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Effects of Response and Stability on Scheduling in Distributed Computing Systems
November 1988 (vol. 14 no. 11)
pp. 1578-1588

An examination is made of the effects of response and stability on scheduling algorithms for general-purpose distributed computing systems. Response characterizes the time required, following a perturbation in the system state, to reach a new equilibrium state. Stability is a measure of the ability of a mechanism to detect when the effects of further actions will not improve the system state as defined by a user-defined objective. These results have implications for distributed computations in general. Analysis is based on formal communicating finite automata models of two distinct approaches to the scheduling problem, each using the objective of global optimal load balancing. The results indicate that absolute stability is not always necessary in dynamic systems for the same reasons that relatively small amounts of instability are tolerated in the design of analog control systems. It is shown that response is a very important first-order metric of dynamic scheduling behavior, and that response and stability are related.

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Index Terms:
response; stability; scheduling; distributed computing systems; user-defined objective; communicating finite automata models; load balancing; dynamic systems; first-order metric; distributed processing; finite automata; scheduling
T.L. Casavant, J.G. Kuhl, "Effects of Response and Stability on Scheduling in Distributed Computing Systems," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 14, no. 11, pp. 1578-1588, Nov. 1988, doi:10.1109/32.9046
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