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Data placement and buffer management for concurrent mergesorts with parallel prefetching

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3 Author(s)
Kun-Lung Wu ; IBM Thomas J. Watson Res. Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA ; Yu, P.S. ; Teng, J.Z.

Various data placement policies are studied for the merge phase of concurrent mergesorts using parallel prefetching, where initial sorted runs (input) of a merge and its final sorted run (output) are stored on multiple disks but each run resides only on a single disk. Since the merge phase involves only sequential references, parallel prefetching can be attractive an reducing the average response time for concurrent merges. However, without careful buffer control, severe thrashing may develop under certain run placement policies, reducing the benefits of prefetching. The authors examine through detailed simulations three different run placement policies. The results show that even though buffer thrashing can be almost avoided by placing the output run of a job on the same disk with at least one of its input runs, this thrashing-avoiding run placement policy can be substantially outperformed by other policies that use buffer thrashing control. With buffer thrashing avoidance, the best performance as achieved by a run placement policy that uses a proper subset of disks dedicated for writing the output runs while the rest of the disks are used for prefetching the input runs in parallel

Published in:

Data Engineering, 1994. Proceedings.10th International Conference

Date of Conference:

14-18 Feb 1994