How Locality Of Reference Is Used In Cache Memory?


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Any computer system that has a strong locality of reference is likely to perform well when it comes to the cache memory, and other vital elements. Locality of reference is when specific locations of storage are accessed on a regular basis. There are a number of different forms of locality of reference including:
• Temporal locality
• Spatial locality
• Branch locality
• Equidistant locality

Temporal locality is when the cache memory is referenced once, and then again shortly afterwards. The data accessed is stored in memory, and when it is accessed again it can be done so much quicker, as a reference point is created.

Spatial locality is when a specific location of memory is accessed. The knock-on effect of this is that nearby points of memory will most likely be accessed in the near future and the size of the memory needed is predicted and this allows for faster access, in the short term, and over a longer period of time.

Branch locality occurs when there are not many options for the path in the co-ordinate space. The instruction most likely to result in this type of locality of reference is one that is structured simply and has the ability for different reference points to be situated a distance away from each other.

Equidistant locality is when a linear function is used to determine which location of the cache memory will be needed in certain situations. The equidistant locality is so called, as it is halfway between the spatial locality and the branch locality.

Locality of reference is important as it predicts behavior in computers and can avoid the computer having future problems with the memory.

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