Fundamental laws of computer system performance

by J. P. Buzen
Joint International Conference on Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems ()


A number of laws are derived which establish relationships between throughput, response time, device utilization, space-time products and various other factors related to computer system performance. These laws are obtained by using the operational method of computer system analysis. The operational method, which differs significantly from the conventional stochastic modeling approach, is based on a set of concepts that correspond naturally and directly to observed properties of real computer systems. Except for measurement errors, the operational laws presented in this paper apply with complete precision to all collections of observational data, and they are similar to fundamental laws found in other areas of engineering and applied science.

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