A Coherent Multiprocessor Cache Simulator Based on the SuperESCalar Cache Model
C++ C
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README

MultiCacheSim: A coherent multiprocessor cache simulator.
=========================================================
Brandon Lucia 2009-2011
-----------------------
University of Washington
------------------------
  
  
License
=========
MultiCacheSim is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it 
under the terms
of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation;
either version 2, or (at your option) any later version.

MultiCacheSim is distributed in the  hope that  it will  be  useful, 
but  WITHOUT ANY
WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should  have received a copy of  the GNU General  Public License along with
MultiCacheSim; see the file COPYING.  If not, write to 
Free Software Foundation, 59
Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.


MultiCacheSim uses code that is part of SESC.  The following is the disclaimer
distributed with this code (it also appears in each file from SESC).

SESC is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms
of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation;
either version 2, or (at your option) any later version.

SESC is    distributed in the  hope that  it will  be  useful, but  WITHOUT ANY
WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should  have received a copy of  the GNU General  Public License along with
SESC; see the file COPYING.  If not, write to the  Free Software Foundation, 59
Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.


Overview
========
MultiCacheSim is a simulation infrastructure for experimenting with coherent caches.
It is designed to be used directly in your code, or to be built as a pintool.
This simulator is packaged with MSI and MESI coherence code.  The developer's guide
below describes the process of adding other protocols to the simulator.


Building and Testing MultiCacheSim with CacheTestDriver
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
This code is all plain ol' C++ and has no external library dependences, except on
the standard library which is relied on for the <vector> class.  it should be
as simple as typing "make" to build the included test driver (implemented
in CacheTestDriver.cpp).  After you build everything, run the
test program.  The output should look like this (ignore these numbers, you're
just checking that it runs):

<tt>
-----Cache 0-----
ReadHits:1
ReadMisses:200135
ReadMissesServicedRemotely:3
WriteHits:1
CoherenceMisses:0
WriteMisses:199863
-----Cache 1-----
ReadHits:1
ReadMisses:200026
ReadMissesServicedRemotely:2
WriteHits:1
CoherenceMisses:0
WriteMisses:199972
-----Cache 2-----
ReadHits:0
ReadMisses:199728
ReadMissesServicedRemotely:6
WriteHits:2
CoherenceMisses:0
WriteMisses:200270
-----Cache 3-----
ReadHits:1
ReadMisses:200060
ReadMissesServicedRemotely:3
WriteHits:0
CoherenceMisses:0
WriteMisses:199939
</tt>

Looking at CacheTestDriver.cpp will give you a nice insight into how to use CacheTestDriver.  

Interpreting the Output
-----------------------
The output counters represent interesting events, concerning a cache coherence
protocol.

A Read Hit event occurs when a processor has a line in any valid state, and it
performs a read operation.

A Read Miss occurs when a processor has a line in invalid state, or doesn't
have the line cached, and it performs a read.

A Read Miss Serviced Remotely (A.K.A. Read Coherence Miss) occurs when a
processor accesses a line and another processor has the data in any non-shared,
non-invalid state.  In this case the other processor furnishes the missing
processor with data.

A Write Hit occurs whenever a processor executes a write to a line that it has
cached in a state that permits writes.

A Write Coherence Miss occurs when a processor has a line in shared state, and
writes to it.  In this situation, the processor must invalidate other caches'
copies, upgrade, then perform the write.


Building MultiCacheSim as a Pintool
===================================
MultiCacheSim can be configured to run as a pin tool (http://pintool.org).
This is mostly automated, but there's a couple things you need to do for things
to work correctly.  First, you need to define PIN_HOME in your environment.
Second, when you build MultiCacheSim, you need to set BLDTYPE=pin in the
environment.  If you have recently built for use with the CacheTestDriver
program, you'll need to make clean; before making with BLDTYPE=pin, or there
will be some wonky error messages.   Building with BLDTYPE=pin, you will
produce MultiCacheSim_PinDriver.so.  This is your pintool shared object file.
run it like "pin -mt -t MultiCacheSim_PinDriver.so -csize 32768 -bsize 64
-assoc 2 -num_caches 16 -proto MSI -- <app>".  The options are: csize=cache size in bytes.
bsize=block size in bytes. assoc=associativity (number of ways per set).
num_caches=the number of caches to simulate. proto=your protocol (defaults to MSI)

Single-Processor simulation
---------------------------
MultiCacheSim is designed as a multiprocessor cache simulator, but if you only
add 1 cache to your multicachesim object, you will have a uniprocessor cache
simulator.  Everything else still applies; just provide "0" as the thread id of
your main thread (or whatever value you want), and you should be good to go.

MultiCacheSim Development Guide
===============================
This section will give an overview of the code of this project, and will describe what
is required to add a different cache coherence protocol.  

Interface: CacheInterface
-------------------------
The project's top level interface is the CacheInterface (defined in CacheInterface.h).  This is
an abstract class that describes client exposed methods relevant to the use of the simulator.
These methods are ReadLine, WriteLine, and DumpCacheStats.  Note that they are pure virtual.

