Base de données sur les brevets canadiens / Sommaire du brevet 1341568 

Énoncé de désistement de responsabilité concernant l'information provenant de tiers

Une partie des informations de ce site Web à été fournie par des sources externes. Le gouvernement du Canada n'assume aucune responsabilité concernant la précision, l'actualité ou la fiabilité des informations fournies par les sources externes. Les utilisateurs qui désirent employer cette information devraient consulter directement la source des informations. Le contenu fournit par les sources externes n'est pas assujetti aux exigences sur les langues officielles, la protection des renseignements personnels et l'accessibilité.

Disponibilité de l'Abrégé et des Revendications

L'apparition de différences dans le texte et l'image des Revendications et de l'Abrégé dépend du moment auquel le document est publié. Les textes des Revendications et de l'Abrégé sont affichés :

  • lorsque la demande peut être examinée par le public;
  • lorsque le brevet est émis (délivrance).
(12) Brevet: (11) CA 1341568
(21) Numéro de la demande: 616804
(54) Titre français: PROCEDE DE GESTION DE LA MEMOIRE ET DE L'ACCES A L'UNITE CENTRALE POUR UN SYSTEME INFORMATIQUE MULTI-USAGER
(54) Titre anglais: METHOD OF MEMORY AND CPU TIME ALLOCATION FOR A MULTI-USER COMPUTER SYSTEM
(52) Classification canadienne des brevets (CCB):
  • 354/230.5
(51) Classification internationale des brevets (CIB):
  • G06F 9/50 (2006.01)
(72) Inventeurs :
  • DAVY, WILLIAM (Etats-Unis d'Amérique)
(73) Titulaires :
  • RAXCO, INC. (Etats-Unis d'Amérique)
(71) Demandeurs :
  • RAXCO, INC. (Etats-Unis d'Amérique)
(74) Agent: SIM & MCBURNEY
(74) Co-agent:
(45) Délivré: 2008-02-26
(22) Date de dépôt: 1989-09-29
(30) Licence disponible: S.O.
(30) Langue des documents déposés: Anglais

(30) Données de priorité de la demande:
Numéro de la demande Pays / territoire Date
266,072 Etats-Unis d'Amérique 1988-11-02

Abrégé français

La présente invention décrit un procédé pour accorder de manière dynamique un système informatique comprenant une mémoire ayant une pluralité de pages qui sont soumises à des variations de charge du système sur la base du nombre de processus traités par le système informatique. Chaque processus a une priorité d'exécution associée. Tout d'abord, la charge du système courant est déterminée. La charge du système courant est ensuite comparée à la charge du système pour laquelle le système informatique a été statistiquement accordé. Le système informatique est statistiquement accordé par le réglage de paramètres d'accord. Enfin, les paramètres d'accord sont dynamiquement réglés de manière à accorder le système informatique à la charge du système courant.


Abrégé anglais



A method of dynamically tuning a computer system including
a memory having a plurality of pages which is subjected to varying
system loads based on the number of processes handled by the
computer system is provided. Each process has an associated run priority.
First, the current system load is determined. The current system load
is then compared with the system load for which the computer system
has been statically tuned. The computer system is statically tuned by
the setting of tuning parameters. Finally, the tuning parameters are
dynamically adjusted so as tune the computer system to the current
system load.


Note : Les revendications sont présentées dans la langue officielle dans laquelle elles ont été soumises.


-29-
What is claimed is:

1. A method of allocating processor time of a central
processing unit among a plurality of processes on a
computer system based on a priority of a given process in
a priority queue, the method comprising the steps of:

assigning a first priority to a given interactive
process which requires at least one unit of processor
time, the first priority positioning the given process in
the priority queue, such that the given process is
allocated a unit of processor time after processes having
a higher priority than the first priority;

maintaining the priority of the given process at the
first priority until the given process receives a
predetermined number of units of processor time, said
predetermined number being greater than one; and

assigning a second priority to the given process
after the given process has received the predetermined
number of units of processor time, the second priority
being lower than the first priority and positioning the
given process in the priority queue, such that the given
process is allocated a unit of processor time after
processes having a higher priority than the second
priority.

2. The method according to Claim 1, further comprising
the step of:
periodically adjusting the size of a unit of
processor time in response to the interactive load on
said computer system.


-30-
3. The method according to Claim 2, wherein the
periodic adjustment of the size of a unit of processor
time occurs every two seconds.

4. The method according to Claim 2, wherein the
interactive load on said computer system is determined
by performing heuristic observations.

5. The method according to Claim 4, wherein the
adjustments to the size of a unit of processor time are
based on a series of heuristic observations, which
generate information indicative of the system load,
said heuristic observations being based on a plurality
of factors, said plurality of factors comprising a null
process, a total number of processes in a compute
state, at least one fault ratio, and which processes
are in said compute state.

6. The method according to Claim 5, wherein the
series of heuristic observations are weighted in
accordance with when each observation in the series was

made, more recent observations being weighted less than
less recent observations.

7. The method according to Claim 6, wherein the
series of heuristic observations are weighted by an
exponential smoothing function.


-31-
8. The method according to any one of Claims 5 to 8
wherein the at least one fault ratio is a ratio of hard
faults to total faults.

9. In a computer system, a method of allocating
processor time of a central processing unit among a
plurality of processes, each process having a base
priority, the method based on a priority of a given
process in a priority queue, the method comprising the
steps of:
assigning a variable run priority to a given
process, which requires at least one unit of processor
time, the variable run priority positioning the given
process in the queue, such that the process is
allocated a'unit of processor time after a first
portion of remaining processes;
maintaining the process at the variable run
priority until the process receives a unit of processor
time;
comparing the variable run priority with a base
priority;
if the variable run priority is greater than or
equal to the base priority, comparing a predetermined
count value with zero;
if the predetermined count value is greater than
zero, maintaining the variable run priority of the
process;
if the predetermined count value is equal to zero,
decreasing the variable run priority; and,

if the variable run priority is less than the base
priority, assigning the base priority to the process.

