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Zero-copy programming

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Stephen Kell.

In this “crazy idea” talklet, I will begin by claiming that memory remains a scarce resource, in contrast to the relative plenty of CPU , disk space etc. on modern machines. Many programs contain redundant copies of information, which might be collapsible by OS-level mechanisms (shared memory, memory-mapped I/O). Sharing-recovery approaches (like Satori) rely on copies being bitwise-verbatim, whereas I estimate that more copies are found in somewhat transcoded form, where there is some small computational distance between different copies’ representations. I will describe a few examples of such programs, a few ideas that might help save memory in these cases, and a few foreseeable challenges.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory NetOS Group Talklets series.

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