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During the introductory computer organization class I recently took, the professor described the limitations of seek time in reading or writing to the disk. He suggested a solution whereby the operating system would prioritize the process whose sectors were then closest to the head. In that case, it could move smoothly back and forth rather than jerking to an arbitrary track where the process' data lies. (I guess this assumes a full drive or an even distribution.)

Warford's Computer Systems doesn't mention anything similar and the professor is on vacation. I am curious whether this is just a thought experiment (like bogo sort) or has someone attempted this strategy? Any resource welcome; thanks

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    $\begingroup$ sounds like elevator sorting to me $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Dec 23 '10 at 6:10
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    $\begingroup$ This site is for research-level questions in theoretical computer science, that are likely to have short well-defined answers. "Research-level" means, roughly, questions that might be discussed between two professors, or between graduate students working on Ph.D.'s, but not usually between a professor and the typical undergraduate student. It does not include questions at the level of difficulty of undergraduate homework. This question does not seem to be research-level and is a operation systems question, I am voting to close as off-topic. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Dec 23 '10 at 6:23
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That would be pragmatically challenging under most OSes due to the abstraction layers and difference in subsystems. Vista offers I/O priority, which is as close as I've ever seen to anything like that.. And it isn't very close. All theory here... also won't matter soon as we go to SSDs that have no seek time.

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