PROMPT: A Fast and Extensible Memory Profiling Framework [abstract] (arXiv)
Ziyang Xu, Yebin Chon, Yian Su, Zujun Tan, Sotiris Apostolakis, Simone Campanoni, and David I. August
To Appear: Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages, Volume 8, Issue OOPSLA (OOPSLA), October 2024.

Memory profiling captures programs’ dynamic memory behavior, assisting programmers in debugging, tuning, and enabling advanced compiler optimizations like speculation-based automatic parallelization. As each use case demands its unique program trace summary, various memory profiler types have been developed. Yet, designing practical memory profilers often requires extensive compiler expertise, adeptness in program optimization, and significant implementation efforts. This often results in a void where aspirations for fast and robust profilers remain unfulfilled. To bridge this gap, this paper presents PROMPT, a pioneering framework for streamlined development of fast memory profilers. With it, developers only need to specify profiling events and define the core profiling logic, bypassing the complexities of custom instrumentation and intricate memory profiling components and optimizations. Two state-of-the-art memory profilers were ported with PROMPT while all features preserved. By focusing on the core profiling logic, the code was reduced by more than 65% and the profiling speed was improved by 5.3× and 7.1× respectively. To further underscore PROMPT’s impact, a tailored memory profiling workflow was constructed for a sophisticated compiler optimization client. In just 570 lines of code, this redesigned workflow satisfies the client’s memory profiling needs while achieving more than 90% reduction in profiling time and improved robustness compared to the original profilers.