MOSS Scheduling Simulator
User Guide

Purpose

This document is a user guide for the MOSS Scheduling Simulator. It explains how to use the simulator and describes the various input and output files used by the simulator. The MOSS software is designed for use with Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Modern Operating Systems, 2nd Edition (Prentice Hall, 2001). The Scheduling Simulator was written by Alex Reeder (alexr@e-sa.org). This user guide was written by Ray Ontko (rayo@ontko.com).

This user guide assumes that you have already installed and tested the simulator. If you are looking for installation information, please read the Installation Guide for Unix/Linux/Solaris/HP-UX Systems or the Installation Guide for Win95/98/Me/NT/2000 Systems.

Introduction

The scheduling simulator illustrates the behavior of scheduling algorithms against a simulated mix of process loads. The user can specify the number of processes, the mean and standard deviation for compute time and I/O blocking time for each process, and the duration of the simulation. At the end of the simulation a statistical summary is presented. Students may also be asked to write their own scheduling algorithms to be used with process loads defined by the instructor.

Running the Simulator

The program reads a configuration file (scheduling.conf) and writes two output files (Summary-Results and Summary-Processes).

To run the program, enter the following command line.

$ java Scheduling scheduling.conf

The program will display "Working..." while the simulation is working, and "Completed." when the simulation is complete.

Working...
Completed.

The simulator reads parameters from the configuration file ("scheduling.conf"). It creates a specified number of processes, each of which blocks for input or output after a number of milliseconds that can be specified for each process. Each process is allowed to run for a randomly generated amount of time, with the amount of time constrained by a specified average (mean) in milliseconds, and standard deviations from that average. The simulation may also be bounded in the total length of its run.

After reading the configuration file, the scheduling algorithm then "runs" the processes, causing each to block for input or output after the specified interval until all processes have completed their randomly generated amount of runtime, or until the maximum amount of runtime for the simulation is exceeded.

As the simulation proceeds, a log file ("Summary-Processes") is generated which shows the activity of the scheduling algorithm as it considers each process in the process queue.

After the simulation halts, a summary report ("Summary-Results") is generated which shows statistics for each process and for the simulation as a whole.

The Configuration File

The configuration file (scheduling.conf) is used to specify various parameters for the simulation, including:

Configuration File Options

There are a number of options which can be specified in the configuration file. These are summarized in the table below.

Keyword Values Description
numprocess n The number of processes to create for the simulation.
meandev n The average length of time in milliseconds that a process should execute before terminating.
standdev n The number of standard deviations from the average length of time a process should execute before terminating.
process n The amount of time in milliseconds that the process should execute before blocking for input or output. There should be a separate process directive for each process specified by the numprocess directive.
runtime n The maximum amount of time the simulation should run in milliseconds.

Sample Configuration File

The "scheduling.conf" configuration file looks like this:

// # of Process	
numprocess 3

// mean deivation
meandev 1100

// standard deviation
standdev 510

// process    # I/O blocking
process 100
process 500
process 30

// duration of the simulation in milliseconds
runtime 5000

The Summary-Results File

The Summary-Results file contains a summary report describing the simulation and includes one line of summary information for each process. The fields and columns in the report are described in the following table.

Field Description
Scheduling Type: The type of the scheduling algorithm used. The value displayed is "hard coded" in the SchedulingAlgorithm.java file.
Scheduling Name: The name of the scheduling algorithm used. The value displayed is "hard coded" in the SchedulingAlgorithm.java file.
Simulation Run Time: The number of milliseconds that the simulation ran. This may be less than or equal to the total amount of time specified by the "runtime" configuration parameter.
Mean: The average amount of runtime for the processes as specified by the "meandev" configuration parameter.
Standard Deviation: The standard deviation from the average amount of runtime for the processes as specified by the "standdev" configuration parameter.
Process # The process number assigned to the process by the simulator. The process number is between 0 and n-1, where n is the number specified by the "numprocess" configuration parameter.
CPU Time The randomly generated total runtime for the process in milliseconds. This is determined by the "meandev" and "standdev" parameters in the configuration file.
IO Blocking The amount of time the process runs before it blocks for input or output. This is specified for each process by a "process" directive in the configuration file.
CPU Completed The amount of runtime in milliseconds completed for the process. Note that this may be less than the CPU Time for the process if the simulator runs out of time as specified by the "runtime" configuration parameter.
CPU Blocked The number of times the process blocked for input or output during the simulation.

