Determinism, Complexity, and Predictability in Computer Performance [article]

Joshua Garland, Ryan James, Elizabeth Bradley
2013 arXiv   pre-print
Computers are deterministic dynamical systems (CHAOS 19:033124, 2009). Among other things, that implies that one should be able to use deterministic forecast rules to predict their behavior. That statement is sometimes-but not always-true. The memory and processor loads of some simple programs are easy to predict, for example, but those of more-complex programs like compilers are not. The goal of this paper is to determine why that is the case. We conjecture that, in practice, complexity can
more » ... ectively overwhelm the predictive power of deterministic forecast models. To explore that, we build models of a number of performance traces from different programs running on different Intel-based computers. We then calculate the permutation entropy-a temporal entropy metric that uses ordinal analysis-of those traces and correlate those values against the prediction success
arXiv:1305.5408v1 fatcat:nbrm52o5trdo5eossl5biam6v4