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Reducing Waiting Costs in User-Level Communication

Report ID:
August 1996
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This paper describes a mechanism for reducing the cost of waiting for
messages in architectures that allow user-level communication
libraries. We reduce waiting costs in two ways: by reducing the cost
of servicing interrupts, and by carefully controlling when the system
uses interrupts and when it uses polling. We have implemented our
mechanism on the SHRIMP multicomputer and integrated it with our
user-level sockets library. Experiments show that a hybrid
spin-then-block strategy offers good performance in a wide variety of
situations, and that speeding up the interrupt path significantly
improves performance.

This technical report has been published as
Reducing Waiting Costs in User-Level Communication.
Stefanos Damianakis, Angelos Bilas and Edward W. Felten, Proc. of
11th Internat. Parallel Processing Symposium
April 1997.
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