MEANTIME: Achieving Both Minimal Energy and Timeliness with Approximate Computing

Anne Farrell; Henry Hoffmann. 15 May, 2015.
Communicated by Henry Hoffmann.


Energy efficiency and timeliness (i.e., predictable job latency) are two central concerns for real-time systems. While both are essential, they are opposing: hard timing guarantees require conservative resource allocation while energy minimization requires aggressively releasing resources and occasionally violating timing constraints. Recent work on approximate computing, however, opens up a new dimension of optimization: application accuracy. In this paper, we use approximate computing to achieve both hard timing guarantees and energy efficiency. Specifically, we propose MEANTIME: a runtime control system that delivers hard real-time latency guarantees and energy-minimal resource usage by sacrificing a small amount of application accuracy. We test MEANTIME on a real Linux/x86 system with seven applications. Overall, we find that MEANTIME never violates real-time deadlines and sacrifices a small amount (typically less than 2%) of accuracy yet consumes only 68% of the energy of a conservative, full accuracy approach.

Original Document

The original document is available in PDF (uploaded 15 May, 2015 by Henry Hoffmann).