The performance impact of kernel prefetching on buffer cache replacement algorithms

Ali R. Butt, Chris Gniady, Y. Charlie Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


A fundamental challenge in improving the file system performance is to design effective block replacement algorithms to minimize buffer cache misses. Despite the well-known interactions between prefetching and caching, almost all buffer cache replacement algorithms have been proposed and studied comparatively without taking into account file system prefetching which exists in all modern operating systems. This paper shows that such kernel prefetching can have a significant impact on the relative performance in terms of the number of actual disk I/Os of many well-known replacement algorithms; it can not only narrow the performance gap but also change the relative performance benefits of different algorithms. These results demonstrate the importance for buffer caching research to take file system prefetching into consideration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-168
Number of pages12
JournalPerformance Evaluation Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005
EventSIGMETRICS 2005: International Conference on Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems - Banff, AB, Canada
Duration: Jun 6 2005Jun 10 2005


  • Buffer caching
  • Prefetching
  • Replacement algorithms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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