Out-of-core algorithm

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Out-of-core or external memory algorithms are algorithms that are designed to process data that is too large to fit into a computer's main memory at one time. Such algorithms must be optimized to efficiently fetch and access data stored in slow bulk memory such as hard drives or tape drives.[1]

A typical example is geographic information systems, especially digital elevation models, where the full data set easily exceeds several gigabytes or even terabytes of data.

This notion naturally extends to a network connecting a data server to a treatment or visualization workstation. Popular mass-of-data based web applications such as google-Map or google-Earth enter this topic.

It also extends to GPU computing - utilizing powerful graphics cards with little memory (compared to CPU memory) and slow CPU-GPU memory transfer (compared to computation bandwidth).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vitter, JS (2001). "External Memory Algorithms and Data Structures: Dealing with MASSIVE DATA.". ACM Computing Surveys 33 (2): 209–271. doi:10.1145/384192.384193. 

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