SDI Seminar

Speaker: David Steere

Dynamic Sets for Prefetching

Date: February 09, 1995

Abstract: The benefit of prefetching to reduce I/O latencies when accessing objects in wide area data systems (WADS) such as WWW or AFS is indisputable. Unfortunately, Knowing what to prefetch is a very difficult problem. Fetching aggressively may waste critical resources and impede user activity, and correctly predicting future user activity in general is impossible. However, exploiting the semantics of individual applications may prove fruitful.

In this talk I will describe how a single unifying abstraction called {\em dynamic sets} can offer substantial benefits to an important class of WADS applications: search. 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. Time (and Murphy) permitting, I will demonstrate a sample application built on dynamic sets.