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The paging problem is that of deciding which pages to keep in a memory of k pages in order to minimize the number of page faults. This paper introduces the marking algorithm, a simple randomized on-line algorithm for the paging problem, and gives a proof that its performance guarantee (competitive ratio) is O(log k). In contrast, no deterministic on-line algorithm can have a performance guarantee better than k.doi:10.1016/0196-6774(91)90041-v fatcat:p2xsfvlzhzhyrkhkrtnwyyezom