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Optimizing Binary Translation for Dynamically Generated Code

Byron Hawkins
Brian Demsky
Qin Zhao
Proceedings of the 13th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Code Generation and Optimization, IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, USA (2015), pp. 68-78


Dynamic binary translation serves as a core technology that enables a wide range of important tools such as profiling, bug detection, program analysis, and security. Many of the target applications often include large amounts of dynamically generated code, which poses a special performance challenge in maintaining consistency between the source application and the translated application. This paper introduces two approaches for optimizing binary translation of JITs and other dynamic code generators. First we present a system of efficient source code annotations that allow developers to demarcate dynamic code regions and identify code changes within those regions. The second technique avoids the annotation and source code requirements by automatically inferring the presence of a JIT and instrumenting its write instructions with translation consistency operations. We implemented these techniques in DynamoRIO and demonstrate performance improvements over the state-of-the-art DBT systems on JIT applications as high as 7.3x over base DynamoRIO and Pin.

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