Analytical Performance Modeling for Computer Systems ¶
This book is an introduction to analytical performance modeling for computer systems, i.e. writing equations to describe their performance behavior. It is accessible to readers who have taken college-level courses in calculus and probability, networking and operating systems. This is not a training manual for becoming an expert performance analyst. Rather, the objective is to help the reader construct simple models for analyzing and understanding the systems that they are interested in. Describing a complicated system abstractly with mathematical equations requires a careful choice of assumptions and approximations. They make the model tractable, but they must not remove essential characteristics of the system, nor introduce spurious properties. To help the reader understand the choices and their implications, this book discusses the analytical models in twenty research papers. These papers cover a broad range of topics: processors and disks, databases and multimedia, worms and wireless, etc. An appendix provides some questions for readers to exercise their understanding of the models in these papers.