Sample Summary-Results File

The output "Summary-Results" file looks something like this:

Scheduling Type: Batch (Nonpreemptive)
Scheduling Name: First-Come First-Served
Simulation Run Time: 2750
Mean: 1100
Standard Deviation: 510
Process #	CPU Time	IO Blocking	CPU Completed	CPU Blocked
0		1372 (ms)	100 (ms)	1372 (ms)	13 times
1		689 (ms)	500 (ms)	689 (ms)	1 times
2		689 (ms)	30 (ms)		689 (ms)	22 times

The Summary-Processes File

The Summary-Processes file contains a log of the actions taken by the scheduling algorithm as it considers each process in the scheduling queue.

Each line in the log file is of the following form:

Process: process-number process-status... (cpu-time block-time accumulated-time accumulated-time)

The fields in the line are described in the table below.

Field Description
process-number The process number assigned to the process by the simulator. This is a number between 0 and n-1, where n is the value specified for the "numprocess" configuration parameter.
process-status The status of the process at this point in time. If "registered" then the process is under consideration by the scheduling algorithm. If "I/O blocked", then the scheduling algorithm has noticed that the process is blocked for input or output. If "completed", then the scheduling algorithm has noticed that the process has met or exceeded its allocated execution time.
cpu-time The total amount of run time allowed for this process. This number is randomly generated for the process based on the "meandev" and "standdev" values specified in the configuration file.
block-time The amount of time in milliseconds to execute before blocking process. This number is specified for the process by the "process" directive in the configuration file.
accumulated-time The total amount of time process has executed in milliseconds. (This number appears twice in the log file; one should be removed).

Sample Summary-Processes File

The output "Summary-Processes" file looks something like this:

Process: 0 registered... (1372 100 0 0)
Process: 0 I/O blocked... (1372 100 100 100)
Process: 1 registered... (689 500 0 0)
Process: 1 I/O blocked... (689 500 500 500)
Process: 0 registered... (1372 100 100 100)
Process: 0 I/O blocked... (1372 100 200 200)
Process: 1 registered... (689 500 500 500)
Process: 1 completed... (689 500 689 689)
Process: 0 registered... (1372 100 200 200)
Process: 0 I/O blocked... (1372 100 300 300)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 0 0)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 30 30)
Process: 0 registered... (1372 100 300 300)
Process: 0 I/O blocked... (1372 100 400 400)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 30 30)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 60 60)
Process: 0 registered... (1372 100 400 400)
Process: 0 I/O blocked... (1372 100 500 500)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 60 60)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 90 90)
Process: 0 registered... (1372 100 500 500)
Process: 0 I/O blocked... (1372 100 600 600)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 90 90)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 120 120)
Process: 0 registered... (1372 100 600 600)
Process: 0 I/O blocked... (1372 100 700 700)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 120 120)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 150 150)
Process: 0 registered... (1372 100 700 700)
Process: 0 I/O blocked... (1372 100 800 800)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 150 150)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 180 180)
Process: 0 registered... (1372 100 800 800)
Process: 0 I/O blocked... (1372 100 900 900)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 180 180)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 210 210)
Process: 0 registered... (1372 100 900 900)
Process: 0 I/O blocked... (1372 100 1000 1000)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 210 210)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 240 240)
Process: 0 registered... (1372 100 1000 1000)
Process: 0 I/O blocked... (1372 100 1100 1100)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 240 240)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 270 270)
Process: 0 registered... (1372 100 1100 1100)
Process: 0 I/O blocked... (1372 100 1200 1200)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 270 270)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 300 300)
Process: 0 registered... (1372 100 1200 1200)
Process: 0 I/O blocked... (1372 100 1300 1300)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 300 300)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 330 330)
Process: 0 registered... (1372 100 1300 1300)
Process: 0 completed... (1372 100 1372 1372)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 330 330)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 360 360)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 360 360)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 390 390)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 390 390)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 420 420)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 420 420)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 450 450)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 450 450)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 480 480)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 480 480)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 510 510)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 510 510)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 540 540)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 540 540)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 570 570)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 570 570)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 600 600)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 600 600)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 630 630)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 630 630)
Process: 2 I/O blocked... (689 30 660 660)
Process: 2 registered... (689 30 660 660)
Process: 2 completed... (689 30 689 689)

