An empirical characterization of stream programs and its implications for language and compiler design
Author(s)Thies, William; Amarasinghe, Saman P.
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Stream programs represent an important class of high-performance computations. Defined by their regular processing of sequences of data, stream programs appear most commonly in the context of audio, video, and digital signal processing, though also in networking, encryption, and other areas. In order to develop effective compilation techniques for the streaming domain, it is important to understand the common characteristics of these programs. Prior characterizations of stream programs have examined legacy implementations in C, C++, or FORTRAN, making it difficult to extract the high-level properties of the algorithms. In this work, we characterize a large set of stream programs that was implemented directly in a stream programming language, allowing new insights into the high-level structure and behavior of the applications. We utilize the StreamIt benchmark suite, consisting of 65 programs and 33,600 lines of code. We characterize the bottlenecks to parallelism, the data reference patterns, the input/ output rates, and other properties. The lessons learned have implications for the design of future architectures, languages and compilers for the streaming domain.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Proceedings of the Nineteenth International Conference on Parallel Architectures and Compilation Techniques, PACT '10
Association for Computing Machinery
Thies, William and Saman Anarasinghe. "An Empirical Characterization of Stream Programs and its Implications for Language and Compiler Design." PACT '10, Proceedings of the Nineteenth International Conference on Parallel Architectures and Compilation Techniques, September 11-15, 2010, Vienna, Austria.
Author's final manuscript