On the analysis of random replacement caches using static probabilistic timing methods for multi-path programs

Benjamin Michael Jean-Rene Lesage, David Jack Griffin, Sebastian Altmeyer, Liliana Cucu-Grosjean, Robert Ian Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Probabilistic hard real-time systems, based on hardware architectures that use a random replacement cache, provide a potential means of reducing the hardware over-provision required to accommodate pathological scenarios and the associated extremely rare, but excessively long, worst-case execution times that can occur in deterministic systems. Timing analysis for probabilistic hard real-time systems requires the provision of probabilistic worst-case execution time (pWCET) estimates. The pWCET distribution can be described as an exceedance function which gives an upper bound on the probability that the execution time of a task will exceed any given execution time budget on any particular run. This paper introduces a more effective static probabilistic timing analysis (SPTA) for multi-path programs. The analysis estimates the temporal contribution of an evict-on-miss, random replacement cache to the pWCET distribution of multi-path programs. The analysis uses a conservative join function that provides a proper over-approximation of the possible cache contents and the pWCET distribution on path convergence, irrespective of the actual path followed during execution. Simple program transformations are introduced that reduce the impact of path indeterminism while ensuring sound pWCET estimates. Evaluation shows that the proposed method is efficient at capturing locality in the cache, and substantially outperforms the only prior approach to SPTA for multi-path programs based on path merging. The evaluation results show incomparability with analysis for an equivalent deterministic system using an LRU cache. For some benchmarks the performance of LRU is better, while for others, the new analysis techniques show that random replacement has provably better performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-388
Number of pages82
JournalReal-Time Systems
Issue number2
Early online date18 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2017.


  • Cache analysis
  • Multi-path
  • Random replacement policy
  • Probabilistic timing analysis
  • Probabilistic timing analysis
  • Multi-path

Cite this