DAMOV: A New Methodology and Benchmark Suite for Evaluating Data Movement Bottlenecks

Geraldo F. Oliveira, Juan Gomez-Luna, Lois Orosa, Saugata Ghose, Nandita Vijaykumar, Ivan Fernandez, Mohammad Sadrosadati, Onur Mutlu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Data movement between the CPU and main memory is a first-order obstacle against improving performance, scalability, and energy efficiency in modern systems. Computer systems employ a range of techniques to reduce overheads tied to data movement, spanning from traditional mechanisms (e.g., deep multi-level cache hierarchies, aggressive hardware prefetchers) to emerging techniques such as Near-Data Processing (NDP), where some computation is moved close to memory. Prior NDP works investigate the root causes of data movement bottlenecks using different profiling methodologies and tools. However, there is still a lack of understanding about the key metrics that can identify different data movement bottlenecks and their relation to traditional and emerging data movement mitigation mechanisms. Our goal is to methodically identify potential sources of data movement over a broad set of applications and to comprehensively compare traditional compute-centric data movement mitigation techniques (e.g., caching and prefetching) to more memory-centric techniques (e.g., NDP), thereby developing a rigorous understanding of the best techniques to mitigate each source of data movement. With this goal in mind, we perform the first large-scale characterization of a wide variety of applications, across a wide range of application domains, to identify fundamental program properties that lead to data movement to/from main memory. We develop the first systematic methodology to classify applications based on the sources contributing to data movement bottlenecks. From our large-scale characterization of 77K functions across 345 applications, we select 144 functions to form the first open-source benchmark suite (DAMOV) for main memory data movement studies.We select a diverse range of functions that (1) represent different types of data movement bottlenecks, and (2) come from a wide range of application domains. Using NDP as a case study, we identify new insights about the different data movement bottlenecks and use these insights to determine the most suitable data movement mitigation mechanism for a particular application. We open-source DAMOV and the complete source code for our new characterization methodology at https: //github.com/CMU-SAFARI/DAMOV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134457-134502
Number of pages46
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2021


  • 3D-stacked memory
  • Bandwidth
  • Benchmark testing
  • benchmarking
  • data movement
  • energy
  • Hardware
  • Measurement
  • Memory management
  • memory systems
  • near-data processing
  • performance
  • processing-in-memory
  • Random access memory
  • Tools
  • workload characterization
  • Benchmarking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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