The Duality of Memory and Communication in the Implementation of a Multiprocessor Operating System

Young, Tevanian, Rashid, Golub, Eppinger, Chew, Bolosky, Black, and Baron

One-line summary: This paper discusses Mach's object-oriented semi-user-extensible memory system .

Overview/Main Points


I can't decide whether this paper was brilliant (as an early predecessor of exokernel and SpinOS) or an utter waste of time (because of its rambling-string-of-details-with-no-conclusion organization). The idea of an extensible OS was a good one. The interface and implementation detail given were not particularly interesting.


"The use of multiple threads to handle data requests also aids in deadlock prevention; one thread within a task may service a data request for another thread in that task" (p215). If there is deadlock on resources, how is another thread going to help?

Their performance information was completely unsupported. They stated how their cache could be useful in improving the performance (UNIX only uses 10% of mem to cache). However, they gave no comparison numbers, nor did they give any load information (upon which the results would depend heavily).

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