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nwu-cs-04-28

nwu-cs-04-28

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Published by: eecs.northwestern.edu on Jun 02, 2010
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10/27/2011

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Computer Science Department
Technical ReportNWU-CS-04-28February 20, 2004
 
A Framework And Toolkit For Understanding User Comfort With Resource Borrowing
 
Ashish Gupta, Bin Lin, Peter Dinda
 
Abstract
Resource borrowing is a common underlying approach in grid computing and thin-clientcomputing. In both cases, external processes borrow resources that would otherwise bedelivered to the interactive processes of end-users, creating contention that slows these processes and decreases the comfort of the end-users. How resource borrowing and user comfort are related is not well understood and thus resource borrowing tends to beextremely conservative. To address this lack of understanding, we have developed asophisticated distributed application for directly measuring user comfort with the borrowing of CPU time, memory space, and disk bandwidth. Using this tool, we haveconducted a controlled user study with qualitative and quantitative results that are of direct interest to the designers of grid and thin-client systems. In this report, we describethe system in detail and related implementation issues. We also discuss other factorsrelated to the project and also details of the controlled study. A separate paper documentsthe results of this controlled study in more detail.
Effort sponsored by the National Science Foundation under Grants ANI-0093221, ACI-0112891, ANI-0301108, EIA-0130869, andEIA-0224449. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
 
Keywords:
user studies, desktop grids, cycle stealing, applications studies,
 
grids, I-O and file systems,
 
 performance modeling, resource management or scheduling
 
 
Contents
1 Introduction 3
1.1 Studying the user comfort-resource borrowing relationship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31.2 Factors affecting the results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41.3 The chain of events leading to user discomfort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51.4 Related work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2 System design 7
2.1 Monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72.1.1 The PDH library in Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82.1.2 Monitoring processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82.1.3 Recording the context and context history . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82.2 Emulating resource borrowing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92.2.1 The testcase model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92.2.2 Testcase generation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92.2.3 The CPU exerciser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102.2.4 The memory exerciser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152.2.5 The disk exerciser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152.2.6 The network exerciser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172.3 User feedback techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182.4 The client/server architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192.4.1 The protocol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202.5 The client interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
3 Controlled study 22
3.1 Terminology used . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223.2 The experimental setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223.2.1 Hardware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223.2.2 Invitation and interaction with subjects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233.2.3 Testcases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243.2.4 Overview of factors used in the controlled study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253.3 Control study results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253.3.1 What level of resource borrowing leads to user discomfort for a significant fractionof users? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253.3.2 How does the level depend on which resource or combination of resources is bor-rowed? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271

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