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Title: System-level power management using online machine learning for prediction and adaptation
Author: Maeda-Nunez, Luis
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 627X
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2016
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Nowadays embedded devices have the need to be portable, battery powered and high performance. This need for high performance makes power management a matter of critical priority. Power management algorithms exist, but most of the approaches focus on an energy-performance trade-off oblivious to the applications running on the system. Others are application-specific and their solution cannot be applied to other applications. This work proposes Shepherd, a cross-layer runtime management system for reduction of energy consumption whilst offering soft real-time performance. It is cross-layer because it takes the performance requirements from the application, and learns to adjust the power management knobs to provide the expected performance at the minimum cost of energy. Shepherd is implemented as a Linux governor running at OS level, this layer offers a low-overhead interface to change the CPU voltage and frequency dynamically. As opposed to the reactive behaviour of Linux Governors, Shepherd adapts to the application-specific performance requirements dynamically, and proactively selects the power state that fulfils these requirements while consuming the least power. Proactiveness is achieved by using AEWMA for adapting to the upcoming workload. These adaptations are facilitated using a model-free reinforcement learning algorithm, that once it learns the optimal decisions it starts exploiting them. This work enables Shep-herd to work with different applications. A programming framework was designed to allow programmers to develop their applications to be power-aware, by enabling them to send their performance requirements and annotations to Shepherd and provide the cross-layer soft real-time performance desired. Shepherd is implemented within the Linux Kernel 3.7.10, interfacing with the application and hardware to select an appropriate voltage-frequency control for the executing application. The performance of Shepherd is demonstrated on an ARM Cortex-A8 pro-cessor. Experiments conducted with multimedia applications demonstrate that Shep-herd minimises energy consumption by up to 30% against existing Governors. Also, the framework has been used to adapt example applications to work with Shepherd, achieving 60% energy savings compared to the existing approaches.
Supervisor: Merrett, Geoffrey Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available