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Thread Scheduling for Out-of-Core Applications with Memory Server on Multicomputers

Report ID:
December 1998
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Out-of-core applications perform poorly in paged virtual memory (VM)
systems because demand paging involves slow disk I/O accesses. Much
research has been done on reducing the I/O overhead in such
applications by either reducing the number of I/Os or lowering the
cost of each I/O operation.

In this paper, we investigate a method combines fine-grained threading
with a memory server model to improve the performance of out-of-core
applications on multicomputers. The memory server model decreases the
average cost of I/O operations by paging to remote memory, while the
fine-grained thread scheduling reduces the number of I/O accesses by
improving the data locality of applications. We have evaluated this
method on an Intel Paragon with 7 applications. Our results show that
the memory server system performs better than the VM disk paging by a
factor of 5 for sequential applications and a factor of 1.5 to 2.2
for parallel applications. The fine-grained threading alone improves
the VM disk paging performance by a factor of 10 and 1.2 and 3
respectively for sequential and parallel applications. Overall, the
combination of these two techniques outperforms the VM disk paging by
more than a factor of 12 for sequential applications and a factor of 3
to 6 for parallel applications.

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