Desktop scheduling: How can we know what the user wants?

Yoav Etsion*, Dan Tsafrir, Dror G. Feitelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Current desktop operating systems use CPU utilization (or lack thereof) to prioritize processes for scheduling. This was thought to be beneficial for interactive processes, under the assumption that they spend much of their time waiting for user input. This reasoning fails for modern multimedia applications. For example, playing a movie in parallel with a heavy background job usually leads to poor graphical results, as these jobs are indistinguishable in terms of CPU usage. Suggested solutions involve shifting the burden to the user or programmer, which we claim is unsatisfactory; instead, we seek an automatic solution. Our attempts using new metrics based on CPU usage failed. We therefore propose and implement a novel scheme of identifying interactive and multimedia applications by directly quantifying the I/O between an application and the user (keyboard, mouse, and screen activity). Preliminary results indicate that prioritizing processes according to this metric indeed solves the aforementioned problem, demonstrating that operating systems can indeed provide better support for multimedia and interactive applications. Additionally, once user I/O data is available, it opens intriguing new possibilities to system designers.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages110-115
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2004
EventProceedings of the International Workshop on Network and Operating System Support for Digital Audio and Video, NOSSDAV 2004 - Cork, Ireland
Duration: 16 Jun 200418 Jun 2004

Conference

ConferenceProceedings of the International Workshop on Network and Operating System Support for Digital Audio and Video, NOSSDAV 2004
Country/TerritoryIreland
CityCork
Period16/06/0418/06/04

Keywords

  • Frame Rate
  • Human Centered Computing
  • Interactive
  • Multimedia
  • Scheduling
  • User I/O

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