2002 FREENIX Track Technical Program - Abstract
A Decoupled Architecture for
Application-Specific File Prefetching
Chuan-Kai Yang, Tulika Mitra, Tzi-Cker Chiueh, Computer Science Department, Stony Brook University
Data-intensive applications such as multimedia and data mining
programs may exhibit sophisticated access patterns that are difficult
to predict from past reference history
and are different from one application to another.
This paper presents
the design, implementation, and evaluation of an automatic
application-specific file prefetching (AASFP) mechanism
that is designed to improve the disk
I/O performance of application programs with
such complicated access patterns.
The key idea of AASFP is
to convert an application into two threads: a
computation thread, which is the original program
containing both computation and disk I/O, and a prefetch
thread, which contains all the instructions in the original program
that are related to disk accesses. At run time,
the prefetch thread is scheduled to run sufficiently
far ahead of the computation thread,
so that disk blocks can be prefetched and put in the file
buffer cache before the computation thread needs them.
Through a source-to-source translator, the conversion of a given
application into two such threads is made completely automatic.
Measurements on an initial AASFP prototype under Linux show that it provides as much as
54% overall performance improvement for a volume visualization application.
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