New TR: Rewriting Executable Files to Measure Program Behavior (James Larus)
Mon, 13 Apr 1992 13:14:10 GMT

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New TR: Rewriting Executable Files to Measure Program Behavior (1992-04-13)
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Newsgroups: comp.compilers,comp.sys.mips,comp.sys.sun,comp.doc.techreports
From: (James Larus)
Followup-To: comp.compilers
Keywords: performance, report, FTP, experiment
Organization: University of Wisconsin, Madison -- Computer Sciences Dept.
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1992 13:14:10 GMT

A postscript copy of the following technical report is available for
anonymous ftp from in the file pub/

Rewriting Executable Files to Measure Program Behavior

James R. Larus and Thomas Ball
Computer Sciences Department
1210 West Dayton Street
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706

University of Wisconsin Computer Sciences
Technical Report 1083

Inserting instrumentation code in a program is an effective technique for
measuring many aspects of program performance. The instrumentation code
can be added at any stage of the compilation process by system tools such
as the compiler or linker or by external tools that are part of a
measurement system. For a variety of reasons, adding this code after the
compilation process---by rewriting the executable file---is simpler and
more generally useful than adding it earlier.

This paper describes the problems that arose in writing the tools QP and
QPT, which add profiling and tracing code to programs on the MIPS and
SPARC processors. Many of these problems could have been avoided with
minor changes to compilers and executable files' symbol tables. These
changes would simplify this technique for measuring program performance
and make it more generally useful.

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