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In computing systems, it is a common occurrence for the execution of a program to result in the concurrent processing of several related input files. A set of input files is considered related when at least one unprocessed record from each file must be present in memory before the program can proceed. In this paper, we discuss the effect of floating buffering on the total time required for execution of the program. An analytic model of floating buffering is developed, and conclusions about the number of floating buffers needed are presented. It is shown that an analytic model can provide valuable insight into a process, even though simplifying assumptions must be made in the model.
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