Note : Les descriptions sont présentées dans la langue officielle dans laquelle elles ont été soumises.


13 4156$
METHOD OF MEMORY AND CPU TIME ALLOCATION

FOR A MULTI-USER COMPUTER SYSTEM
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a method of memory
and CPU time allocation for a multi-user computer system and, more
specifically, to a method of memory and CPU time allocation respon-
sive to the system load of the multi-user computer system.

In 1977 Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) introduced a new
line of 32-bit minicomputers designated as the VAXTM (Virtual Address
Extension) series. The VAX computer was released with a proprietary
operating system called VMSTM (Virtual Memory System). VAX and
VMS are registered trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation.

The initial target market for the VAX series was the scientific
and engineering communities. However, the market has now
expanded to include the full range of data processing from large scale
on-lfne transaction processing to single user workstations. Although
the VAX architecture and operating system have functioned well
throughout this expansion, some glaring inefficiencies of the operat-
ing system exist. Most of these inefficiencies are related to memory
management.

The speed of the VAX CPU is determined by two factors: (1)
the time it takes to process instructions in the CPU; and (2) the time


13 41568
-2-

it takes to access memory to fetch or store the data needed by the
instructions. When the memory is accessed to fetch data needed by
the instructions, the CPU waits on the access. These waits do not
show as idle or "null" time - the CPU appears busy. These waits may
be prolonged by other activity in the memory controller or on the
CPU bus. In most VAX applications, the CPU speed is underutilized.
The CPU spends a considerable portion of the time idle while it waits
on the memory controller.

When a user logs on to the system at a terminal, the user
becomes a "process" recognized by the system and is assigned an iden-
tification code. The user may then run programs and otherwise uti-
lize the computer system. AS used herein, process will generally refer
to a logged-in user or an active terminal. Under VMS, each user is
allocated a working set at log-in. A working set is a collection of
pages (each page having 512 bytes) of physical memory where the
user's work will be held. WSLIMIT denotes the maximum size of a
process working set at any point in time. The actual size of the work-
ing set may be below WSLIMIT at a given time but, typically, Is not.
WSLIMIT is dynamic and may be changed as of ten as once per second
for active processes. Usually, only a small fraction of the memory
space which a process may legally access is in the working set at a
given time.

When a process attempts to reference a page which is Iegally
accessible, but is not.currently in the working set, a page fault Is gen-
erated and steps are taken to insert the page into the working set. If
the actual size of the working set Is at WSLIMIT, a page is removed


-3 1341566
-

from the working set and the needed page is located. If the page Is
located and it is determined that the page is not currently in physical
memory, it is placed in physical memory. Thus, the required page of
physical memory is made directly accessible to the process.

Page faults consume system resources. If avoided, faster sys-
tem operation and program execution are achieved. Generally, the
larger a working set, the fewer page faults that occur since more
pages are directly accessible to the process. However, few processes,
during any short time Interval, access all or even a large fraction of
the total pages legally accessible to the process. Therefore, even
working sets that are a small fraction of the total size of a process
can result in relatively small rates of faulting.

As it now will be necessary to refer to the
drawings, these will first be briefly described as
follows:

Figure 1 is a diagram of page movements in memory with the
VAX/VMS operating system.

Figure 2 is a graphical illustration of the Automatic Working
Set Adjustment (AWSA) function in VMS.

Figure 3 is a schematic comparison of the varying system load
and the load for which the system has been statically tuned.

Figure 4 Is a generalized block diagram of the present
invention.

Figure 5-9 are block diagrams of the specific functions of the
present Invention.


134156~
-3a-

Figure i illustrates VMS memory page movements. Data may
be loaded into working set 10 from image file 15 or run-time libraries
20. Under heavy system load, read-only pages in working set 10 may
be moved to Free Page List 25 while writable pages may be moved
from working set 10 to Modified Page List 30. Free Page List 25 and
Modified Page List 30 are emptied on a first-in first-out (FIFO) basis.
As schematically illustrated, free pages are made available to working
sets while writable pages are written to page file 40 or mapped sec-
tion file 45. Under certain circumstances, the entire contents of a
working set can be moved to a swap file, thereby releasing physical
memory directly to Free Page List 25.

Moving pages back into working set 10 from Free Page List 23
or Modified Page List 30 utilizes few computer resources and Is the
preferred method of running an interactive system. These page


_4_ 134156~

movements are called soft faults. Moving pages from image file 15 or
page file 40 back into working set 10 requires physical access to an
1/0 device such as a disk and therefore requires substantial time and
computer resources (resource intensive). These page movements are
called hard faults. Swap file retrievals are also hard faults but are
easier on resource consumption since fewer I/0 operations are gener
ally required to retrieve similar amounts of data.

VMS includes a facility called Automatic Working Set Adjust-
ment (AWSA), the operation of which is graphically illustrated in Fig-
ure 2. Curve 70 represents the variation over time of the optimum or
desired working set size for a given process. Line segments 75 repre-
sent the working set size limit WSLIMIT, discussed above, over time as
generated by AWSA. Cross-hatched regions 76 represent times during
which the working set size limit generated by AWSA is greater than
the optimum working set size while solid regions 77 represent times
during which the actual working set size limit is less than the opti-
mum working set size. As illustrated, AWSA adjusts the working set
size every two CPU QUANTUM ticks or af ter AWSTIME periods A 1,
A2, etc. The actual working set size is incremented by WSINC and
decremented by WSDEC. In Figure 2, WSINC is equal to 7 pages and
WSDEC Is equal to 3 pages.

Generally, it is very difficult to determine the precise size of
the working set best suited for a given process since it varies depend-
ing on what operations a process is performing and varies as these
operations move from phase to phase in their functioning. VMS moni-
tors the faulting behavior of each process and adjusts WSLIMIT based


13 41568
-5-

on that behavior. However, AWSA does not react to the severity of
current memory load (i.e. become more lenient as the load lightens)
except for very large working sets. In addition, since AWSA is a sta-
tistical algorithm (i.e., it is based on statistics about what has hap-
pened), it is a reactive algorithm which assumes that what will hap-
pen 9s much like what has happened. This is not always the case.

