Project 1 Introduction to Simulation Solution

$35.00 $29.05

You'll get a: . zip file solution, download link after Payment


  • Introduction


Please read this entire document. It is lengthy and contains many details { but I want to make sure you get o on the right foot. Save yourself some headache and read this carefully.


This is the rst project for CS 370. The purpose of the project is to give you an opportunity to get tools set up and running, acclimate you to running command line tools, give you an opportunity to refresh yourself on assembly and C, and introduce you to processor modeling and simulation.


There are two main tools that we will use for the projects this semester. The rst tool is an assembler, called lasm (which stands for the La Crosse Assembler). Recall that assemblers are used to convert programs written in assembly source code to executable les.



We have no way of running the executables emitted by lasm because your laptops, desktops and our depart-mental servers all have Intel processors, rather than MIPS processors. It is common in computer architecture research to simulate the execution of programs, rather than execute them directly. So, the second tool we will use for our projects will be lsim (the La Crosse Simulator). The simulator opens the executable le, and executes the program in software rather than hardware. You may be familiar with emulators for retro game systems { in fact lsim is both a simulator and an emulator.



Both lasm and lsim are command line tools, and this project is meant to simply get these tools up and running as a precursor to future projects. You will run both lasm and lsim to produce the output that you should submit (in addition to the miniscule amount of code you need to modify) to D2L for grading.


This project must be done individually. The tools have been written such that they produce unique output when run in your environment, even with the same input as other students. Any evidence of copied code or outputs will be reported to the Student Life O ce as an academic integrity violation.


You must run your assignments on the departmental Linux server. lasm has been fully pre-compiled and it is not guaranteed to run anywhere other than the departmental server. Similarly, lsim is partially pre-compiled (you will do the nal compilation), so also needs to be done on the departmental server.


The due date for this project is Wednesday, February 13th, 2019 at 11:00pm. Project code and output les must be submitted to D2L. Please submit individual les, do not zip les together for submission. Late projects cannot be accepted. It is in your best interest to start this project as early as possible in case you have issues running the tools. There are several supplementary and reference documents on D2L to help you get started.


  • Project Speci cation


There are several steps in this project, rst you must download lasm and the partially compiled lsim, copy them to your working directory on the departmental server, then modify a given assembly program, and assemble that program with lasm. You must then lightly modify some C code to lsim, nish the compilation





of lsim, and then run lsim with the assembly program from the previous steps. We will take each step one-at-a-time in the remainder of this document.


2.1 Logging in to the Server


First, you need to log in to one of the CS department servers. Using ssh, log in to If you have never used ssh (or forgot), it is a tool for remotely connecting to the command-line interface of another machine. See the document on D2L named \computing.environment.pdf” (in the Reference section of D2L) for details on setting up ssh.


compute.cs is a 40-core, 128GB memory, a real bad-mamba-jamba { perfect for our high-performance sim-ulation needs. The simulator and assembler that you will be using/modifying for projects for the rest of the semester have been tested on compute.cs, so it is in your best interest to compile and run lasm and lsim there. If you try these tools elsewhere, you will be given no mercy if something goes wrong when I grade your assignments.


As a sanity check, once you’re logged in, you should see a command prompt (usually ends with a dollar sign). If you issue the Linux command ls (just type ls, then hit enter) { that is used to list the les in your current directory (folder), right after you log in, you will always be in your home directory. You will likely see directories named Desktop, Documents, etc. and any les that you’ve previously saved to your campus drive. I presume that the Linux command-line is at least vaguely familiar to you. D2L has a document (again, in the Reference section) named \linux.howto.pdf” that gives you some common commands, and places to nd more info. Linux is the bees knees for developers, if you’re not familiar with it… it’s time to embrace it.


You will next need to get the project les (from D2L) onto your network storage (your home directory). You can either scp the les, and then work on them from your ssh session, or you can mount your network directory to your laptop/desktop so that it appears like any other directory/folder on your machine. If you have never used scp or mounted a network drive, see the computing environment document on D2L.


Once the zip le is in your home directory, you can go back to your ssh session, and unzip with:




You can then delete the zip le if you want:




Be careful when deleting les in Linux, there is no way to retrieve les once they’ve been deleted.


2.2 Assembling a Program


If you go into the project1 directory (hint, the cd command) and list the les, you will see an assembler directory, a simulator directory, and a le named scramble.asm. The assembler directory only has the executable for lasm. The simulator directory has several subdirectories and les. This subdirectory struc-ture is common for a C program that is in development. The bin subdirectory is empty right now, but will eventually hold the simulator executable. The src subdirectory has .h and .c source code les. The obj subdirectory holds object les ( les that have been compiled, but not yet linked). You will see right now it has several les that I have compiled for you already. Finally, a makefile has been provided, so that you can quickly build the simulator.


For this step, you should rst try running lasm. cd back to the project1 directory. From here, you should be able to run:








And when it runs without any command-line ags, it simply prints a \usage” message and ends. You can see there are a handful of command-line ags that you can use when running lasm, but at the very least, you need to provide the lename of the assembly source le that you want to assemble { in this case, scramble.asm. However, before assembling the scramble program, I want you to modify one of the values at the top of the program.


Open scramble.asm with a plain text editor of your choice (some options are discussed in the computing environment document on D2L), and at the top you will see a data value with the name seed. Currently that memory location is initialized with the value 0xdeadbeef. You should change that value to something else, any value of your choosing. Pick something with a mix of 1 and 0 in several bit positions, 0-9a-f in hex (i.e. don’t do anything boring like 0x00000000). Keep in mind that this value must be 32-bits. Save this le with your modi ed value (same lename is ne).


