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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

The working set model for program behavior

Probably the most basic reason behind the absence of a general treatment of resource allocation in modern computer systems is an adequate model for program behavior. In this paper a new model, the “working set model,” is developed. The working set of pages associated with a process, defined to be the collection of its most recently used pages, provides knowledge vital to the dynamic management of paged memories. “Process” and “working set” are shown to be manifestations of the same ongoing computational activity; then “processor demand” and “memory demand” are defined; and resource allocation is formulated as the problem of balancing demands against available equipment.

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