AWSA Is guided by the metric values assigned to several sys-
tems generation (SYSGEN) parameters. When a user logs on and, for
example, activates a program, the user's,working set is loaded from
the image file with that program and the required data. If the pro-
gram demands that more memory be made available by faulting in
excess of the value of the SYSGEN parameter Page Fault Rate High
(PFRATH), VMS will provide more pages of memory as determined by
the SYSGEN parameter Working Set Increment (WSINC). When the
memory requirements have been fulfilled, the program will eventually
fault less than Page Fault Rate Low (PFRATL). VMS will remove
memory pages as determined by Working Set Decrement (WSDEC). As
Figure 2 shows, the operation is a function of two time units: QUA N-
TUM, the unit of CPU time allocated to each user and AWSTIME an
integral number of QUANTUM ticks. AWSTIME determines how often
the system is examined for possible memory adjustments.

Valid pages (i.e., those pages belonging to one or more pro-
cesses) not currently in any working set are stored in one of five
places: (1) EXE disk files; (2) system page files; (3) user disk files; (4)
the Modified Page List; and (5) the Free Page List. The Modified Page


-s- 1 3 4 1 5 68

List and the Free Page List are known collectively as secondary
cache.

The Modified Page List is allowed to get no larger than the
parameter MPW_HILIMIT. When it reaches this size, SWAPPER is
activated and, with reference to Figure 1, writes pages from Modified
Page List 30 to page file 40 or mapped section file 45 until the Modi-
fied Page List has been reduced to the size MPW_LOLIMIT. After
SWAPPER writes these pages from Modified Page List 30, they are
logically inserted into Free Page List 25. Free Page List 25 has no
maximum size. Free Page List 25 always represents all pages not
currently utilized for another purpose. The terminology "free" is a
misnomer - most pages in this list have valid, useful contents. The
are "free" in the sense that, since they have a valid backing store,
they can be used for another purpose without concern about saving
their current contents. When physical memory is needed for any pur-
pose, the page at the bottom of Free Page List 25 (which either cur-
rently has no valid contents or is the one placed in the list the longest
time ago) wili be selected for the new use.

When the user's program page faults, the needed page is
located and steps are taken to place the page into the working set.
These actions differ depending on where the needed page is located.
If the page is in Secondary Cache, the system pointer table entries are
modified to remove the page from the Modified Page List or Free List
and Include it in the working set. If the page is in another working
set (shareable pages), the pointer table entries are updated to indicate
that the page is in more than one working set. If the needed page has


7_ 1 3 4 1 5 68

not previously been referenced, is zero, or has undefined initial con-
tents, the page at the bottom of the Free Page List is zeroed and
added to the working set. This is called a demand zero fault. The
above three types of page faults are soft faults.

If the needed page is in a system page file or a mapped section
file (writable pages which have been removed from Secondary Cache
as described above), the page Is read into the working set. If the
needed page is in an EXE disk file, the page is also read into the work-
ing set. The above two faults are hard faults.

When a page I/O operation is performed, more than one page is
read or written at a time if possible. This technique is known as clus-
tering. Up to MPW_WRTCLUSTER pages can be written in a single
I/O operation if contiguous space is available in the page file. Pages
are subordered by virtual address contiguity. Up to PFCDEFAULT
pages may be read at one time, but no more than are virtually contig-
uous and physically contiguous on the disk. When reads are done from
the page file, clusters of more than a few pages are seldom achieved.

The use of memory by VMS will grow as demanded - AWSA
expands working sets as needed. System pointer tables or "memory
maps" which permit a process to move through the memory expand as
needed. New processes are allocated memory for working sets when
needed. The Modified Page List expands to its upper limit.

However, physical memory is finite. If too much memory is
used, SWAPPER is implemented to free memory. Anytime the number
of pages in the Free Page List drops below the number determined by
the system parameter FREELIM, SWAPPER will activate and initiate


13 41568
-8-

various actions to free memory. Specifically, it will expand the Free
Page List to the size FREEGOAL. First SWAPPER will trim the Modi-
fied Page List. Next, SWAPPER will reduce any working set which
has been expanded beyond WSQUOTA back to WSQUOTA. WSQUOTA
is the smallest guaranteed working set size a process may have.
SWAPPER will then swap or trim inactive processes. Finally, SWAP-
PER will swap or trim active processes. Swapping and trimming will
be explained below. Most VMS systems have many inactive processes
at any given time and large amounts of memory can be freed up by
effective swapping. However, the swapping or trimming of active
processes is never desirable.

Swapping is the action whereby the entire process working set
is written, as a whole, to disk. It is accomplished by several large I/O
operations directly from the working set to the swap file. A swapped
process is not returned to memory until it is reactivated, even if
memory becomes abundantly available. The overhead involved in
swapping is relatively small, so long as the process remains in the
swap file for several minutes or more. Pages freed by swapping are
placed at the end of the Free Page List.

Trimming reduces the size of the working set to some prede-
termined size (SWPOUTPGCNT). Trimming inactive processes gener-
ates severe performance degradation for the system. The trimmed
pages go to the top of the Secondary Cache, which tends to push
pages from the active working sets out of the cache. Therefore, hard
faulting among active processes is significantly increased. As the
trimmed process continues to be inactive, most of its pages cycle out


13 4 1 5 8
-9-

of the Secondary Cache. The extra volume of pages in the system
page file tends to increase its fragmentation, potentially decreasing
SWAPPER's ability to create large page clusters when writing pages.
When the trimmed process is reactivated, since up to 90% or more of
its working set will have been removed, it will fault heavily. Many of
these faults wi11 be hard faults. Because clustering from the system
page file will be poor, many more I/0 operations will be required to
restore the process working set than if the process had been trans-
ferred to a swapfile. Although an inswap from the swap file is a hard
fault, it is a less resource intensive operation since it generally
requires few I/O operations.

