Dynamic knobs for responsive power-aware computing

Henry Hoffmann, Stelios Sidiroglou, Michael Carbin, Sasa Misailovic, Anant Agarwal, Martin Rinard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present PowerDial, a system for dynamically adapting application behavior to execute successfully in the face of load and power fluctuations. PowerDial transforms static configuration parameters into dynamic knobs that the PowerDial control system can manipulate to dynamically trade off the accuracy of the computation in return for reductions in the computational resources that the application requires to produce its results. These reductions translate directly into performance improvements and power savings. Our experimental results show that PowerDial can enable our benchmark applications to execute responsively in the face of power caps that would otherwise significantly impair responsiveness. They also show that PowerDial can significantly reduce the number of machines required to service intermittent load spikes, enabling reductions in power and capital costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-212
Number of pages14
JournalACM SIGPLAN Notices
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Accuracy-aware Computing
  • Power-aware Computing
  • Self-aware Systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)


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