CSCI 2500 Homework 6 Cache Simulator solution


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ˆ This homework is to be completed individually. Do not share your code with anyone else.
The penalty for similar submissions can range from a grade of zero on the assignment and
additional overall 5% reduction on the semester grade to an immediate “F” in the course,
depending on the severity of the infraction.

ˆ Hardcoding is strictly disallowed. Make sure your code actually implements the simulator
described in this PDF and not just prints the output (or any part of the output) that corresponds to “expected” values of the test case(s).

ˆ You must use C for this homework assignment, and your code must successfully execute on
Submitty to obtain full credit.

Homework Specifications

For this individual homework assignment, you will work on a mixture of textbook problems and C
First, start with some “warm-up” exercises, which you will not submit as part of this assignment.
In other words, do these “warm-up” exercises as practice and to prepare to work on the actual
problems you will submit for credit.

Warm-Up Exercises (for Practice)
1. Textbook Problem 5.1 (all sub-parts)
2. Textbook Problem 5.3 (all sub-parts)
3. Textbook Problem 5.6 (all sub-parts)

Homework Problems (to Submit for Credit)
Use whatever software you like to write your answers to the textbook problems below. You must
produce a PDF to submit for this assignment. Please name your PDF hw6.pdf. These will be
manually graded by our TAs.
1. Textbook Problem 5.2 (all sub-parts)
2. Textbook Problem 5.7 (all sub-parts)

Coding Problem (to Submit for Credit)
You will use C to implement a cache simulator. More specifically, your program will accept as
input a series of non-zero memory addresses. Depending on the configuration of your simulated
cache, some of these memory addresses will be cache hits, while others will be cache misses. You
will keep track and display your results as shown on the next page.

For your simulation, you will simulate a direct-mapped, 2-way, or 4-way set associative cache. This
is determined via the first command-line argument (i.e., either 1, 2, or 4). Any other argument
results in an error to stderr.

Further, you will implement simulations for least recently used (LRU) and B´el´ady’s algorithms.
The algorithm simulated is determined via the second command-line argument (i.e., either LRU or

For LRU, when an item needs to be evicted from the cache, we select the item in our set that was
used least recently, i.e., the longest time in the past.

Conversely, for B´el´ady’s algorithm, when an item needs to be evicted, we select the item currently
in the cache set that will be used furthest in the future. If an item is never accessed again, it will
always be safe to evict it. Note that if multiple items are never accessed again, evict the item with
the smallest memory address. This will ensure deterministic output on Submitty.

While B´el´ady’s algorithm sounds impressive, in practice it is not possible to implement given its
required foresight of memory accesses (though also in practice, there are techniques used to predict
future memory accesses).

Regardless of the configuration from above, your cache must hold at most 256 items. In other
words, 256 × 1 for a direct-mapped cache, 128 × 2 for a 2-way set associative cache, and 64 × 4 for
a 4-way set associative cache. Initialize your cache lines with zeros, as the given memory trace will
never contain address zero.

To keep your cache simulation relatively straightforward, finding your set will be as simple as taking
the desired memory address and modding it by the set count, as in:
int set = mem_address % set_count;

Required Input File

Overall, your program requires three command-line arguments. In addition to the first two arguments described on the previous page, the third command-line argument specifies the name of the
input file. This input file contains the sequence of memory address accesses to run through your
simulator. Each memory address is a decimal (base 10) number on a line of its own. As noted
above, this memory trace will never contain address zero.

Here is an example input file called hw6-input01.txt that specifies only 10 memory accesses:

Required Output

For your output, you must echo the specified input parameters, then show each simulated memory
access, indicating whether it results in a cache hit or a cache miss. At the end of your simulation,
you must show totals and the overall hit rate.

The following example shows a sample run using the input file above. Use this initial example to
better understand what you need to implement and track, how you should format your output, and
how you could test your program.

bash$ ./a.out 2 LRU hw6-input01.txt
Cache size: 256
Cache associativity: 2
Cache sets: 128
Cache algorithm: LRU
1 (miss)
33 (miss)
2 (miss)
34 (miss)
65 (miss)
1 (hit)
66 (miss)
2 (hit)
97 (miss)
65 (hit)
Cache accesses: 10
Cache hits: 3
Cache misses: 7
Overall hit rate: 0.300000
Supplied on Submitty are a number of test inputs and outputs you’ll find useful for debugging.


Recognizing that this is the last homework assignment, you can make the following assumptions:
ˆ Assume the maximum number of lines (i.e., memory address accesses) in the input file is 1024.
ˆ Assume the values in the input file are all valid 32-bit unsigned int values.

Error Checking

Be sure to verify that you have the correct number of arguments by checking argc; display an error
message if argument(s) are missing.
In general, if an error occurs, use either perror() or fprintf( stderr, “…” ), depending on
whether the global errno is set.
And be sure to return either EXIT_SUCCESS or EXIT_FAILURE upon program termination.

Submission Instructions

For this assignment, you will submit both your code and your PDF (i.e., hw6.pdf) with your
answers to the textbook problems to submit.

Before you submit your code, be sure that you have clearly commented your code (this should not
be an after-thought). Further, your code should have a clear and logical organization.

To submit your assignment (and also perform final testing of your code), please use Submitty. Note
that the test cases for this assignment will be available on Submitty a minimum of three days before
the due date and will include hidden test cases.

Also as a reminder, your code must successfully execute on Submitty to obtain credit for this