If the number of pages in the Free Page List exceeds a prede-
termined value (BORROWLIM) (suggesting very low demand for mem-
ory), AWSA expands working sets to WSEXTENT, the largest working
set size allowed per process. In DEC terminology, this is known as
"borrowing". Two safety mechanisms exist to prevent borrowing from
overusing memory. First, the actual expansion of the working set, as
opposed to the simple changing of WSLIMIT, to any amount larger
than WSQUOTA Is inhibited if there are less than a predetermined
number (GROWLIM) pages in the Free Page List. Second, SWAPPER
reduces working sets larger than WSQUOTA back to WSQUOTA any
time the Free Page List size drops below FREELIM.

Normally, VMS handles page movements very well. The draw-
back of VMS stems from the fact that the system manager can only
tune the metric value of these SYSGEN parameters to meet a static
system load. Problems arise in very busy Interactive systems when


13 41568
-10-

the demand for memory overwhelms the VMS AWSA function. The
symptoms of this problem include slow interactive response time,
slow log-ins, slow image activations and often, an unacceptable cap
on the number of interactive users. When these conditions occur, the
system manager has few options. He can retune the system to meet
these demand periods or he can inhibit certain user's access to the
system. In most government and commercial enterprises, neither of
these alternatives are viable.

Figure 3 is a schematic diagram which illustrates these effects.
Region 12 represents the narrow range of system load for which the
system manager has statically tuned the system for efficient opera-
tion. Load as used herein refers to the collective of interactive and
batch users, anticipated CPU and I/O usage, and memory demand and
utilization of external devices such as printers and plotters. How-
ever, as curve 14 suggests, system load conditions do not always fall
within the range of system loads for which the system has been stati-
cally tuned. At point A, for example, the system load is heavier than
the statically tuned load and the system suffers from slow interactive
response times, slow log-ins etc. At point B, the system load is within
the range of tuned loads and the system operates efficiently. How-
ever, at point C the system load is less than the statically tuned load
and the system capabilities are underutilized. The present invention
is a method of load sensitive reactive tuning which seeks to configure
region 12 to the varying load represented by curve 14 by periodic
readjustment of certain tuning parameters.


13 4156~
-~~-
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Accordingly, it is an object of an aspect of the
present invention to tune the VMS Memory Management
System making it more responsive during times of heavy
interactive use.
It is an object of an aspect of the present
invention to monitor demand for memory resources and
dynamically alter the metric value of SYSGEN parameters
associated with the AWSA function.
It is an object of. an aspect of the present
invention to provide a method for scheduling processes
in response to system load and in concert with the
memory management allocations.

The present invention provides a method of periodically adjust-
ing a multi-user computer system for efficient operation. The
multi-user computer system includes a central processing unit which
allocates units of processor time among a plurality of processes and a
physical memory comprising a plurality of pages. The computer sys-
tem is subjected to varying system loads based on the number of pro-
cesses currently being handled by the central processing unit. Each
user of the computer system is initially allocated a predetermined
number of pages of physical memory. Heuristic observations are peri-
odically performed to generate information indicative of the system
load. The number of pages of physical memory allocated to a given
user and the size of the units of processor time are adjusted in
response to the periodic heuristic observations.

The present invention also provides a method of assigning pri-
ority to each of a plurality of processes in a computer system in
which units of processor time are allocated among a plurality of


~ 134156~
-12-
processes on the basis of the position of a process in a queue. The
queue is arranged in accordance with the priority associated with
each process. A first priority is assigned to a given process which
requires at least one unit of processor time. The first priority posi-
tions the process in the queue such that the process is allocated a unit
of processor time after a first portion of the remaining processes.
The process is maintained at the first priority until the process
receives a predetermined number of units of processor time. A sec-
ond priority is then assigned to the process. The second priority posi-
tions the process in the queue such that the process is allocated a unit
of the processor time af ter a second portion of the remaining pro-
cesses. The second portion generally contains more processes than
the first.

The method of the present invention is designed to favor the
interactive user over the batch user. Each interactive user has an
associated "person cost". It is desirable to ensure that these interac-
tive users are allocated sufficient memory add CPU time to eliminate
idle, unproductive time and thereby reduce these person costs.

The method of the present invention uses heuristic observa-
tions and feedback loops to optimize system parameters and user
response. In systems that have limited memory resources, throughput
increases of 100% and more have been generated utilizing the method
of present invention. Response time in some applications has been
reduced by a factor of ten. Image activation times may also be
reduced. Even systems having excess memory and which have been


13 4 5 6 8
-13-

tuned to DEC's recommended settings can realize
throughput increases of up to 18%.
The method of the present invention enables VMS to
maximize utilization of available system memory.
Memory usage is controlled on a per-process basis as
well as on a system-wide basis. Further, the method of
the present invention includes a program which
incorporates an algorithm which may be so efficiently
coded that only a few seconds of CPU time per day are
required to implement the method on a typical VAX
system. The coded algorithm typically uses fewer than
100 pages of memory. Accordingly, overall system
performance is dramatically enhanced by implementation
of this method.
Accordingly, in one aspect of the present
invention there is provided a method of allocating
processor time of a central processing unit among a
plurality of processes on a computer system based on a
priority of a given process in a priority queue, the
method comprising the steps of:
assigning a first priority to a given interactive
process which requires at least one unit of processor
time, the first priority positioning the given process
in the priority queue, such that the given process is
allocated a unit of processor time after processes
having a higher priority than the first priority;
maintaining the priority of the given process at
the first priority until the given process receives a
predetermined number of units of processor time, said
predetermined number being greater than one; and
assigning a second priority to the given process
after the given process has received the predetermined
number of units of processor time, the second priority
being lower than the first priority and positioning the
given process in the priority queue, such that the
given process is allocated a unit of processor time


