Metrics for energy-aware software optimisation

Stephen I. Roberts, Steven A. Wright, Suhaib A. Fahmy, Stephen A. Jarvis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


Energy consumption is rapidly becoming a limiting factor in scientific computing. As a result, hardware manufacturers increasingly prioritise energy efficiency in their processor designs. Performance engineers are also beginning to explore software optimisation and hardware/software co-design as a means to reduce energy consumption. Energy efficiency metrics developed by the hardware community are often re-purposed to guide these software optimisation efforts. In this paper we argue that established metrics, and in particular those in the Energy Delay Product (Etn) family, are unsuitable for energyaware software optimisation. A good metric should provide meaningful values for a single experiment, allow fair comparison between experiments, and drive optimisation in a sensible direction. We show that Etn metrics are unable to fulfil these basic requirements and present suitable alternatives for guiding energy-aware software optimisation. We finish with a practical demonstration of the utility of our proposed metrics.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9783319586663
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


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