cvcord - explore working set behavior and generate cord feedback files
cvcord -L executable [-fb <feedback-file-name>] [-wsl <ws-list-file>]
[-ws <analysis>] [-scheme schemeName]
cvcord is a tool designed to allow a user to explore the working set
behavior of an executable or shared library (DSO), and to construct a
feedback file for use by cord to generate an executable with improved
The premise for this tool is as follows: when application and/or DSOs
execute, they bring in pages from their instructions (text) as needed to
execute the chain of functions triggered by any operation. By recording
a WorkShop Performance Experiment, and capturing ideal-time data for
samples that demarcate each operation, the user can generate working-set
files, each listing all the functions that were executed for the
operation whose beginning and end are delineated by the caliper setting.
These files are written in response to a menu operation on the Working
Set View of cvperf. cvcord then analyzes a list of such working-set
files, and uses them to generate an ordering to minimize the working-sets
for each operation, and to minimize the transitions in working-set
In order to construct a cording, the user first records one or more
ideal-time experiments for the executable or DSO, taking samples at
appropriate points to demarcate the desired operations. The more
carefully the sample points are chosen for important operations, and the
more complete the set of defined operations for which data is collected,
the better the ordering should be.
Then the user invokes cvperf on any one such experiment, and generates a
single so-called cord mapping file (from the ``Save Cord Map File'' menu
entry on the Working Set View). The file should be generated from an
experiment using the executable or DSO version corresponding to the
version that is to be cord'ed.
The user then proceeds to generate any number of working-set files from
one or more of the experiments. Unlike the mapping file, the working-set
files may be generated using different versions of the executable or DSO;
one assumption of this method is that while program versions may change,
the list of functions for an operation changes much less frequently.
The user then prepares a working-set-list file, with one line per
working-set, and invokes cvcord, giving it the executable or DSO name,
the cord mapping file, and the working-set-list file. Using cvcord, the
user can generate additional working-set files as unions or intersections
of selected groups of existing sets. The strategy for deciding which
such combinations to make, and why is based on the following. Unions are
typically used when cord'ing libraries; they are generated when there are
a number of different working sets that cover what is believed to be
similar functionality. The union set is generated, and given higher
priority than any of the individual component working sets.
Intersections are much less frequently used; the most common case where
an intersection might be useful is to ensure that functionality common to
two or more working sets is represented as such. The intersection set is
generated, and then given higher priority than the components that went
Eventually, the cvcord user-interface will allow manual rearrangement of
the list; for now, it does not, and the user should invoke the ``Save
Working Set List'' menu item of cvcord to save a new list with the
additional union or intersection sets included. Then, exit cvcord, and
edit the list by hand in order to have the working-sets in the list in
priority order. The list of working sets should be prioritized from
bottom to top, with the least important set appearing first, and the most
important set appearing last.
The criteria for prioritization is quite subjective. If you want the
initial startup of your program to be fast, giving the appearance of
rapid response, put the working set for the startup as the bottom entry
in the list, and then order the others from least-important operation to
When the ordered working-set list file is ready, the user reinvokes
cvcord with the same executable and cord mapping, and the newly
prioritized working-set-list. The user then invokes the ``Construct
Cording Feedback'' menu item to generate a new cord feedback file, which
is then used directly by cord to rearrange the executable or DSO. The
algorithm used attempts to find as many distinct affinity-sets as it can,
and to order them to minimize the working sets for the operations in
their priority order.
