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New file systems are critical to obtain good I/O performance on large
multiprocessors. Several researchers have suggested the use of
collective file-system operations, in which all processes in an
application cooperate in each I/O request. Others have suggested that
the traditional low-level interface (read, write, seek) be augmented
with various higher-level requests (e.g., read matrix), allowing the
programmer to express a complex transfer in a single (perhaps
collective) request. Collective, high-level requests permit
techniques like two-phase I/O and disk-directed I/O to significantly
improve performance over traditional file systems and interfaces.
Neither of these techniques have been tested on anything other than
simple benchmarks that read or write matrices. Many applications,
however, intersperse computation and I/O to work with data sets that
cannot fit in main memory. In this paper, we present the results of
experiments with an ``out-of-core'' LU-decomposition program,
comparing a traditional interface and file system with a system that
has a high-level, collective interface and disk-directed I/O. We
found that a collective interface was awkward in some places, and
forced additional synchronization. Nonetheless, disk-directed I/O was
able to obtain much better performance than the traditional system.
A revised version
of this report appeared in HPDC '95.
Bibliographic citation for this report: [plain text] [BIB] [BibTeX] [Refer]
Or copy and paste:
David Kotz, "Disk-directed I/O for an Out-of-Core Computation." Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report PCS-TR95-251, 1995.
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