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Software Performance


Hauswirth M.

Course director

Felici R.



This course teaches how the various layers of a computer system interact and affect the resulting performance. It performs two cuts down the system stack: one about the 'state' and the other about the 'behavior' of a system. The discussion of 'state' investigates memory usage of applications, leak detection, garbage collection, virtual memory management, and cache performance. The discussion of 'behavior' investigates call graphs, dynamic class loading, shared libraries and dynamic linking, control flow graphs, exception handling, compiler optimizations, and branch prediction.


Learn to reason about performance across system layers. Understand, with the example of Java, how language, compiler, virtual machine, operating system, and computer architecture work together.

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

Participation in class session and solution of lab/homework assignments (mostly programming in Java).

Examination information

Written in-class final exam (if possible).