Exploring the Energy Overhead of Reversible Programs Executed on Irreversible Hardware

Lars Bo Husted Vadgaard*, Maja Hanne Kirkeby, Ken Friis Larsen, Michael Kirkedal Thomsen

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportKonferencebidrag i proceedingsForskningpeer review


This paper investigates the energy efficiency of reversible programs executed on irreversible hardware. Motivated by Landauer’s principle, which suggests that information loss during program execution increases energy consumption, we employ Intel’s Running Average Power Limit (RAPL) technology to compare the energy consumption of “dereversibilised” reversible programs against that of straightforward irreversible implementations. Preliminary results indicate that, while the memory handling of dereversibilised reversible programs does not necessarily improve overall energy efficiency, the energy overhead remains constant, ranging from 6% to around 240% over C depending on the abstraction level of the problem at hand. For dereversiblised Janus, one can expect an energy overhead of 100% or less when operating on data structures that are easily represented in the target language. One may expect an energy overhead of less than 30% for dereversibilised Hermes; however, its domain is more specific and thus resembles the target language more closely. These findings indicate an interesting trade-off: dereversibilisation incurs a certain (constant) energy overhead, yet it uniquely produces two programs for the price of one. This will enable programmers to make informed decisions, balancing the energy overhead against the benefits of reversibility based on their specific needs. Future work will aim to further explore the impact of dereversibilisation on energy overhead and information security.

TitelReversible Computation - 16th International Conference, RC 2024, Proceedings
RedaktørerTorben Aegidius Mogensen, Lukasz Mikulski
Antal sider17
ISBN (Trykt)9783031620751
StatusUdgivet - 2024
Begivenhed16th International Conference on Reversible Computation, RC 2024 - Torun, Polen
Varighed: 4 jul. 20245 jul. 2024


Konference16th International Conference on Reversible Computation, RC 2024
NavnLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Vol/bind14680 LNCS


  • Dereversibilisation
  • Encryption
  • Energy efficiency
  • Reversible programs

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