Using Managed Language Abstraction to Optimize Memory Efficiency

Staff - Faculty of Informatics

Start date: 10 May 2010

End date: 11 May 2010

The Faculty of Informatics is pleased to announce a seminar given by Jennifer Sartor

DATE: Monday, May 10th 2010
PLACE: USI Università della Svizzera italiana, room A33, Red building (Via G. Buffi 13)
TIME: 14.30

Memory continues to be a bottleneck in modern systems as application complexity and the number of cores have increased, generating more traffic.  These complex applications are written largely in high-level managed languages, which offer an opportunity to dynamically optimize memory performance because they virtualize memory management.  We explored memory inefficiencies in a Java virtual machine, performing a study of data compression techniques.  I will present the results of that study, showing arrays are a dominant source of heap bloat.  Focusing on arrays, we found the traditional contiguous layout precludes space optimizations and does not offer memory management time and space bounds.  I show how to exploit the opportunities afforded by managed languages to implement an efficient discontiguous array layout with tunable optimization parameters that improve space usage. Having attacked memory performance on the software side, I will then describe new work that takes a cooperative software-hardware approach. I show how a memory manager can communicate regions of dead data to the architecture, allowing it to eliminate useless writes, substantially reducing memory write traffic. My research combines the flexibility and productivity of high-level managed languages with improved memory efficiency that is critical to current and future hardware.

Jennifer Sartor received her B.S. in Math and honors Computer Science, with a minor in Spanish, at The University of Arizona in December 2001.
She obtained her Masters degree in 2004 and expects her PhD in 2010, both in Computer Science at The University of Texas at Austin.  Her PhD research focuses on dynamic memory optimization using high-level managed languages.  At PLDI 2009, Jennifer won the ACM Student Research Competition and she won Best Student Presentation at ISMM 2008.

HOST: Prof. Matthias Hauswirth