SmartApps: Middle-ware for adaptive applications on reconfigurable platforms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One general avenue to obtain optimized performance on large and complex systems is to approach optimization from a global perspective of the complete system in a customized manner for each application, i.e., application-centric optimization. Lately, there have been encouraging developments in reconfigurable operating systems and hardware that will enable customized optimization. For example, machines built with PIM's and FPGA's can be quickly reconfigured to better fit a certain application and operating systems, such as IBM's K42, can have their services customized to fit the needs and characteristics of an application. While progress in operating system and hardware and hardware has made re-configuration possible, we still need strategies and techniques to exploit them for improved application performance. In this paper, we describe the approach we are using in our smart application (SMARTAPPS) project. In the SMARTAPP executable, the compiler embeds most run-time system services and a feed-back loop to monitor performance and trigger run-time adaptations. At run-time, after incorporating the code's input and determining the system's state, the SMARTAPP performs an instance specific optimization. During execution, the application continually monitors its performance and the available resources to determine if restructuring should occur. The framework includes mechanisms for performing the actual restructuring at various levels including: algorithmic adaptation, tuning reconfigurable OS services (scheduling policy, page size, etc.), and system configuration (e.g., number of processors). This paper concentrates on the techniques for providing customized system services for communication, thread scheduling, memory management, resource discovery and configuration management, and performance monitoring and modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-82
Number of pages10
JournalOperating Systems Review (ACM)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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