13 41568
-13a-

after processes having a higher priority than the
second priority.
According to another aspect of the present
invention there is provided in a computer system, a
method of allocating processor time of a central
processing unit among a plurality of processes, each
process having a base priority, the method based on a
priority of a given process in a priority queue, the
method comprising the steps of:
io assigning a variable run priority to a given
process, which requires at least one unit of processor
time, the variable run priority positioning the given
process in the queue, such that the process is
allocated a unit of processor time after a first
portion of remaining processes;
maintaining the process at the variable run
priority until the process receives a unit of processor
time;
comparing the variable run priority with a base
priority;
if the variable run priority is greater than or
equal to the base priority, comparing a predetermined
count value with zero;
if the predetermined count value is greater than
zero, maintaining the variable run priority of the
process;
if the predetermined count value is equal to zero,
decreasing the variable run priority; and,
if the variable run priority is less than the base
priority, assigning the base priority to the process.
~


13 4156g
-14-

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The preferred embodiment of the present invention is directed
to a load sensitive reactive tuning method for significantly accelerat-
ing system operation by periodically adjusting the SYSGEN parame-
ters and some per-process parameters of a VAX/VMS system in
response to current system load. Although a VAX/VMS system can be
statically well-tuned for a particular program mix, it is impossible to
statically tune a VAX/VMS system for the wide variations of load and
memory requirements encountered on a typical system in a typical
time sharing environment.

The per-process parameters noted above refer to working set
parameters. The per-process parameters include WSDEFault,
WSQUOTA, WSEXTent, and PFCDEFAULT. These parameters are
preferably set as described below. WSDEF, the working set size which
a process is allocated when whatever operation the user is performing
is completed (image exits), is set to 600 pages. WSQUOTA, the small-
est, guaranteed working set size a process may have, is set to 350
pages. WSEXT, the largest working set size permitted per process, is
set to 1000 pages when FREELIST is less than BORROWLIM and up to
2000 pages when FREELIST is greater than BORROWLIM. WSEXT is
set to the smallest of WSMAX (SYSGEN parameter set by the system
manager), PAGE FILE QUOTA/2, or MAX_EXTENT = 10,000. The
present invention preferably stops increasing WSEXT when the Page
File fills up. PFCDEFAULT, the number of blocks moved In a page
fault, can vary between 64 and 96. It should be noted that although


8
13 4 1 5 6
- i5 -

these are the preferred values for a VAX/VMS system, the present
invention is not limited in this respect.

The invention described herein was developed for use on the
Digital Equipment Corporation VAX series of computers. The VAX
series utilizes the VMS operating system. Although references are
made to VMS-specific commands, system parameters, and privileges,
the method of the present invention may be utilized with any virtual
memory machine, specifically, IBM systems utilizing the VM operating
system or other virtual operating systems employed by Data General
and other vendors. The key to the invention is controlling the mem-
ory management function in a manner reactive to system load. In all
virtual memory systems, the virtual memory is controlled by moving
data from physical memory to areas analogous to the VMS page and
swap files.

Figure 4 is a flow diagram illustrating the general method of
the present invention upon its initialization on a VAX CPU. After
activation at step 10, the program passes to step 15 where the current
values of all dynamic SYSGEN parameters which may subsequently be
altered are saved. This operation is performed so that, if affd when
the program is terminated, the system may be be returned to its pre-
existing state. (VAX/VMS systems also include non-dynamic SYSGEN
parameters. Several adjustments are preferably made to these non-
dynamic parameters in order to maximize the benefits of the present
invention. These adjustments will be detailed below.)

Also, at step 15, periodic heuristic system load observations are
made. Heuristic as used herein refers to exploratory solving


13 4156
-16-
J

techniques which utilize self-education (such as feedback) to improve
performance. These techniques are the elemental building blocks of
artificial intelligence applications. The heuristic observations are
designed to generate a self-education process for the system. The
system reacts based on what it is learning such that the adjustments
described below are based not only on the latest observations but on a
history or series of observations. Heuristic observations are typically
made of the NULL process (a psuedo-process utilizing all CPU time
not used by users or processes); the number of processes in "compute"
state i.e., the number of processes "getting things done"; which pro-
cesses are in compute state; and the various fault ratios (discussed
below). The purpose of these observations is to obtain a snapshot of
the current system load. However, as detailed below, these snapshots
are not viewed by the system in isolation, but rather as a part of a
learning process based on a history of such observations. Observa-
tions are made at regular intervaLs, preferably every two seconds.
The time interval between observations is generally fixed to ensure
that it is of sufficient duration to obtain observations which have
some degree of validity in generating information related to system
load. It has been determined that in two seconds, enough activity has
occurred to generate sufficient information to effectively adjust the
parameters discussed below. In short, observations should be made
of ten enough to provide an accurate picture of the interactive system
load and to permit reaction in a timely manner.

The system load observations are weighted using an exponential
smoothing function. Exponential smoothing functions such as


1341566
_ 17_

Gaussians and super-Gaussians are well known and are utilized herein
to smooth the observations in order to eliminate the effect of
anomolies e.g., all users hitting the enter or return key at the same
time, an usually large amount of NULL time, etc. The exponential
smoothing ensures a gradual adjustment of the system rather than
rapid adjustments based on the latest, potentially anomolous, observa-
tions. The adjustments are not based on the latest "snapshot" of sys-
tem load, but rather are based on a series or history of snapshots. In
order to generate gradual adjustment, the past system history embod-
ied in this series of snapshots is weighted more heavily by the smooth-
ing function than the latest snapshot.

After several snapshots, a memory evaluation is performed at
step 20. The memory evaluation of the present invention generates
the optimum Free Page List size, eliminates hard faulting to the
extent possible, and keeps swapping to a minimum.

After the memory evaluation of step 20, response time adjust-
ments are performed at step 25. The response time adjustments
ensure that active users utilizing memory are provided with sufficient
CPU time to execute their programs.

