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Actor Profiling in Virtual Execution Environments

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Proceedings (peer-reviewed)
Author Rosà Andrea, Chen Lydia Y., Binder Walter,
Project LoadOpt - Workload Characterization and Optimization for Multicore Systems
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Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Title of proceedings 15th International Conference on Generative Programming: Concepts & Experience (GPCE'16)
Place Amsterdam, The Netherlands
DOI 10.1145/2993236.2993241


Nowadays, many virtual execution environments benefit from concurrency offered by the actor model. Unfortunately, while actors are used in many applications and computing frameworks, existing profiling tools are little effective in analyzing the performance of applications using actors. In this paper, we present a new instrumentation-based technique to profile actors in virtual execution environments. Our technique adopts platform-independent profiling metrics that minimize the perturbations induced by the instrumentation logic and allow comparing profiling results across different platforms. In particular, our technique measures the initialization cost, the amount of executed computations, and the messages sent and received by each actor. We implement our technique within a profiling tool for Akka actors on the Java platform. Evaluation results show that our profiling technique can help performance analysis of actor utilization and communication between actors in large-scale computing frameworks.