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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Productivity of multiprogrammed computers—progress in developing an analytic prediction method

Multiprogramming as it is discussed here is a mode of computer operation in which two or more programs are concurrently in processor memory and proceeding, each using the same central processor unit (CPU) and input-output (I/O) channels. These programs are actually proceeding intermittently and singly, according to eligibility (readiness to proceed) and priority. It is useful to be able to represent them as proceeding continuously and simultaneously, each at an effective rate, which may be a fraction of that which it would enjoy in the absence of the other programs. The effective progress rate of each program is sensitive to many detailed characteristics of itself and its co-residents; and simulation has been the best available method of predicting it. This paper presents the results of progress in developing an alternative to simulation, a simulation-tested iterative computation of these rates under certain situations. The algorithm is sensitive to most of the factors that control the phenomenon, including nonquantitative or topological features of the programs' structures.

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