LERC: Coordinated cache management for data-parallel systems

Yinghao Yu, Wei Wang, Jun Zhang, Khaled B. Letaief

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Memory caches are being aggressively used in today's data-parallel frameworks such as Spark, Tez and Storm. By caching input and intermediate data in memory, compute tasks can witness speedup by orders of magnitude. To maximize the chance of in-memory data access, existing cache algorithms, be it recency- or frequency-based, settle on cache hit ratio as the optimization objective. However, unlike the conventional belief, we show in this paper that simply pursuing a higher cache hit ratio of individual data blocks does not necessarily translate into faster task completion in data-parallel environments. A data-parallel task typically depends on multiple input data blocks. Unless all of these blocks are cached in memory, no speedup will result. To capture this all-or-nothing property, we propose a more relevant metric, called effective cache hit ratio. Specifically, a cache hit of a data block is said to be effective if it can speed up a compute task. In order to optimize the effective cache hit ratio, we propose the Least Effective Reference Count (LERC) policy that persists the dependent blocks of a compute task as a whole in memory. We have implemented the LERC policy as a memory manager in Spark and evaluated its performance through Amazon EC2 deployment. Evaluation results demonstrate that LERC helps speed up data-parallel jobs by up to 37% compared with the widely employed least-recently-used (LRU) policy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2017 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781509050192
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2017 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 4 Dec 20178 Dec 2017

Publication series

Name2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2017 - Proceedings


Conference2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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