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This paper presents the results of a characterization analysis performed on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) using the SPEC JVM98 benchmarks. An instrument is developed that runs inside the JVM that provides profiles of a variety of different workload characteristics. The data from these profiles are examined to better understand where performance bottlenecks exist in the JVM and what optimizations are possible. The frequency data presented is a first step in determining what instructions require special attention. The stack level information describes the number of registers needed to store stack elements. This knowledge can then be applied to the development of specialized hardware architectures or enhanced interpreters.
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