A compositional model to characterize software and hardware from their resource usage

Authors Davide Morelli, Antonio Cisternino

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Davide Morelli
Antonio Cisternino

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Davide Morelli and Antonio Cisternino. A compositional model to characterize software and hardware from their resource usage. In 2012 Imperial College Computing Student Workshop. Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 28, pp. 95-101, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2012)


Since the introduction of laptops and mobile devices, there has been a strong research focus towards the energy efficiency of hardware. Many papers, both from academia and industrial research labs, focus on methods and ideas to lower power consumption in order to lengthen the battery life of portable device components. Much less effort has been spent on defining the responsibility of software in the overall computational system’s energy consumption. Some attempts have been made to describe the energy behaviour of software, but none of them abstract from the physical machine where the measurements were taken. In our opinion this is a strong drawback because results can not be generalized. We propose a measuring method and a set of algebraic tools that can be applied to resource usage measurements. These tools are expressive and show insights on how the hardware consumes energy (or other resources), but are equally able to describe how efficiently the software exploits hardware characteristics. The method is based on the idea of decomposing arbitrary programs into linear combinations of benchmarks of a test-bed without the need to analyse a program’s source code by employing a black box approach, measuring only its resource usage.
  • Performance
  • Metrics
  • Energy consumption


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