5.4.4. Page Replacement Algoritms

  • When there is a page fault, the referenced page must be loaded.
  • If there is no available frame in memory, then one page is selected for replacement
  • If the selected page has been modified, it must be copied back to disk (swapped out)
  • A page replacement algorithm is said to satisfy the inclusion property or is called a stack algorithm if the set of pages in a k-frame memory is always a subset of the pages in a (k + 1) frame memory. Static Replacement Algorithms

The static paging algorithms implement the replacement policy when the frame allocation to a process is fixed. First-In-First-Out (FIFO) Replacement

On a page fault, the frame that has been in memory the longest is replaced.


FIFO is not a stack algorithm. In certain cases, the number of page faults can actually increase when more frames are allocated to the process. In the example below, there are 9 page faults for 3 frames and 10 page faults for 4 frames.

../../_images/stack_fail.png Optimal Replacement

The Belady’s optimal algorithm cheats. It looks forward in time to see which frame to replace on a page fault. Thus it is not a real replacement algorithm. It gives us a frame of reference for a given static frame access sequence.

../../_images/optimal.png Least Recently Used (LRU) Replacement

On a page fault, the frame that was least recently used in replaced.

../../_images/lru.png LRU Approximation

Pages with a current copy on disk are first choice for pages to be removed when more memory is needed. To facilitate Page Replacement Algoritms, a table of valid or invalid bits (also called dirty bits) is maintained.

  • With each page table entry a valid-invalid bit is associated:

    • 1 (in-memory)
    • 0 (not-in-memory)
  • Initially valid-invalid but is set to 0 on all entries.

  • In idle times, dirty frame are copied to disk.

  • Additional Reference Bit: whether the frame was recently referenced.

    The reference bits are refreshed on a periodic basis