Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Almost every year, The Journal of ILP has conducted a research competition at one of our top conferences. For example, researchers are asked to develop a branch predictor that yields the highest prediction accuracy on a secret input data set. I think such competitions are a great idea. If you teach an advanced architecture class, you might want to consider tailoring your class projects in that direction. An international competition could be a strong motivating factor for some students. Besides, the competition organizers usually release a piece of simulation infrastructure that makes it easy for students to write and test their modules. Recent competitions have been on cache replacement, data prefetching, and branch prediction. The 3rd branch prediction championship will be held with ISCA this year. I am slated to organize a memory scheduling championship with ISCA next year (2012). The evaluation metric could be row buffer hit rates, overall throughput, energy, fairness, or combinations of these. I have a grand 12 months to plan this out, so please feel free to send in suggestions regarding metrics, simulators, and workloads that you think would work well.