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Colloquium – Bruce Childers
October 10, 2014 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
University of Pittsburgh
Host: John Regehr
Title: OCCAM: Open Curation for Computer Architecture Modeling
The computer architecture community has developed numerous artifacts that encompass a rich and diverse collection of simulators, analyzers, benchmarks, data sets and other software and data. These artifacts are used to implement research innovations, evaluate trade-offs and analyze implications on critical measures, such as performance, power, and reliability. Unfortunately, methods used in the evaluation of computer architecture innovation can be at odds with the scientific method. In particular, ever-increasing competitiveness and expediency to produce more and more results poses an impediment to accountability, which is a critical part of the scientific and engineering process. Experimental results may not be disseminated with enough metadata (i.e., the artifact implementing the innovation, data sets, benchmarks, validations, test cases, scripts, design parameters, etc.) to achieve the repeatability and/or reproducibility needed for trust, fairness and building on and comparing with previous innovation.
This talk will describe a pilot effort, Open Curation for Computer Architecture Modeling (OCCAM), that aims to learn how the community can more openly share results and leverage effort for increased productivity without sacrificing accountability. The effort is developing an open-access repository to share and leverage simulators and experimental results among a broad group of stakeholders in computer architecture. It aims to build and engage an active community of users, establish governance and access policies, and determine the requirements for software services of the repository. We are currently developing and preparing to deploy an initial repository that will hold contributed simulators and experimental results for use by the community and to garner feedback on improving the repository and its policies. Through this pilot effort, we will determine community requirements and demonstrate the benefits of sharing software artifacts and experimental results.
Bruce Childers is a Professor of Computer Science (CS) at the University of Pittsburgh. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a PhD (CS, 2000) and from the College of William and Mary with a BS (CS, 1991). Childers’ research spans the software-hardware boundary for improved energy, performance and reliability, with an emphasis on embedded systems. He has developed techniques at both the software layer (dynamic binary translation, compiler optimization, debugging and software testing) and the hardware layer (asynchronous custom processors, speed scaling, reliable cache and storage class memory). Childers has been honored with two IBM Faculty Partnership Awards, two nominations for the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award, and five teaching awards.