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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

A unifying approach to scheduling

This paper presents a scheme for classifying scheduling algorithms based on an abstract model of a scheduling system which formalizes the notion of priority. Various classes of scheduling algorithms are defined and related to existing algorithms. A criterion for the implementation efficiency of an algorithm is developed and results in the definition of time-invariant algorithms, which include most of the commonly implemented ones. For time-invariant algorithms, the dependence of processing rates on priorities is derived. The abstract model provides a framework for implementing flexible schedulers in real operating systems. The policy-driven scheduler of Bernstein and Sharp is discussed as an example of

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