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Thursday, September 11 • 9:00am - 10:00am
Where did my performance go? (Scaling Visualization in concurrent C++ programs)

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High performance is one of the main reasons programmers choose C++ for their applications. If you are writing in C++, odds are you need every bit of computing power your hardware can provide. Today, this means writing multi-threaded programs to effectively utilize the multiple CPU cores that the hardware manufacturers keep adding. Everyone knows that writing multi-threaded programs is hard. Writing correct multi-threaded programs is even harder. Only after spending countless hours debugging race conditions and weird intermittent bugs do many programmers learn that writing efficient multi-threaded programs is harder yet. Have you ever wanted to see what are all your threads doing when they should be busy computing? This talk will show you how.

We begin by studying several techniques necessary for collecting large amounts of data from the running program very efficiently, with little overhead and minimal disruption to the program itself. We will cover efficient thread-safe memory management and efficient thread-safe disk I/O. Along the way we dabble in lock-free programming just enough to meet our needs, lest the subject will spiral into an hour-long talk of its own. With all these techniques put together, we can collect information about what each thread is doing, which threads are computing and what exactly, and which threads are slacking off waiting on locks, and do it at the time scale of tens of microseconds if necessary. Then we process the collected data and create a timeline that shows exactly what the program was doing at every moment in time.

avatar for Fedor Pikus

Fedor Pikus

Chief Engineering Scientist, Mentor Graphics
Fedor G Pikus is a Chief Engineering Scientist in the Design to Silicon division of Mentor Graphics Corp. His earlier positions included a Senior Software Engineer at Google and a Chief Software Architect for Calibre PERC, LVS, DFM at Mentor Graphics. He joined Mentor Graphics in 1998 when he made a switch from academic research in computational physics to software industry. His responsibilities as a Chief Scientist include planning long-term... Read More →

Thursday September 11, 2014 9:00am - 10:00am

Attendees (143)