Application Heartbeats for Software Performance and Health

Unknown author (2009-08-07)

Adaptive, or self-aware, computing has been proposed as one method to help application programmers confront the growing complexity of multicore software development. However, existing approaches to adaptive systems are largely ad hoc and often do not manage to incorporate the true performance goals of the applications they are designed to support. This paper presents an enabling technology for adaptive computing systems: Application Heartbeats. The Application Heartbeats framework provides a simple, standard programming interface that applications can use to indicate their performance and system software (and hardware) can use to query an applicationâ s performance. Several experiments demonstrate the simplicity and efficacy of the Application Heartbeat approach. First the PARSEC benchmark suite is instrumented with Application Heartbeats to show the broad applicability of the interface. Then, an adaptive H.264 encoder is developed to show how applications might use Application Heartbeats internally. Next, an external resource scheduler is developed which assigns cores to an application based on its performance as specified with Application Heartbeats. Finally, the adaptive H.264 encoder is used to illustrate how Application Heartbeats can aid fault tolerance.