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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

The number of buffers required for sequential processing of a disk file

The number of buffers required for sequential processing of disk files is investigated with the assumption that there is a single user served by two processors: one reads blocks from the disk into buffers in main memory, while the other processor processes the buffers. If processing is faster than reading, then two buffers suffice. However, if processing is slower, using only two buffers does not guarantee minimum completion time. The minimal required number of buffers is calculated in this article.

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