Predicting the number of clock cycles a processor takes to execute a block of assembly instructions in steady-state (the throughput) is important for both compiler designers and performance engineers.
However, building an analytical model to do so is especially complicated in modern x86-64 Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC) machines with sophisticated processor microarchitectures in that it is tedious, error-prone, and must be performed from scratch for each processor generation.
Ithemal is the first tool that learns to predict the throughput of a set of instructions. It does so more accurately than state-of-the-art hand-written tools currently used in compiler backends and static machine code analyzers. In particular, Ithemal has less than half the error of state-of-the-art analytical models (LLVM's llvm-mca and Intel's IACA).
Neural networks, which learn to perform computational tasks by analyzing huge sets of training data, have been responsible for the most impressive recent advances in artificial intelligence, including speech-recognition and automatic-translation systems.
We live in the age of big data, but most of that data is “sparse.” Imagine, for instance, a massive table that mapped all of Amazon’s customers against all of its products, with a “1” for each product a given customer bought and a “0” otherwise. The table would be mostly zeroes.
Speech recognition systems, such as those that convert speech to text on cellphones, are generally the result of machine learning. A computer pores through thousands or even millions of audio files and their transcriptions, and learns which acoustic features correspond to which typed words.But transcribing recordings is costly, time-consuming work, which has limited speech recognition to a small subset of languages spoken in wealthy nations.
Every language has its own collection of phonemes, or the basic phonetic units from which spoken words are composed. Depending on how you count, English has somewhere between 35 and 45. Knowing a language’s phonemes can make it much easier for automated systems to learn to interpret speech.In the 2015 volume of Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, CSAIL researchers describe a new machine-learning system that, like several systems before it, can learn to distinguish spoken words. But unlike its predecessors, it can also learn to distinguish lower-level phonetic units, such as syllables and phonemes.