Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Computer Science


Xipeng Shen


Accurately predicting program behaviors (e.g., memory locality, method calling frequency) is fundamental for program optimizations and runtime adaptations. Despite decades of remarkable progress, prior studies have not systematically exploited the use of program inputs, a deciding factor of program behaviors, to help in program dynamic optimizations. Triggered by the strong and predictive correlations between program inputs and program behaviors that recent studies have uncovered, the dissertation work aims to bring program inputs into the focus of program behavior analysis and program dynamic optimization, cultivating a new paradigm named input-centric program behavior analysis and dynamic optimization.;The new optimization paradigm consists of three components, forming a three-layer pyramid. at the base is program input characterization, a component for resolving the complexity in program raw inputs and extracting important features. In the middle is input-behavior modeling, a component for recognizing and modeling the correlations between characterized input features and program behaviors. These two components constitute input-centric program behavior analysis, which (ideally) is able to predict the large-scope behaviors of a program's execution as soon as the execution starts. The top layer is input-centric adaptation, which capitalizes on the novel opportunities created by the first two components to facilitate proactive adaptation for program optimizations.;This dissertation aims to develop this paradigm in two stages. In the first stage, we concentrate on exploring the implications of program inputs for program behaviors and dynamic optimization. We construct the basic input-centric optimization framework based on of line training to realize the basic functionalities of the three major components of the paradigm. For the second stage, we focus on making the paradigm practical by addressing multi-facet issues in handling input complexities, transparent training data collection, predictive model evolvement across production runs. The techniques proposed in this stage together cultivate a lifelong continuous optimization scheme with cross-input adaptivity.;Fundamentally the new optimization paradigm provides a brand new solution for program dynamic optimization. The techniques proposed in the dissertation together resolve the adaptivity-proactivity dilemma that has been limiting the effectiveness of existing optimization techniques. its benefits are demonstrated through proactive dynamic optimizations in Jikes RVM and version selection using IBM XL C Compiler, yielding significant performance improvement on a set of Java and C/C++ programs. It may open new opportunities for a broad range of runtime optimizations and adaptations. The evaluation results on both Java and C/C++ applications demonstrate the new paradigm is promising in advancing the current state of program optimizations.



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