
Approximating Response Time Distributions
Kimmo E. E. Raatikaineny
University of Helsinki, Dept. of Computer Science
Teollisuuskatu 23{25, SF00510 Helsinki, Finland
Abstract: The response time is the most visible performance index to users of computer systems. Endusers see individual response times, not the average. Therefore the distribution of response times is important in performance evaluation and capacity planning studies. However, the analytic results cannot be obtained in practical cases. A new method is proposed to approximate the responsetime distribution. Unlike the previous methods the proposed one takes into account the servicetime distributions and routing behaviour. The reported results indicate that the method provides reasonable approximations in many cases.
1 Introduction
Queueing network modelling is a popular tool in the performance evaluation of computer systems. It has been successfully used in various applications of modelling computer systems. In most applications only the mean values of performance indices, such as mean device queuelengths and the mean system responsetime, have been considered. The increasing usage of computer systems as production tools has raised the system responsetime as the most important single performance indicator. People using the computer system see the response time as the only index of performance. The enduser experiences an individual response time, not the average. Therefore, the distribution of the system responsetime, usually summarized by a set of quantiles or fractions, should receive greater interest.
Despite recent advances in analytic queueing network analysis, only for simple cases does an analytic technique give the distribution of the system responsetime.
y This work was supported by Emil Aaltonen Foundation
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The most general cases are a cyclic queue and a network having a tree topology of exponential servers. The key assumption is the socalled overtakenfree condition [KePo83]. It means that any customer who arrives later than the tagged customer always stays behind him. The overtakenfree condition guarantees that the residence times at different nodes are independent. The residencetime distribution at a single node is available if the node is either a FCFS cserver or an IS server [McKe87].
There are two very simple queueing network models where the overtakenfree condition is not necessary. The first of them is a twonode network consisting of an IS center and a PS center. A detailed analysis is given in [Mitr81]. The second model is a threenode network of FCFS exponential servers, where there are two possible paths: 1 ! 2 ! 3 and 1 ! 3. This network is analyzed in [FaIM83].
Some approximate methods have also been proposed in [LaSe79], [SaLa81], and [ReSe88], for example. These methods can be used in slightly more complicated models. All the three methods are based on the same basic idea. The subnetwork the responsetime distribution of which is analyzed is replaced by a loaddependent exponential server.
In this paper we introduce an alternative approach to approximate the responsetime distribution in multiclass queueing network models having productform solution. The method is based on the Laplace transform of an approximate responsetime distribution. The response time is approximated as a random sum of residence times. The residencetime distribution of an IS node is the same as its servicetime distribution. The residencetime distribution of a PS or FCFSnode is approximated through analyzing the node in isolation. The distribution of terms in the random sum is represented as the joint probability generating function.
The method includes three phases:
1. The Laplace transforms of the residencetime distribution for the PS and FCFSnodes are con
190 Performance Evaluation Review Vol. 17 #1 May 1989