The program next returns to step 20 and continuously loops
through steps 20 and 25 periodically readjusting the SYSGEN parame-
ters in response to the system load observations discussed above. The
program may be exited at any time during its operation as schemati-
cally indicated at step 30. At step 35, the SYSGEN and per-process
parameters are returned to the values previously stored at step 15.
This returns the computer system to the state it was in prior to


134156~
-1s-

implementation of the program. A small amount of time may be
required to restore all of the per-process parameters if some pro-
cesses are swapped out. At step 40, a determination is made whether
it Is safe to exit the program, i.e, whether the system returned to the
state it was in prior to activation of the program. If so, the program
passes to step 45 and the program is exited. If not, the program
passes to step 50 and goes into a hibernation state. Hibernation refers
to a state in which a process does not utilize CPU time or does not
wait for an event flag to free itself.

The overall system operation has been described with respect
to Figure 4. The memory evaluation and adjustments of step 20 will
be described below with reference to Figure 5. The response time
adjustments of step 25 will be discussed with reference to Figure 6.

Figure 5 illustrates the memory evaluation of step 20 in greater
detail beginning with entry at step 110. A determination is made at
step 120 whether the Free Page List size, FREELIST, is greater than
BORROWLIM. As noted above, BORROWLIM represents the Free
Page List size necessary to permit processes to expand past
WSQUOTA. WSQUOTA represents the smallest guaranteed working
set size a process may have. If the test Is positive, i.e., FREELIST is
greater than BORROWLIM, the Page Fault Rate Low PFRATL is set
equal to 0 at step 130 and excess memory tuning is performed at step
140. Excess memory tuning will be described in detail below.

If the test at step 120 is negative, i.e. FREELIST Is less than
BORROWLIM, control passes to stop 150 and a determination is made
whether FREELIST is less than FREEGOAL. FREEGOAL represents


13 41568
-19-

the target length of the Free Page List. If FREELIST is less than
FREEGOAL, PFRATL is set to a value typically between 1 and 10 at
step 155 and the system is tuned for low memory at step 160.
PFRATL should generally be around 1 and should seldom approach 10.
Low memory tuning will be described in greater detail below. If
FREELIST is not less than FREEGOAL, control passes to program step
405 shown in Figure 6. Thus if FREELIST is greater than FREEGOAL,
but less than BORROWLIM, the physical memory is allocated effi-
ciently among the processes and no adjustments thereto are
necessary.

Figure 6 illustrates the response time adjustments made con-
currently with the memory adjustments. While the goal of memory
tuning is to efficiently allocate memory resources to users that need
it and remove memory resources from those who do not, response
time adjustments ensure that those users who are active and using
memory also get adequate CPU time to execute their jobs.

Response time adjustment is a loop that runs on in-swapped
processes only. Response time adjustments are related to the concept
of system priority. Priority may refer to base priority allocated to
the system users or run priority which is internal to the system and is
generated when a program is activated. Priority essentially deter-
mines the order in which users and the programs they run are pro-
vided access to the central processing unit. VMS offers priorities
ranging from 0 to 31. Under VMS, a normal interactive user has a
base priority of 4. System services and special utilities generally run
at priority 16 or above. When the user runs a program, priority Is


-20- 13 41568

initially elevated or boosted. However, this boosted run priority is
decremented (decays) at the end of each QUANTUM in VMS. In very
simplistic terms, a program is placed in line or on a queue by the sys-
tem scheduled on the basis of its priority and waits for its QUANTUM
tick of CPU time. After receiving its tick, the program is placed
back In line at a position determined by its decremented run priority.
As the program's run priority is decremented, it enters the line fur-
ther and further back behind processes having a higher priority and
must wait longer and longer to receive its next QUANTUM. The pre-
sent invention serves to limit or soften the rate of the priority boost
decay on interactive processes. (Decay time is not softened on batch
jobs.)

As Figure 6 shows, a determination is made at step 410
whether a run priority decrement has been generated by VMS. If not,
control passes to step 405 and the next process is examined. If a run
priority decrement has been generated, the run priority is increased
at step 420 and control again passes to step 405. The goal is to keep
the run priority above the base priority. For example, if QUANTUM
has been lowered to 1/50 of a second, the above-described technique
will fulfill the requirements of processes requiring many CPU cycles
and will eliminate long CPU queues of processes that may need less
than 1/50 of a second of CPU. The net result is fa,ster terminal
response time.

This technique is illustrated in more detail in Figure 7. At step
405, a computable queue Is generated for each run priority. At step
410, the highest priority Is determined and each process in the queue


13 4156~
_21_

receives a QUANTUM tick of CPU time. At step 415, the run priority
is compared with the base priority. If the run priority is less than the
base priority, it is raised to the base priority at step 417 and control
returns to step 405. If the run priority is greater than the base prior-
ity, control passes to step 420 and a counter having a maximum value
of 4 is decreased by 1 for each QUANTUM tick. The program then
passes to step 425 where a determination is made whether the counter
value is equal to 0. If not, control returns to step 405. If so, the run
priority of the process is decremented by 1 at step 430. The process
is computed at step 435. If a job had a run priority of 8, for example,
it would receive four QUANTUM ticks of CPU time before being
decremented to a run priority of 7. Thus, a higher priority is assigned
to an interactive user on a repetitive basis.

Figure 8 illustrates the excess memory tuning operation of step
140 in greater detail with entry at step 210. Initially, three SYSGEN
parameters are altered. LONGWAIT is increased to 300 milli.seconds
at step 220. LONGWAIT is the amount of time a process can be dor-
mant in memory before it is a candidate for swapping. At step 230,
PFCDEFAULT Is set to 96. PFCDEFAULT is the page default cluster
size for moving pages of memory to an I/O device. At step 240,
QUANTUM is increased by a smoothing factor. Thus, if few interac-
tive processes are present and memory is available, the size of the
QUANTUM ticks is adjusted upward. The adjustment is based on the
smoothed heuristic observations as described above. Thus, even
though at the last observation there may have been a large amount of
NULL time and few processes in a compute state, tending to indicate


13 41 568
-22-

tending to the availability of CPU time, the observation is given an
appropriate weight by the smoothing function in order to ensure
QUANTUM is adjusted gradually, and is not adjusted solely on the basis
of the latest observation. It should be understood that the values of
the SYSGEN parameters listed above represent a presently preferred
embodiment and the invention is not limited in this respect. It will be
apparent to those of ordinary skill that other values may be utilized.

