Performance evaluation of cache replacement policies for the SPEC CPU2000 benchmark suite

Hussein Al-Zoubi, Aleksandar Milenkovic, Milena Milenkovic
2004 Proceedings of the 42nd annual Southeast regional conference on - ACM-SE 42  
Replacement policy, one of the key factors determining the effectiveness of a cache, becomes even more important with latest technological trends toward highly associative caches. The state-of-the-art processors employ various policies such as Random, Least Recently Used (LRU), Round-Robin, and PLRU (Pseudo LRU), indicating that there is no common wisdom about the best one. Optimal yet unattainable policy would replace cache memory block whose next reference is the farthest away in the future,
more » ... mong all memory blocks present in the set. In our quest for replacement policy as close to optimal as possible, we thoroughly explored the design space of existing replacement mechanisms using SimpleScalar toolset and SPEC CPU2000 benchmark suite, across wide range of cache sizes and organizations. In order to better understand the behavior of different policies, we introduced new measures, such as cumulative distribution of cache hits in the LRU stack. We also dynamically monitored the number of cache misses, per each 100000 instructions. Our results show that the PLRU techniques can approximate and even outperform LRU with much lower complexity, for a wide range of cache organizations. However, a relatively large gap between LRU and optimal replacement policy, of up to 50%, indicates that new research aimed to close the gap is necessary. The cumulative distribution of cache hits in the LRU stack indicates a very good potential for way prediction using LRU information, since the percentage of hits to the bottom of the LRU stack is relatively high.
doi:10.1145/986537.986601 dblp:conf/ACMse/Al-ZoubiMM04 fatcat:yy3nxllshzao7hpvbcmlol6cua