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MOST

The Multi-Objective System Tune (MOST) tool is a proprietary tool for discrete optimization specifically designed for enabling design space exploration of hardware/software architectures and is the COMPLEX tool for the automatic design space exploration phase.

MOST is a design space exploration tool that helps driving the designer towards near-optimal solutions to the architectural exploration problem. The final product of the framework is a Pareto set of configurations within the design evaluation space of the given architecture and analysis on the effects of design space parameters on to the objective functions.

One of the goals of MOST is to provide a command line interface to construct automated exploration strategies. Those strategies are implemented by means of command scripts interpreted by the tool without the need of manual intervention. This structure can easily support the batch execution of complex strategies.

The next figure presents an overview on a simple example of how the exploration process has been implemented within MOST by outlining the main actors and interactions.

The two actors are the use case provider and the exploration architect. While the use case provider is the one that provides the use case and its associated system model to be explored, the exploration architect is responsible of identifying the optimal configuration of the architecture underlying the use case.

In detail, the exploration tool receives as input the description of the design space and explores the possible solutions by using an iterative technique specified by the exploration architect through a MOST scripting language.

Practically, the implementation of this way of working includes the following points: i) Once received the design space description by the use case provider, the interaction between the design space exploration tool and the system model is automatic (program-to-program interaction through a XML interface) and iterative; ii) The design space exploration tool generates one feasible system configuration whose system metrics should be estimated by the system model; iii) The system model generates a set of system metrics to be passed back to the design space exploration tool.

The output of the exploration could be the list of visited points, the Pareto set or some graphical analysis including main effects and interaction effects analysis, 2D and Box plot level analysis and others.

To implement the previous concepts, the MOST tool has been designed as the following picture shows. It has a modular structure in order to be easily extended and to facilitate the integration of new modules.

We can divide its modules into three different sets:

  • MOST internal modules (blue boxes). Those modules are internal to the MOST structure. They are composed by: (i) The MOST Kernel engine represents the core of the design space exploration tool, that orchestrates the optimization process by invoking the constituent and inter-changeable blocks of the framework; The MOST shell is the user interface that can be used to specify the optimization problem and the related exploration strategy; The MOST internal database manager is used to manage the historical data of the evaluation, to combine metrics values into objective functions, to train analytical models and to generate output reports of the exploration process; The design of experiments and optimization modules are the modules that basic component for building the exploration strategies.
  • MOST external modules (red boxes). Those modules are within the MOST package but are composed of external executables that will be called through the MOST interfaces. In particular, they are represented by the response surface models and HTML report generation.
  • MOST problem dependent parts (green boxes). Those blocks are not parts of MOST but are interfaced in a standard way. The design space definition file is the place where the domain of the optimization problem is defined while the use case simulator is the system model of the target problem.

The next Figure shows a snapshot of the MOST shell running into a terminal. In fact MOST does not use any GUI and interacts with the user through command line or scripts.


 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 18 May 2013 22:50 )  

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