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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Generalized working sets for segment reference strings

The working-set concept is extended for programs that reference segments of different sizes. The generalized working-set policy (GWS) keeps as its resident set those segments whose retention costs do not exceed their retrieval costs. The GWS is a model for the entire class of demand-fetching memory policies that satisfy a resident-set inclusion property. A generalized optimal policy (GOPT) is also defined; at its operating points it minimizes aggregated retention and swapping costs. Special cases of the cost structure allow GWS and GOPT to simulate any known stack algorithm, the working set, and VMIN. Efficient procedures for computing demand curves showing swapping load as a function of memory usage are developed for GWS and GOPT policies. Empirical data from an actual system are included.

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