Computer Science and Engineering

Computer Engineering Seminar

Why Tools Matter

Todd AustinAssociate ProfessorUniversity of Michigan

Capable and accessible infrastructure is an accelerant for good research, as it enables creative people to quickly and effectively explore new ideas. In this talk I will reflect upon my experiences with the SimpleScalar tool set, an open-source simulation infrastructure that has been employed by more than 3600 published papers. I will use SimpleScalar as a case for why more researchers should release their tools, and I will share with you my best advice for building and distributing research infrastructure. Finally, I will speculate on the future of computer engineering research tools, and suggest where budding infrastructure hackers might want to spend their efforts.

This talk was a keynote address at the 2008 IEEE International Symposium on Performance Analysis of Systems and Software (ISPASS-2008).

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