Suggested Exercises

  1. Create a configuration file in which all processes run an average of 2000 milliseconds with a standard deviation of zero, and which are blocked for input or output every 500 milliseconds. Run the simulation for 10000 milliseconds with 2 processes. Examine the two output files. Try again for 5 processes. Try again for 10 processes. Explain what's happening.

  2. Implement a round-robin scheduling algorithm. (Hint: see the Run() method in SchedulingAlgorithm.java).

To Do

  1. Consider changing the configuration parameter "meandev" to "run_time_average". The word "dev" doesn't belong here. It would be nice if this were the average amount of time a process runs before blocking for input or output instead of the total runtime.

  2. Consider changing the configuration parameter "standdev" to "run_time_stddev". It would be nice if this were the number of standard deviations from the average time a process runs before blocking for input or output instead of the total runtime.

  3. Consider renaming the "Run()" method in SchedulingAlgorithm to "run()". By convention in java, method names begin with a lowercase letter. Also, add some internal documentation to SchedulingAlgorithm to facilitate understanding by students and instructors, and add external documentation regarding the implementation of new scheduling algorithms to this user guide.

  4. Consider adding a configuration parameter for "block_time_average" which would be the average amount of time in milliseconds that a process remains blocked for input or output before resuming execution. This would help eliminate the need for the "process" directive.

  5. Consider adding a configuration parameter for "block_time_stddev" which would be the number of standard deviations from the average time a process remains blocked for input out output before resuming execution. This would help eliminate the need for the "process" directive.

  6. Consider adding a configuration parameter for "quantum" which specifies the number of milliseconds that a process is allowed to execute before being re-considered by the scheduling algorithm.

  7. Consider modifying the format of the Summary-Processes log file. The total cpu time for the process is repeated in the last column and should be eliminated. It would be nice if the total elapsed milliseconds (system clock) were present at the beginning of the line so that we can see when things happened exactly during the simulation. If we switch to the meanings of the various parameters as suggested above, we may want to rethink the overall format of the lines as well.

  8. Consider adding a configuration parameter for "summary_file" so that the name for the Summary-Results file can be specified in the configuration file.

  9. Consider adding a configuration parameter for "log_file" so that the name for the Summary-Processes file can be specified in the configuration file.

  10. Consider adding a graphical user interface that allowed the user to view the simulation as it proceeded. This might show a summary of the number of blocked processes and executable processes, the percentage of idle time, and even the current status of each process. This might be enabled by a configuration parameter "show_graphics true". A "step" button might allow the simulation to proceed 1000 milliseconds at a time, or a "run" button might allow it to update every 1000 milliseconds until the simulation completes. A "reset" button might restart the simulation to its original values, and there might be menu options to allow the user to override the parameter values given in the configuration file.

Copyright

Copyright 2001, Prentice-Hall, Inc.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program (see COPYING.TXT); if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA

Please send suggestions, corrections, and comments to Ray Ontko (rayo@ontko.com).

Last updated: May 23, 2001