A determination is made at step 250 whether the working set
has reached its maximum size (WSMAX). If not, WSINC is increased
by 5 pages at step 260 and control passes to step 270 where a check is
made to see if there are additional processes to be tested. The loop
continues as long as users (processes) are using the machine.

If at step 250, it is determined that WSMAX has been reached,
control immediately passes to step 270. If at step 270, there are no
additional processes, the invention will exit the loop and enter a
"hibernate" state at step 272. If more processes are present, how-
ever, a process is selected for testing at step 275. This process is
examined for subprocesses at step 280. A subprocess is spawned from
the parent or owner process and Its resource consumption accrues to
the parent. For example, a programmer may be writing code on the
terminal and want to get his electronic mai1. The programmer could
spawn a subprocess without the need to logout and login again. If
subprocesses are present, a determination Is made at step 282
whether the subprocesses are on. If so, control passes to step 290. If
not, control returns to step 270. If, at step 280, no subprocesses are
present, control passes immediately to step 290. At step 290, the


13 4156~
-23-

ratio of hard faults (FIO) to total faults (FAU) is compared to a prede-
termined value n, where n is related to processor speed. Again, these
heuristic observations of fault values are appropriately smoothed to
ensure gradual adjustment. If this ratio is greater than n, the program
will queue an asynchronous system trap (AST) interrupt at step 295 to
increase the working set by the value of WSINC. This loop continues
as long as there are active processes.

A process allocated adequate memory as described above will
perform more "less expensive" soft faults and fewer hard faults
(FIOs). This is the primary resource savings. By maintaining the opti-
mum working set size per process, the "proper" sized FREELIST may
be maintained and all users have a reasonable change at efficient
memory utilization.

Figure 9 illustrates the low memory tuning operation of step
160 with entry at step 310. Initially, three SYSGEN parameters are
altered. LONGWAIT is decreased to 60 millisecondS at step 320,
PFCDEFAULT is set to 64 at step 330 and QUANTUM Is adjusted
downward by a smoothing factor at step 340. Again, QUANTUM is
adjusted on the basis of the smoothed heuristic observations discussed
above. These numbers are illustrative of a presently preferred
embodiment and the Invention is not limited thereto. Next, a deter-
mination is made at step 350 whether the value of Working Set Decre-
ment (WSDEC) is less than or equal to 35. If so, control passes to step
355 and WSDEC is increased. WSDEC is generally maintained at a
value of 26 pages. The maximum value of WSDEC is 37 pages while
the minimum value is 11 pages. Increments and decrements of
~


134~568
-24-

WSDEC are generally 2 pages. Control then passes to step 360 where
a determination is made whether there are additional processes. If, at
step 350, WSDEC is greater than 35, control immediately passes to
step 360.

If at step 360, it is determined that there are no additional
processes, control passes to step 362 and the program hibernates. If
additional processes are present, control passes to step 370 where a
process is selected for testing. At step 380, a determination is made
whether the selected process has any subprocesses. If so, control
passes to step 382 where a determination is made whether the
subprocesses are active. if not, control returns to step 360. If so,
control passes to step 385. Control immediately passes to step 385 if
no subprocesses are detected at step 380. A determination is made at
step 385 whether the ratio of hard faults (FIO) to total faults (FAU) is
less than a predetermined number n, where n is a number determined
by processor speed. There fault rates are determined on the basis of
the smoothed observations as discussed above. If so, control passes to
step 390 and an AST is queued to decrement the working set by the
value of WSDEC. This loop continues as long as there are active
processes.

The Invention further includes a dynamic screen generating
monitor which permits the system manager to view the current sys-
tem load and various tuning parameters on a continuous basis. The
system monitor allows the system manager to view the parameters
and statistics that affect system throughput and response time. The
system monitor preferably displays both the initial and current values


1341568
-25-

of the following SYSGEN parameters: PFRATL, PFRATH, WSINC,
WSDEC, AWSTIM, PFCDEFAULT, LONGWAIT. The system monitor
may highlight the differences between the initial and current values
of these parameters so the system manager may analyze the effect of
the present invention on system operation. The system monitor may
also display the current values of other parameters such as FREELIM,
FREEGOAL, GROWLIM, BORROWLIM, MPW_HILIMIT, and
MPW_LOLIMIT.

In addition, the system monitor preferably displays both cur-
rent and average system statistics including Free List size, Modified
Page List size, number of processes, number of processes swapped
out, swaps per second, total page faults per second, number of page
fault reads per second, number of page fault writes per second, per-
centage of swapper time, and percentage of null time.

The system monitor screen display is generally divided into an
upper and lower display. The upper display displays the system
parameters described above and the lower display displays the system
statistics also described above. Each display is preferably generated
as a set of bar graphs. The bottom line of the system monitor display
screen may be used to display suggestions to enhance system tuning
based on the current system parameters and statistics.

In order to implement the present invention on a VAX/VMS
system, several hardware requirements must be met. The VAX pro-
cessor must have at least 2 megabytes of main memory and at least
300 pages of disk space for installation of the program implementing
the method of the present invention. (However, the permanent space


~34 1568
-26-

requirements for the program are less than 100 pages of disk space.)
The present invention may also increase swap space requirements.
Therefore, swap file space equal to at least 1200 pages per process
must be resident on the system at a given time. If the swap file space
requirement is not fulfilled, VMS will allocate swap file space from
the page file. If the page file is not large enough to permit sufficient
allocation of swap file space, the system may become deadlocked.