During these operations, the cvcord may be used to examine the page
layout and efficiency of each working-set with respect to the original
cording, a newly constructed cording, or an alternate cord feedback file
that can be read in to replace the current one. The interface is
cvcord reads a feedback file specified by the -fb argument, or generated
by default from the executable name (executable.fb), and an optional
working-set or working-set-list file. It then shows the list of working
sets, and a page map for a selected working set, and allows for
operations to construct union or intersection combinations of existing
sets, to construct a cord ordering, or to save a working-set-list file.
cvcord accepts the following command-line options:
specifies a single executable file name as input.
specifies a single text file to use as a feedback file for the
executable. It should have been generated either from a cvperf
experiment on the executable or DSO, or from cvcord. If no -fb
argument is given, the feedback file name will be generated as
specifies a single text file name as input; the working set list
will consist of the working-set files whose names appear in the
input file. Each file name should be on a single line.
specifies a single working-set file name.
specifies which color scheme should be used for cvcord.
cvcord uses many resources to control its user interface, most of which
should not be changed by the user. Those that a user might want to
specifies the size of pages to be used for cvcord's computations.
It defaults to the page size on the machine on which it is running.
specifies the color and font scheme to be used for cvcord.
specifies that small fonts are to be used for cvcord in order to
better use screen real-estate. It defaults to False.
cvcord initially comes up with a menu bar, a status area, a working-set
list pane, a control region, and a working-set page map pane. It has an
additional window that may be invoked, the function list window.
The ``Admin'' menu has entries to save a summary of the data for the
current working set list, to iconify or raise the windows of the Cord
Analyzer View, or to exit the tool. It also has a ``Launch Tool''
submenu that will launch the other WorkShop tools, and a ``Project'' menu
that will raise or iconify all windows in all tools within the project,
or exit all tools in the project.
The ``File'' menu allows the user to add or delete working sets from the
list; to construct a cording order from the working sets; and to
construct a union and/or intersection set from the sets that are selected
at the time the menu item is selected; and to replace the current cord
ordering with one read from a feedback file.
The ``Help'' menu is used to access on-line help for cvcord.
THE STATUS AREA [Toc] [Back]
The status area is used to inform the user of the current status of the
program, as well as to describe any performance experiment that is in the
THE WORKING SET LIST [Toc] [Back]
The upper subpane in the main window is the Working Set List. It
contains a scrolled list of all the working sets in the files belonging
to the set, with information about the page count computed with the
current ordering, and minimum page count for each working set. In
addition, if a function is selected, a + sign at the beginning of the
line indicates that the selected function is used in the set.
A set may be selected by double-clicking on the line in the Working Set
List showing that set. The ``Next Set'' and ``Previous Set'' buttons may
be used to step forwards and backwards through the list. If no loop is
selected, the ``Next Set'' and ``Previous Set'' buttons will select the
first set on the list. The selected set will be used to mark those
functions in the Function List Window that were referenced in the
THE CONTROL AREA [Toc] [Back]
The control area contains a search field to find a set based on any
string appearing in its line, and a row of buttons. The search field is
on the left side of the control area. Three buttons appear on the right:
one to invoke the function list, and two buttons to step forwards and
backwards through the working-set list.
THE WORKING SET PAGE MAP PANE
The lower subpane of the main window is the Working Set Page Map Pane.
It has several information lines, below which is a colored map of the
pages in the executable. The information lines show detailed information
for the selected set from the Loop List, and any selected page.
The block area for each page in the executable or DSO, is colored to
represent the fraction of instructions on that page belonging to
functions that were executed within the selected working-set (dark blue),
the fraction of instructions belonging to functions that were not
executed (red), and the fraction of word that either contain table-data
or represent the tail-end of the last page (bright blue). If any page
has no executed functions on it, it is shown in green. A page may be
selected by clicking on it; it will be drawn with a heavy outline, and
statistics about it will be shown above the map.
THE FUNCTION LIST WINDOW
The Funtion List Window is brought up by the ``Show Function List''
button. It consists of a scrolled list of all the functions contained in
the executable or DSO, in the order given by the last cord feedback file
read in or generated. Each function is shown with a count of the number
of working-sets in which it appears, its size, its address, and its name.
If the function is used within the current selected set, a + sign will
appear at the beginning of its line.
Double clicking on a line in this view will select the function, and set
the indicators for the function's use on the working-set list.
cvd(1), cvperf(1), cord(1)
No method is available for reordering the working-sets through the UI.
No method is available to hand-order the functions to produce a feedback
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