A study of adaptive load balancing algorithms for distributed systems

  • Ian D. Johnson

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    With the advent of distributed computer systems with a largely transparent user interface, new questions have arisen regarding the management of such an environment by an operating system. One fertile area of research is that of load balancing, which attempts to improve system performance by redistributing the workload submitted to the system by the users. Early work in this field concentrated on static placement of computational objects to improve performance, given prior knowledge of process behaviour. More recently this has evolved into studying dynamic load balancing with process migration, thus allowing the system to adapt to varying loads. In this thesis, we describe a simulated system which facilitates experimentation with various load balancing algorithms. The system runs under UNIX and provides functions for user processes to communicate through software ports; processes reside on simulated homogeneous processors, connected by a user-specified topology, and a mechanism is included to allow migration of a process from one processor to another. We present the results of a study of adaptive load balancing algorithms, conducted using the aforementioned simulated system, under varying conditions; these results show the relative merits of different approaches to the load balancing problem, and we analyse the trade-offs between them. Following from this study, we present further novel modifications to suggested algorithms, and show their effects on system performance.
    Date of Award1988
    Original languageEnglish


    • Adaptive load balancing
    • algorithms
    • distributed systems

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