Cycle Stealing under Immediate Dispatch Task Assignment

We consider the practical problem of task assignment in a server farm, where each arriving job is immediately dispatched to a server in the farm. We look at the benefit of cycle stealing at the point of the dispatcher, where jobs normally destined for one machine may be routed to a different machine if it is idle. The analysis uses a technique which we refer to as dimensionality reduction via busy period transitions. Our analysis is approximate, but can be made as close to exact as desired, and is validated via simulation. Results show that the beneficiaries of the idle cycles can benefit unboundedly, while the donors are only slightly penalized. These results still hold even when there is only one donor server and 20 beneficiary servers stealing its idle cycles.

By: Mor Harchol-Balter, Cuihong Li, Takayuki Osogami, Alan Scheller-Wolf, Mark S. Squillante

Published in: RC23093 in 2004


This Research Report is available. This report has been submitted for publication outside of IBM and will probably be copyrighted if accepted for publication. It has been issued as a Research Report for early dissemination of its contents. In view of the transfer of copyright to the outside publisher, its distribution outside of IBM prior to publication should be limited to peer communications and specific requests. After outside publication, requests should be filled only by reprints or legally obtained copies of the article (e.g., payment of royalties). I have read and understand this notice and am a member of the scientific community outside or inside of IBM seeking a single copy only.


Questions about this service can be mailed to .