary. He obtained his Ph.D. from Rice University in 2014 and joined the College of William & Mary in the same year. Prof. Liu works on building performance tools to pinpoint and optimize inefficiencies in HPC code bases. He has developed several open-source profiling tools, which are world-widely used at universities, DOE national laboratories, and industrial companies. Prof. Liu has published a number of papers in high-quality venues. His papers received Best Paper Award at SC’15, PPoPP’18, PPoPP’19, and ASPLOS’17 Highlights, as well as Distinguished Paper Award at ICSE’19. His recent ASPLOS’18 paper has been selected as ACM SIGPLAN Research Highlights in 2019 and nominated for CACM Research Highlights. Prof. Liu is the receipt of 2019 IEEE TCHPC Early Career Researchers Award for Excellence in High Performance Computing. Prof. Liu served on the program committee of conferences such as SC, PPoPP, IPDPS, CGO, HPCA, and ASPLOS.

Host: Frank Mueller, CSC

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