Scheduling Criteria

Scheduling Criteria

 Different CPU scheduling algorithms have different properties, and the choice of a particular algorithm may favor one class of processes over another. In choosing which algorithm to use in a particular situation, we must consider the properties of the various algorithms. Many criteria have been suggested for comparing CPU scheduling algorithms. Which characteristics are used for comparison can make a substantial difference in which algorithm is judged to be best. The criteria include the following: • CPU utilization. We want to keep the CPU as busy as possible. Conceptually, CPU utilization can range from 0 to 100 percent. In a real system, it should range from 40 percent (for a lightly loaded system) to 90 percent (for a heavily used system).

• Throughput. If the CPU is busy executing processes, then work is being done. One measure of work is the number of processes that are completed per time unit, called throughput. For long processes, this rate may be one process per hour; for short transactions, it may be 10 processes per second.

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• Turnaround time. From the point of view of a particular process, the important criterion is how long it takes to execute that process. The interval from the time of submission of a process to the time of completion is the turnaround time. Turnaround time is the sum of the periods spent waiting to get into memory, waiting in the ready queue, executing on the CPU, and doing I/O.

• Waiting time. The CPU scheduling algorithm does not affect the amount of time during which a process executes or does I/O; it affects only the amount of time that a process spends waiting in the ready queue. Waiting time is the sum of the periods spent waiting in the ready queue.

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• Response time. In an interactive system, turnaround time may not be the best criterion. Often, a process can produce some output fairly early and can continue computing new results while previous results are being output to the user. Thus, another measure is the time from the submission of a request until the first response is produced. This measure, called response time, is the time it takes to start responding, not the time it takes to output the response.

The turnaround time is generally limited by the speed of the output device. It is desirable to maximize CPU utilization and throughput and to minimize turnaround time, waiting time, and response time. In most cases, we optimize the average measure. However, under some circumstances, it is desirable to optimize the minimum or maximum values rather than the average. For example, to guarantee that all users get good service, we may want to minimize the maximum response time. Investigators have suggested that, for interactive systems (such as timesharing systems), it is more important to minimize the variance in the response time than to minimize the average response time.

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A system with reasonable and predictable response time may be considered more desirable than a system that is faster on the average but is highly variable. However, little work has been done on CPU-scheduling algorithms that minimize variance. As we discuss various CPU-scheduling algorithms in the following section, we will illustrate their operation. An accurate illustration should involve many processes, each being a sequence of several hundred CPU bursts and I/O bursts. For simplicity, though, we consider only one CPU burst (in milliseconds) per process in our examples. Our measure of comparison is the average waiting time.

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