Branch prediction paper available (Tom Ball)
Mon, 15 Feb 1993 19:18:01 GMT

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Branch prediction paper available (1993-02-15)
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Newsgroups: comp.compilers,comp.arch
From: (Tom Ball)
Keywords: architecture, report, FTP
Organization: University of Wisconsin, Madison -- Computer Sciences Dept.
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1993 19:18:01 GMT

A new technical report on heuristics for program-based static branch
prediction is available via anonymous ftp from in
directory "tech-reports/reports/93" as file "" The file is
compressed postscript.

Thomas Ball Computer Sciences Dept. University of Wisconsin-Madison

Title: "Branch Prediction for Free"

Thomas Ball and James R. Larus,
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Comp. Sci. Dept. TR #1137


Many compilers rely on branch prediction to improve program
performance by identifying frequently executed regions and by aiding
in scheduling instructions. *Profile-based* predictors require a
time-consuming and inconvenient compile-profile-compile cycle in
order to make predictions. We present a *program-based* branch
predictor that performs well for a large and diverse set of programs
written in C and Fortran. In addition to using natural loop analysis
to predict branches that control the iteration of loops, we focus on
heuristics for predicting non-loop branches, which dominate the
dynamic branch count of many programs. The heuristics are simple and
require little program analysis, yet they are effective in terms of
coverage and miss rate. Although program-based prediction does not
equal the accuracy of profile-based prediction, we believe it reaches
a sufficiently high level to be useful. Additional type and semantic
information available to a compiler would enhance our heuristics.

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