Simulation of computer architectures: Simulators, benchmarks, methodologies, and recommendations

Joshua J. Yi, David J. Lilja

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Simulators have become an integral part of the computer architecture research and design process. Since they have the advantages of cost, time, and flexibility, architects use them to guide design space exploration and to quantify the efficacy of an enhancement. However, long simulation times and poor accuracy limit their effectiveness. To reduce the simulation time, architects have proposed several techniques that increase the simulation speed or throughput. To increase the accuracy, architects try to minimize the amount of error in their simulators and have proposed adding statistical rigor to their simulation methodology. Since a wide range of approaches exist and since many of them overlap, this paper describes, classifies, and compares them to aid the computer architect in selecting the most appropriate one.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-280
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computers
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Evaluation
  • Measurement
  • Measurement techniques
  • Modeling
  • Modeling of computer architecture
  • Modeling techniques
  • Simulation
  • Simulation of multiple-processor systems


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