Cache-Oblivious Data Structures

Authored by: Lars Arge , Gerth Stølting Brodal , Rolf Fagerberg

Handbook of Data Structures and Applications

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781498701853
eBook ISBN: 9781315119335
Adobe ISBN:


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The memory system of most modern computers consists of a hierarchy of memory levels, with each level acting as a cache for the next; for a typical desktop computer the hierarchy consists of registers, level 1 cache, level 2 cache, level 3 cache, main memory, and disk. One of the essential characteristics of the hierarchy is that the memory levels get larger and slower the further they get from the processor, with the access time increasing most dramatically between main memory and disk. Another characteristic is that data is moved between levels in large blocks. As a consequence of this, the memory access pattern of an algorithm has a major influence on its practical running time. Unfortunately, the RAM model (Figure 35.1) traditionally used to design and analyze algorithms is not capable of capturing this, since it assumes that all memory accesses take equal time.

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