Check out the new USENIX Web site.

Home About USENIX Events Membership Publications Students
USENIX 2002 Annual Conference - Technical Program Abstract

Exploiting Gray-Box Knowledge of Buffer-Cache Management

Nathan C. Burnett, John Bent, Andrea C. Arpaci-Dusseau, and Remzi H. Arpaci-Dusseau, Department of Computer Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison


The buffer-cache replacement policy of the OS can have a significant impact on the performance of I/O-intensive applications. In this paper, we introduce a simple fingerprinting tool, Dust, which uncovers the replacement policy of the OS. Specifically, we are able to identify how initial access order, recency of access, frequency of access, and long-term history are used to determine which blocks are replaced from the buffer cache. We show that our fingerprinting tool can identify popular replacement policies described in the literature (e.g., FIFO, LRU, LFU, Clock, Random, Segmented FIFO, 2Q, and LRU-K) as well as those found in current systems (e.g., NetBSD, Linux, and Solaris).
  • View the full text of this paper in HTML, PDF, and PostScript.
    The Proceedings are published as a collective work, © 2002 by the USENIX Association. All Rights Reserved. Rights to individual papers remain with the author or the author's employer. Permission is granted for the noncommercial reproduction of the complete work for educational or research purposes. USENIX acknowledges all trademarks within this paper.

  • If you need the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it from Adobe's site.

  • To become a USENIX Member, please see our Membership Information.

?Need help? Use our Contacts page.

Last changed: 16 May 2002 ml
Technical Program
USENIX Annual Technical Conference 2002 Home