Computer Sciences Dept.

An Analysis of Distributed Shared Memory Algorithms

Richard E Kessler and Miron Livny

This paper describes results obtained in a study of algorithms to implement a Distributed Shared Memory in a distributed (loosely coupled) environment. Distributed Shared Memory is the implementation of shared memory across multiple nodes in a distributed system. This is accomplished using only the private memories of the nodes by controlling access to the pages of the shared memory and transferring data to and from the private memories when necessary. We analyze alternative algorithms to implement Distributed Shared Memory, all of them based on the ideas presented in [Li86b]. The Distributed Shared Memory algorithms are analyzed and compared over a wide range of conditions. Application characteristics are identified which can be exploited by the Distributed Shared Memory algorithms. We will show the conditions under which the algorithms analyzed in this paper perform better or worse than the other alternatives. Results are obtained via simulation using a synthetic reference generator.

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