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OSDI '04 — Abstract

Pp. 395–408 of the Proceedings

Program-Counter-Based Pattern Classification in Buffer Caching

Chris Gniady, Ali R. Butt, and Y. Charlie Hu, Purdue University


Program-counter-based (PC-based) prediction techniques have been shown to be highly effective and are widely used in computer architecture design. In this paper, we explore the opportunity and viability of applying PC-based prediction to operating systems design, in particular, to optimize buffer caching. We propose a Program-Counter-based Classification (PCC) technique for use in pattern-based buffer caching that allows the operating system to correlate the I/O operations with the program context in which they are issued via the program counters of the call instructions that trigger the I/O requests. This correlation allows the operating system to classify I/O access pattern on a per-PC basis which achieves significantly better accuracy than previous per-file or per-application classification techniques. PCC also performs classification more quickly as per-PC pattern just needs to be learned once. We evaluate PCC via trace-driven simulations and an implementation in Linux, and compare it to UBM, a state-of-the-art pattern-based buffer replacement scheme. The performance improvements are substantial: the hit ratio improves by as much as 29.3% (with an average of 13.8%), and the execution time is reduced by as much as 29.0% (with an average of 13.7%).

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