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CSE 121
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Project 3: File System Evaluation

Due: Thursday, March 10th 11:59pm

Overview

Throughout the quarter, we have read a number of file system papers designed to improve the FFS file system. During class discussions, we've paid particular attention to the evaluation section, dicussing what the authors needed to prove, what the experiments demonstrated, and how well the authors succeed. In the Journaling/Soft Updates paper in particulra, we saw how the authors compared the two systems to each other as well against the existing FFS system. Now that you have also designed and implemented your own simplified file system, it is time to evaluate it. For this project you are required to write a short paper (4-6 pages) describing and evaluating your file system from project 2. To aid you in your evaluation, you will be given code for two existing file systems - one implemented with FAT, and one implemented with iNodes.

Structure and Content

The structure and format of your paper should be similar to the design, implementation, and evaluation sections of the papers we have read so far in the class. You may dispense with the related work section, and need spend only minimal time on the introduction and conclusion, as we know what the paper is about. At this point in the term, you should have a good idea of how a technical paper is structured and the type of content we are looking for. The paper will have two major purposes: (1) Explain the implementation of your file system and (2) evaluate the performance of your file system.

You are expected to document the design of your file system, and fully explain and evaluate any design trade-off decisions or optimizations you made. You should compare your performance results to the baseline projects and be sure your evaluation explains how these decisions effected the outcome of your project.

In order to publish performance results, you will need tests and a testing environment. You are expected to create this testing environment and write your own performance measurement tests, as well as describe this in your paper. When writing tests, it would be benficial to design tests that support claims you make regarding your file system. For example, if you claim your file system is better than a FAT filesystem at writing and reading large files, be sure to have a test directed at exploiting this behavior. Also, when arguing for or against the general value of your file system, you might consider also comparing your file system under a "normal" load with the others.

Also, be sure to include proper references to another papers you reference, and include proper documentation if your implementation was motivated by any existing motivations.

We understand that some of you may not have completed project 2, and, hence, do not have an operational file system to test. You should still document its implementation, and include performance results in so far as you are able. For the aspects of performance that you are unable to document, you should still conduct tests comparing the two file systems we provide for you, and predict how your file system would fair in comparison.

Form

You may produce your report using any word processing, drawing, and graphing programs you like. We suggest, however, you consider using either Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, or LaTeX, Gnuplot, and your favorite diagram tool. We likely will be unable to help you with any other drawing or plotting tools. Your document can be one or two columns, with one inch margins and 10 or 11 point font, single-spaced.

Grading

The grading of your project will be based on the quality and persuasiveness of your paper---NOT the absolute performance of your filesystem, although demonstrating reasonable performance is of course the goal. The following questions will be kept in mind when evaluating your paper: How well was the design of the file system described? Were all the design decisions justified in the paper? Do the performance results correctly support claims made by the paper? How accurately and completely do the performance tests capture the performance of the file system?

Turn In

You will turn in your projects using the turnin command. Before turning in your project, convert it to a .pdf file and turn it in using the turnin command from the previous two projects.

Example:
% turnin -c cs121w -p project3 project3.pdf

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