DAC 2019
Conference paper

NAPEL: Near-memory computing application performance prediction via ensemble learning

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The cost of moving data between the memory/storage units and the compute units is a major contributor to the execution time and energy consumption of modern workloads in computing systems. A promising paradigm to alleviate this data movement bottleneck is near-memory computing (NMC), which consists of placing compute units close to the memory/storage units. There is substantial research effort that proposesNMCarchitectures and identifiesworkloads that can benefit from NMC. System architects typically use simulation techniques to evaluate the performance and energy consumption of their designs. However, simulation is extremely slow, imposing long times for design space exploration. In order to enable fast early-stage design space exploration of NMC architectures, we need high-level performance and energy models. We present NAPEL, a high-level performance and energy estimation framework for NMC architectures. NAPEL leverages ensemble learning to develop a model that is based on microarchitectural parameters and application characteristics. NAPEL training uses a statistical technique, called design of experiments, to collect representative training data efficiently. NAPEL provides early design space exploration 220× faster than a state-of-the-artNMCsimulator, on average, with error rates of to 8.5% and 11.6% for performance and energy estimations, respectively, compared to the NMC simulator. NAPEL is also capable of making accurate predictions for previously-unseen applications.