Now assemble your program. You could simply run:


./assembler/lasm scramble.asm


… which will produce a MIPS executable with the default name of a.out. Alternatively, you could give a name to the executable with something like:


./assembler/lasm -out fred scramble.asm


… which would produce an executable with the name fred.out. You can name your executable anything you wish.


For more (a lot more) discussion on lasm, see the lasm.pdf document in the Reference section of D2L.


2.3 Compiling lsim


In the previous step, you assembled the scramble program into a MIPS executable. To run the scramble program, you will need to nish the compilation of lsim. To do so, you can cd into the simulator directory, and simply issue the make command. This will use the makefile, which contains the rules for building lsim. However, you should make another small modi cation to lsim before building.


Open src/main.c with your favorite plain text editor. This is the main() function of lsim. You will see the code that I use to parse the command-line options to lsim, some code that initializes the emulator and simulator, and most importantly, the main simulation loop (the do…while loop). This loop is where most of the magic occurs. The calls to functions named fetch(), decode(), etc. are all tasks that a processor will perform when executing instructions. So, those functions model those processor tasks.


lsim also has a built-in emulator. The di erence between a simulator and an emulator is that emulation only mimics the functionality of instructions, whereas a simulator mimics the functionality of instructions while also maintaining timing information. lsim runs the simulator and emulator redundantly { so your MIPS pro-grams are actually executed twice by lsim. You might ask why? In future projects, you will be writing your own versions of some of the simulator functions (your own implementations of fetch(), decode(), etc.). To help you debug, the emulator has a check() function, that I will always provide with future projects. When you call that check() function, as can be seen at the end of the do…while loop, then the simula-tor state is compared to the emulator state. If the simulator di ers from the emulator, then the simulator is immediately ended, and debug info printed. So the emulator is there to help you debug your future projects.


After the simulation loop, you will see a call to a function named probe system(). This function is querying some of the properties of the machine that you are using to run lsim, and it prints this info, as well as a






checksum of that info. This is how I will determine on which system you are running your simulations to ensure that you are doing this assignment yourself.


Before building lsim, you should modify the value that is being passed to probe system(). Similar to the scramble value, you can pick any value that you wish to pass to this probe function, but pick something interesting with lots of 1s and 0s throughout (0-9a-f in hex). Again, this should be a 32-bit value.



Save your modi ed main.c le, quit, and then issue the make command to build lsim { its executable should appear in the aforementioned bin directory.


More info on lsim can be found in the lsim.pdf in the Resource section of D2L. That document will be modi ed throughout the semester, as we make changes for future assignments.


2.4 Running a Simulation


Now that you have a MIPS program (your scramble executable), and the simulator (the bin/lsim), you are ready to run a simulation. You can cd back to your project1 directory, and simply:


./simulator/bin/lsim a.out


This assumes that you used the default name when assembling scramble. If you had named your scramble program scramble.out, then you would issue:


./simulator/bin/lsim scramble.out


The scramble program expects user input, the initials of your name. It will rst print a prompt, then you should type your initials { three letters without any spaces between. So if your name is Joe T. Schmoe, then you would enter jts or JTS. Be sure to use your initials, and always three letters. If you don’t have a middle name, then use the letter \x” for your middle initial. I will be using your initials when I replicate your results when I grade.


After entering your initials, and pressing enter, the rest of the scramble program will run, and print an integer value before it ends. After printing the value, lsim takes over and prints several statistics that it gathered about the program it ran.


lsim doesn’t print any information as it simulates the MIPS program by default. If you want to see the re-sults of instructions as they are executed, then you can re-run the scramble program with the -trace option:


./simulator/bin/lsim -trace a.out


Don’t forget that scramble is still expecting you to enter your initials, so a bit of information about a handful of instructions will be printed, and then the simulation will appear to hang… but of course it is just waiting for you to type your initials. Once you do, you will see that lsim spits out a ton of instructions, one per row. Each instruction has helpful debugging information, like values that each register had, results, addresses, and so on. lsim.pdf on D2L outlines the meaning of all of the trace information.


Re-run lsim with the scramble program one more time without trace, but this time, redirect the output to a text le. For any program that prints output to the console (stdout), Linux allows you to save that output to a le instead of printing to the console. Run the simulation with:


./simulator/bin/lsim a.out > output.txt


This time, it will appear that nothing is happening, but in fact, the simulator is running, and it did print the prompt for your initials, but that prompt is now in the output.txt le, so you won’t see it. Just enter





your initials again, hit enter, and you should then be returned to the prompt. If you open output.txt in your favorite plain text editor, you will see your output has safely been stashed away. This is one of the powerful aspects of Linux. If you want to run your simulation again, you will rst need to delete the existing le (with rm output.txt), since this type of le redirection requires that the le doesn’t already exist.


You can also redirect an existing text le to the input of a running program. If you wanted, you could create a new text le (again in your favorite editor) and save your initials to that text le { let’s say you called it input.txt. You could then run:


./simulator/bin/lsim a.out > output.txt < input.txt


…which will fully automate your simulation and save the output. Pretty neat, eh?


  • Submission and Grading


When you are done, you should submit your project to the D2L dropbox named \Project 1″. Please submit only the les you modi ed, and the output.txt le with the example run of scramble on lsim with your initials. Please do not zip your project les, I only want:








The project deadline is February 13th, at 11:00pm. Late projects can only be accepted with a university-approved excused absence.


The grading for this assignment is straight-forward. I’m going to compile lsim with your modi ed main.c, then re-run the tools with your modi ed scramble.asm. I will then double-check the results of the integer value printed by scramble to make sure it matches the value in your output.txt. I will also check the information printed by the probe system() function to make sure it matches your environment, and that the checksum matches the expected value. If these items are all in order, then you can expect full credit. If something doesn’t match, I will likely email you about it, in case I’m not using the same seed or probe value.