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Buffered dynamic run-time profiling of arbitrary data for Virtual Machines which employ interpreter and Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler . Compiler workshop ’08 Nikola Grcevski, IBM Canada Lab. Agenda. The motivation and the importance of profiling

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Buffered dynamic run-time profiling of arbitrary data for Virtual Machines which employ interpreter and Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler

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Buffered dynamic run time profiling of arbitrary data for virtual machines which employ interpreter and just in time jit

Buffered dynamic run-time profiling of arbitrary data for Virtual Machines which employ interpreter and Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler

Compiler workshop ’08Nikola Grcevski, IBM Canada Lab


Agenda

Agenda

  • The motivation and the importance of profiling

  • Design and implementation of J9 VM interpreter profiler

  • Performance results and start-up overhead


The static vs dynamic compiler

The static vs. dynamic compiler

  • Static compilers can take their time to analyze the code - perform intra procedural analysis

  • Dynamic Just-In-Time compilers don’t have this luxury, compilation happens during application runtime

  • Can dynamic compilers ever produce quality optimized code comparable to static compilers?


Why profile

Why profile?

  • The whole category of speculative optimizations relies on some type of profiling information

  • Opens up opportunities for new code and memory optimizations

  • Critical for high performance dynamic compiler systems


What could we profile

What could we profile?

  • Pretty much anything that we expect will provide repeatable information that we can use to optimize

  • The profiling can be at the Java level or CPU level if the OS supports it.


What kind of profilers does j9 have

What kind of profilers does J9 have

  • JIT profiler

    • Instruments methods with various profiling hooks

    • Targeted only to methods that are very hot

    • Temporal and slows down execution

  • Interpreter profiler

    • The topic of this presentation


What kinds of data we collect with the interpreter profiler

What kinds of data we collect withthe interpreter profiler?

  • Branch direction

  • Virtual/Interface call targets

  • Switch statement index

  • Instanceof and checkcast runtime types


Interpreter profiler design

Interpreter profiler design

  • Buffered approach to data collection on the application threads

Application Thread 1

Application Thread N

div

vcall

if

icall

mul

add

vcall

if

if

if

switch

…….


Interpreter profiler design1

Interpreter profiler design

  • Buffer full event triggers processing of the data by the JIT

Buffer full event

Application Thread 1

if

JIT runtime

vcall

if

switch

if

…….


Interpreter profiler design2

Interpreter profiler design

  • JIT parses the application thread profiling buffer and builds internal profiling data structure

JIT profiling hashtable

Profiling buffer

JIT runtime

data

Bytecode program counter

Hash function based on bytecode PC


What s in the data we collect

What’s in the data we collect?

  • Bytecode program counter

  • Variable size data packet

    • 1 byte for branch direction

    • Word size for call targets and runtime types

    • 4 bytes for switch index


Processing the buffered branch information

Processing the buffered branch information

  • We create an object to hold the bytecode PC and branch counts. We are using 4 bytes to store the branch information.

pc;

taken | not taken


What does the jit do with the call information

What does the JIT do with the call information?

  • We keep up to 3 call targets with their counts as well as residue count

pc;

residue

Class A;

count

Class B;

count

Class C;

count

We use the same approach for checkcast and instanceof


What does the jit do with the switch information

What does the JIT do with the switch information?

  • We create a data structure to hold the bytecode PC and counts for switch index. The index data is 8 bytes wide, split into 4 records: the top 3 and the rest.

pc;

record 1

record 2

record 3

The rest

each record is split into 2 portions: 1 byte count and 1 byte switch index

count | index


Storing the profiling data

Storing the profiling data

  • Each data record is stored in global hashtable, using the PC for the hash function

  • On subsequent encounters of the same PC with profiling data the records are updated.

    • Branch and switch counts are incremented

    • Call targets and runtime types are added and counts incremented.


Using the profiling information

Using the profiling information

  • The profiler database only knows of bytecode PC

  • At all points where the compiler is interested in profiling information it generates the bytecode pc from the method information and the bytecode index

  • The compiler has to make sense out of the information in the hashtable


Interpreter profiler design3

Interpreter profiler design

  • JIT compiler consults the profiling hashtable in various stages of method compilation

JIT profiling hashtable

Compilation Thread

inliner

order code

…….

codegen


Performance results

Performance results

  • Up to 30% improvement on various applications

    • EJB and other middleware applications benefit mostly from code ordering and devirtualization for the purpose of inlining

    • Benchmarks typically benefit from other optimization enabled by the ability to devirtualize virtual and interface calls

  • With various tweaks we managed to drive the start-up over head to below 10%


How do we manage the profiling overhead

How do we manage the profiling overhead?

  • We turn the profiler off in –Xquickstart mode

  • No locking on the hashtable

  • We detect startup phase of the application and skip records to ease off the data collection overhead


Turning the profiler on and off

Turning the profiler ON and OFF

  • The profiler is ON by default

  • The sampler thread turns the profiler OFF or back ON

    • Number of consecutive ticks in JIT generated code turns the profiler OFF

    • Number of consecutive ticks in interpreter turns the profiler back ON


Some of the problems we encountered

Some of the problems we encountered

  • Tuning for optimal balance between startup overhead and throughput performance wasn’t easy

  • Application phase change detection wasn’t easy

  • Class unloading created lots of problems


Summary

Summary

  • Profiling is critical for performance of run-time systems

  • Using buffered approach to data collection can help build efficient profilers

  • Tuning for optimal balance of startup overhead and throughput performance is challenging


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