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A Model of Workloads and its Use in Miss-Rate Prediction for Fully Associative Caches
July 1992 (vol. 41 no. 7)
pp. 811-825

A mathematical model for the behavior of programs or workloads is presented and from it is extracted the miss ratio of a finite, fully associative cache (or other first-level memory) using least-recently-used replacement under those workloads. To obtain miss ratios, the function u(t, L), defined to be the number of unique lines of size L referenced before time t, is modeled. Empirical observations show that this function appears to have the form u(t, L)=(W L/sup a/t/sup b/) (d/sup log/ /sup L log t/) where W, a, b, d are constants that are related, respectively, to the working set size, locality of references to nearby addresses (spatial locality), temporal locality (locality in time not attributable to spatial locality), and interactions between spatial locality and temporal locality. The miss ratio of a finite fully associative cache can be approximated as the time derivative of u(t, L) evaluated where the function has a value equal to the size of the cache. When the miss ratios from this model are compared to measured miss ratios for a representative trace, the accuracy is high for large caches. For smaller caches, the model is close but not highly precise.

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Index Terms:
model of workloads; miss-rate prediction; fully associative caches; mathematical model; behavior of programs; fully associative cache; least-recently-used replacement; spatial locality; temporal locality; buffer storage; content-addressable storage; memory architecture.
J.P. Singh, H.S. Stone, D.F. Thiebaut, "A Model of Workloads and its Use in Miss-Rate Prediction for Fully Associative Caches," IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 41, no. 7, pp. 811-825, July 1992, doi:10.1109/12.256450
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