“Safe and General Energy-Aware Programming with Disciplined Approximation,” Luis Ceze, Asst. Prof. of CS, U. of Washington

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 8:50am


Monday, June 4
2:00 – 3:00pm
Computer Science Conference Room, Harold Frank Hall, Rm. 1132

SPEAKER: Luis Ceze, Assistant Professor, Computer Science at the University of Washington

TITLE: “Safe and General Energy-Aware Programming with Disciplined Approximation”

Energy is increasingly a first-order concern in computer systems. Exploiting energy-accuracy trade-offs is an attractive choice in applications that can tolerate inaccuracies. Recent work has explored exposing this trade-off in programming models. A key challenge, though, is how to isolate parts of the program that must be precise from those that can be approximated so that a program functions correctly even as quality of service degrades.

In this talk I will described our effort on co-desiginig language and hardware to take advantage of approximate computing for significant energy savings. We use type qualifiers to declare data that may be subject to approximate computation. Using these types, the system automatically maps approximate variables to low-power storage, uses low-power operations, and even applies more energy-efficient algorithms provided by the programmer. In addition, the system can statically guarantee isolation of the precise program component from the approximate component. This allows a programmer to control explicitly how information flows from approximate data to precise data. Importantly, employing static analysis eliminates the need for dynamic checks, further improving energy savings. I will describe a micro-architectutre that offers explicit approximate storage and computation and will briefly discuss our recent proposal on using neural networks as approximate accelerators for imperative programs. I will conclude with an overview of our current/future research directions in hardware support for disciplined approximation.

Luis Ceze, Assistant Professor, joined the Computer Science and Engineering faculty in 2007. His research focuses on computer architecture, programming languages and OS to improve the programmability, reliability and energy efficiency of computer systems, with emphasis on parallel and distributed systems. See the SAMPA research group.

He has co-authored over 50 papers in these areas and had several papers selected as IEEE Micro Top Picks and CACM research Highlights. He participated in the Blue Gene, Cyclops, and PERCS projects at IBM and is a recipient of several IBM awards. He is also a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship and a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship. He co-founded Corensic, a UW CSE spin-off company.

He was born in São Paulo, Brazil. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his B.Eng. and M.Eng. in Electrical Engineering from University of São Paulo, Brazil.