An Analysis of Buffer Sharing and Prefetching Techniques for Multimedia Systems

Raymond T. Ng and Jinhai Yang
Publishing date
September 1994
30 pages
In this paper, we study the problem of how to maximize the throughput of a continuous-media system, given a fixed amount of buffer space and disk bandwidth both pre-determined at design-time. Our approach is to maximize the utilizations of disk and buffers. We propose doing so in two ways. First, we analyze a scheme that allows multiple streams to share buffers. Our analysis and preliminary simulation results indicate that buffer sharing could lead to as much as 50% reduction in total buffer requirement. Second, we develop three prefetching strategies: SP, IP1 and IP2. As will be demonstrated by SP, straightforward prefetching is not effective at all. In contrast, IP1 and IP2, which prefetch more intelligently than does SP, could be valuable in maximizing the effective use of buffers and disk. Our preliminary simulation results show that IP1 and IP2 could lead to a 40% improvement in throughput.