A Case for Dynamic Sets in Operating Systems
David Steere and M. Satyanarayanan
Recent trends have exposed three key problems in today's operating systems.
The first is the emergence of I/O latency as the dominant factor in the
performance of many applications. The second is the need to cope with mobile
communication environments where bandwidth and latency may be highly variable.
The third is the importance of search activity to locating files of interest
in a distributed system. In this paper we describe a single unifying abstraction
called dynamic sets which can offer substantial benefits in the
solution of these problems. These benefits include greater opportunity
in the I/O subsystem to aggressively exploit prefetching and parallelism,
as well as support for associative naming to complement the hierarchical
naming in typical file systems. This paper motivates dynamic sets, presents
the design of a system that embodies this abstraction, and evaluates a
prototype implementation of the system via measurements and an analytical