Response Time Variability
Most modern systems share their resources between different jobs. The jobs define a certain amount of work to be done, for instance the file size to be transmitted to or from a server or the number of cars of a particular model to be produced on a mixed-model assembly line. To ensure fair sharing of common resources between different jobs, this work is divided into atomic tasks, for instance data blocks or cars. These tasks, in turn, are required to be evenly distributed so that the time distance between any two consecutive tasks of the same job is as constant as possible. The following are some real-live examples.
The Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) networks divide each application (voice, large data file, video) into cells of fixed size so that the application can be preempted after each cell. Furthermore, isochronous applications, for instance voice and video, require an inter-cell distance in a cell stream to be as close to being a constant as possible. For instance, multimedia systems avoid presenting video frames either too early or too late to avoid jagged motion perceptions. These applications may also require the inter-cell distance not to exceed some pre-specified distance, see Han et al.  and Altman et al. .
KeywordsAsynchronous Transfer Mode Initial Sequence Exact Cover Decomposition Vector Exchange Heuristic
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