As noted previously, several non-dynamic SYSGEN parameters
should be set to predetermined values in order to maximize the effi-
ciency of the present invention on a VAX system.
MPW_WRTCLUSTER, the maximum number of pages which can be
written in a single I/O operation, should be set equal to 120.
MPW_WAITLIMIT should set equal to 16,384. Under no circumstances
should MPW_WAITLIMIT be less than MPW_HILIMIT, the maximum
size of the Modified Page List. If this occurs, the system will eventu-
ally deadlock. MPW_HILIMIT is set in accordance with the amount of
system memory. For systems having less than 3 megabytes of mem-
ory, the parameter should be set to 600. If there are more than 3
megabytes of memory, MPW_HILIMIT should be set to 1,000. If the
system has more than 8 megabytes of memory, MPW_HILIMIT should
be set to 1,500. MPW_LOLIMIT, the minimum size of the Modified
Page List, should be set equal to MPW_HILIMIT multiplied by .8, but
not set to more than MPW_HILIMIT minus 120. For example, if
MPW_HILIMIT equals 600, MPW_LOLIMIT should be set to 480. If
MPW_HILIMIT is equal to 1,000, MPW_LOLIMIT should be set equal to
800. If MPW_HILIMIT is equal to 1,500, MPW_LOLIMIT should be set


13 41568
-2?-

equal to 1,200. BALSETCENT, the maximum number of processes,
should be set high enough so that the maximum number of processes
that are present is one less than BALSETCENT. However, this param-
eter should not be set to an overly high limit because there is a pen-
alty associated with a high value. WSMAX should be set to at least
3,000, and preferably higher i.e. in a range of 4,000 to 6,000 in sys-
tems having more than 3 megabytes of memory.

In order to provide optimal memory allocation to the various
processes on the computer system, the present invention should be
able to override the values of WSDEF, WSQUO, and WSEXT set by the
AUTHORIZE function in the user authorization file. AUTHORIZE is
the mechanism by which users can be assigned privileges, protection
levels and various limits that control resource usage by a user
account. The present invention will not alter WSDEF, WSQUO, or
WSEXT for any process which has AWSA turned off. The present
invention will set WSQUOTA to the lower of (i) the value specified
with AUTHORIZE or (2) 1,000 pages. This Is why the system will
require 1,200 pages of swap file space per proces.s when the present
invention is implemented. On systems with extra swap file space,
WSQUOTA should be set even higher with the AUTHORIZE command.

The major benefits of the invention are: (1) more efficient use
of memory by interactive users; (2) the CPU will be able to support
more users than it would without the invention; (3) faster log-ins and
image (program) activations; and (4) keyboard response time increases
of 10-300% for interactive users.


1341 568
-2s-

The invention has been described in detail in connection with
the preferred embodiments. These embodiments, however, are
merely for example only and the invention is not limited thereto. It
will be easily understood by those skilled in the art that other varia-
tions and modifications may easily be made within the scope of this
invention as defined by the appended claims.

Désolé, le dessin représentatatif concernant le document de brevet no 1341568 est introuvable.

Pour une meilleure compréhension de l’état de la demande ou brevet qui figure sur cette page, la rubrique Mise en garde , et les descriptions de Brevet , États administratifs , Taxes périodiques et Historique des paiements devraient être consultées.

États admin

Titre Date
Date de délivrance prévu 2008-02-26
(22) Dépôt 1989-09-29
(45) Délivré 2008-02-26
Périmé 2018-02-26

Historique d'abandonnement

Il n'y a pas d'historique d'abandonnement

Historique des paiements

Type de taxes Anniversaire Échéance Montant payé Date payée
Dépôt 0,00 $ 1989-09-29
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - ancienne loi 2 2010-02-26 300,00 $ 2010-06-28
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - ancienne loi 3 2011-02-28 100,00 $ 2011-01-24
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - ancienne loi 4 2012-02-27 100,00 $ 2012-01-16
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - ancienne loi 5 2013-02-26 200,00 $ 2013-01-09
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - ancienne loi 6 2014-02-26 200,00 $ 2014-01-08
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - ancienne loi 7 2015-02-26 200,00 $ 2015-02-04
Taxe de maintien en état - brevet - ancienne loi 8 2016-02-26 200,00 $ 2016-02-04
Les titulaires actuels au dossier sont affichés en ordre alphabétique.
Titulaires actuels au dossier
RAXCO, INC.
Les titulaires antérieures au dossier sont affichés en ordre alphabétique.
Titulaires antérieures au dossier
DAVY, WILLIAM
Les propriétaires antérieurs qui ne figurent pas dans la liste des « Propriétaires au dossier » apparaîtront dans d'autres documents au dossier.

Pour visionner les fichiers sélectionnés, entrer le code reCAPTCHA :



  • Pour visualiser une image, cliquer sur un lien dans la colonne description du document. Pour télécharger l'image (les images), cliquer l'une ou plusieurs cases à cocher dans la première colonne et ensuite cliquer sur le bouton "Télécharger sélection en format PDF (archive Zip)".
  • Liste des documents de brevet publiés et non publiés sur la BDBC.
  • Si vous avez des difficultés à accéder au contenu, veuillez communiquer avec le Centre de services à la clientèle au 1-866-997-1936, ou envoyer un courriel au Centre de service à la clientèle de l'OPIC.

Filtre Télécharger sélection en format PDF (archive Zip)
Description du
Document
Date
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Nombre de pages Taille de l’image (Ko)
Dessins 2008-02-26 8 122
Revendications 2008-02-26 3 97
Description 2008-02-26 30 1 145
Abrégé 2008-02-26 1 22
Page couverture 2008-02-26 1 16
Demande d'examen 1998-10-06 2 68
Correspondance reliée au PCT 2000-04-06 1 39
Correspondance de la poursuite 2000-04-06 7 348
Demande d'examen 2004-06-23 3 162
Correspondance de la poursuite 2004-12-23 5 233
Correspondance reliée au PCT 2008-01-16 3 136