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LRFU: A Spectrum of Policies that Subsumes the Least Recently Used and Least Frequently Used Policies
December 2001 (vol. 50 no. 12)
pp. 1352-1361

Efficient and effective buffering of disk blocks in main memory is critical for better file system performance due to a wide speed gap between main memory and hard disks. In such a buffering system, one of the most important design decisions is the block replacement policy that determines which disk block to replace when the buffer is full. In this paper, we show that there exists a spectrum of block replacement policies that subsumes the two seemingly unrelated and independent Least Recently Used (LRU) and Least Frequently Used (LFU) policies. The spectrum is called the LRFU (Least Recently/Frequently Used) policy and is formed by how much more weight we give to the recent history than to the older history. We also show that there is a spectrum of implementations of the LRFU that again subsumes the LRU and LFU implementations. This spectrum is again dictated by how much weight is given to recent and older histories and the time complexity of the implementations lies between O(1) (the time complexity of LRU) and {\rm O}(\log_2 n) (the time complexity of LFU), where n is the number of blocks in the buffer. Experimental results from trace-driven simulations show that the performance of the LRFU is at least competitive with that of previously known policies for the workloads we considered.

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Index Terms:
Buffer cache, LFU, LRU, replacement policy, trace-driven simulation
D. Lee, J. Choi, J.H. Kim, S.H. Noh, S.L. Min, Y. Cho, C.S. Kim, "LRFU: A Spectrum of Policies that Subsumes the Least Recently Used and Least Frequently Used Policies," IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 50, no. 12, pp. 1352-1361, Dec. 2001, doi:10.1109/TC.2001.970573
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