Fri 21 - Thu 27 October 2011 Portland, Oregon, United States

Dynamic program optimizations are critical for the efficiency of applications in managed programming languages and scripting languages. Recent studies have shown that exploitation of program inputs may enhance the effectiveness of dynamic optimizations significantly. However, current solutions for enabling the exploitation require either programmers’ annotations or intensive offline profiling, impairing the practical adoption of the techniques.

This current work examines the basic feasibility of transparent integration of input-consciousness into dynamic program optimizations, particularly in managed execution environments. It uses transparent learning across production runs as the basic vehicle, and investigates the implications of cross-run learning on each main component of input-conscious dynamic optimizations. It proposes several techniques to address some key challenges for the transparent integration, including randomized inspection-instrumentation for cross-user data collection, a sparsity-tolerant algorithm for input characterization, and selective prediction for efficiency protection. These techniques make it possible to automatically recognize the relations between the inputs to a program and the appropriate ways to optimize it. The whole process happens transparently across production runs; no need for offline profiling or programmer intervention. Experiments on a number of Java programs demonstrate the effectiveness of the techniques in enabling input-consciousness for dynamic optimizations, revealing the feasibility and potential benefits of the new optimization paradigm in some basic settings.