An Experimental Evaluation of Real-Time DVFS Scheduling Algorithms


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Virginia Tech


Dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) is an extensively studied energy manage ment technique, which aims to reduce the energy consumption of computing platforms by dynamically scaling the CPU frequency. Real-Time DVFS (RT-DVFS) is a branch of DVFS, which reduces CPU energy consumption through DVFS, while at the same time ensures that task time constraints are satisfied by constructing appropriate real-time task schedules. The literature presents numerous RT-DVFS scheduling algorithms, which employ different techniques to utilize the CPU idle time to scale the frequency. Many of these algorithms have been experimentally studied through simulations, but have not been implemented on real hardware platforms. Though simulation-based experimental studies can provide a first-order understanding, implementation-based studies can reveal actual timeliness and energy consumption behaviours. This is particularly important, when it is difficult to devise accurate simulation models of hardware, which is increasingly the case with modern systems.

In this thesis, we study the timeliness and energy consumption behaviours of fourteen state- of-the-art RT-DVFS schedulers by implementing and evaluating them on two hardware platforms. The schedulers include CC-EDF, LA-EDF, REUA, DRA andd AGR1 among others, and the hardware platforms include ASUS laptop with the Intel I5 processor and a mother- board with the AMD Zacate processor. We implemented these schedulers in the ChronOS real-time Linux kernel and measured their actual timeliness and energy behaviours under a range of workloads including CPU-intensive, memory-intensive, mutual exclusion lock-intensive, and processor-underloaded and overloaded workloads.

Our studies reveal that measuring the CPU power consumption as the cube of CPU frequency can lead to incorrect conclusions. In particular, it ignores the idle state CPU power consumption, which is orders of magnitude smaller than the active power consumption. Consequently, power savings obtained by exclusively optimizing active power consumption (i.e., RT-DVFS) may be offset by completing tasks sooner by running them at the highest frequency and transitioning to the idle state earlier (i.e., no DVFS). Thus, the active power consumption savings of the RT-DVFS techniques' that we report are orders of magnitude smaller than their simulation-based savings reported in the literature.



Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling, Real-Time Linux