locality of reference


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.

locality of reference

Also known as "locality in space" and "spatial locality," it refers to the fact that most instructions in a program are in routines that are executed over and over, and that these routines are in a reasonably confined area. It also refers to data fields in close proximity to each other.

This is the principle behind memory and disk caches, in which data or instructions are placed in higher-speed memory and get read many times before the memory is overwritten by another set. See cache.
References in periodicals archive ?
One of the problems of programs concerning locality of reference is the memory access pattern.
Considering the good results of previous work, we decided to implement a system that automatically analyzes a program and applies some transformation in order to improve locality of reference.
Read caching is based on the locality of reference principle--applications are more likely to reference data that is stored in close proximity to previously referenced data than they are to reference data stored on distant areas of the disk.