ExpAX: A Framework for Automating Approximate Programming
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We present ExpAX, a framework for automating approximate programming. ExpAX consists of these three components: (1) a programming model based on a new kind of program specification, which we refer to as error expectations. Our programming model enables programmers to implicitly relax the accuracy constraints without explicitly marking operations as approximate; (2) an approximation safety analysis that automatically infers a safe-to-approximate set of program operations; and (3) an optimization that automatically marks a subset of the safe-to-approximate operations as approximate while statistically adhering to the error expectations. We evaluate ExpAX on a diverse set of Java applications. The results show that ExpAX provides significant energy savings (up to 35%) with large reduction in programmer effort (between 3x to 113x ) while providing formal safety and statistical quality-of-result guarantees.