Class: MultiCacheSim
--------------------
The base implementation of the CacheInterface interface is the MultiCacheSim class.  This is
declared and defined in MultiCacheSim.h/cpp.  This class serves as a fancy container for
SMPCache objects.  The SMPCache inheritance hierarchy will be described below.  
MultiCacheSim contains a vector that has one entry for each cache in your multiprocessor system.  
To add a cache to your MultiCacheSim object, use the createNewCache() function.
There is a function tidToCPUId in this class.  This function takes a program thread id and
maps the thread to one of the "processors" (caches) in the MultiCacheSim.  Using this
function to get the CPUId and findCacheByCPUId, you can actually get a pointer to the cache
you're interested in (if you need one -- normally, you can just use the high level interface).

Class: SMPCache
---------------
Further down inside is the SMPCache class hierarchy.  SMPCache is at the top of
the hierarchy, and it is abstract.  The objects that are stored in
MultiCacheSim's vector of caches must be of this type (specifically, subclasses
of this type).  As a user of this simulator, you can use this abstract base
class to implement caches with arbitrary coherence policy support.  The way
this works is that your specific implementation must define the readLine,
writeLine, and fillLine functions. (Note: this readLine and writeLine are
different from the functions of the same name in CacheInterface.h and they have
little to do with one another).  What goes on in these functions is described
below, but first, I will discuss where the actual cache objects come from, and
the state that is associated with each block in your cache.

SMPCache has a field called cache which is a pointer to a SESC CacheGeneric
object.  The object it points to does the actual work of the cache (computes tags,
determines sets, evictions, etc).  The CacheGeneric object is a template class
and is used with a StateGeneric<> type argument.  StateGeneric<> is the type of
the data that is associated with each line in your cache.   CacheGeneric
implements all the functionality that is needed in most cases, so that probably
won't need to be changed.  To implement new coherence state, you'll need to subclass
StateGeneric<>.  MSI_SMPCacheState.h is an example of how to do this, and in the
interest of brevity, I'll refer you there for more info.

The readLine and writeLine functions in your implementation of the SMPCache class do
two things.  First, they have to access the cache.  If there is a hit, they don't
have to do much more than just update the appropriate event counters, and return.  On
a miss, what needs to happen largely depends on the coherence protocol.  

Here is what might happen in readLine, using MSI as an example.
In readline, you can use CacheGeneric::findLine(address) to find the cache line
for the address you're looking for.  If the tags match it is a hit.  If not, it
is a miss, and you have some work to do.  findLine returns the state associated
with the line that the address maps to.  If the pointer is null, or if the
state indicates that the line is invalid, the access was a miss.  In MSI, on
a read miss, the missing cache needs to ask the other caches if they have the
data that it was looking for.  In the default implementation of MSI, this is
done by traversing the list of other caches (SMPCache->getCacheVector() gets
you the std::vector containing the other caches).  This simulates sending
coherence messages between the caches.  Based on whether the other caches have
the data, and in what state they had it, the data is cached in the missing
cache, and all involved caches' states for that line are updated.  The behavior
of writeLine is similarly implementation specific.  In MSI on a writeMiss,
writeLine involves checking other caches for the data, and if they have it
cached, marking their copies invalid, and marking the writer's copy Modified.
The fillLine function is called in readLine and writeLine.  You have to
implement it in your subclass of SMPCache because depending on your protocol,
you may want to make the initial state of a line different (for instance, do we
make it Shared or Modified by default?).

To implement a new coherence protocol -- the "Whatever" protocol:

1)Subclass SMPCache.  This generally means creating two new files:
Whatever_SMPCache.h and Whatever_SMPCache.cpp.  Examples are in
MSI_SMPCache.h/cpp --Implement readLine, writeLine, and fillLine.  Use
MSI_SMPCache as a guide.  

2)Subclass SESC's StateGeneric<> type.  An example is
in MSI_SMPCacheState.h.  --Enumerate your states, and add instantiate your
subclass of SMPCache with this type as its type argument.  Use
MSI_SMPCache/MSI_SMPCache as a guide.

3)Add code to make Whatever a valid protocol option:
  a)#include Whatever_SMPCache.h in MultiCacheSim.h
  b)Add PROTO_WHATEVER to the CoherenceProtocol enum in MultiCacheSim.h
  c)In MultiCacheSim::createNewCache add a branch to the conditional that 
    recognizes your coherence protocol enum value, and creates a new 
    Whatever_SMPCache if the protocol is PROTO_WHATEVER.

4)In MultiCacheSim_PinDriver.cpp add code to process the KnobProto string
  argument -- you'll need to have a case that looks for "Whatever", and
  if the Knob has that value, constructs a MultiCacheSim with PROTO_WHATEVER
  as its CoherenceProtocol argument


Locking
-------
There is one big sledgehammer of a lock protecting all the caches, so if it is
used in realtime (e.g., in a pintool) execution serializes on the caches lock.
Think "Locking the bus" =).  If you decide to change the
vector of caches (adding or removing them) you need to hold the lock that
protects the vector (or the whole thing can go up in smoke).  This lock is 
declared in MultiCacheSim.h