Resource management

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Resource Management[1]

In computer programming, resource management refers to techniques for managing resources (components with limited availability). It includes both preventing resource leaks (releasing a resource when a process has finished using it) and dealing with resource contention (when multiple processes wish to access a limited resource). Resource leaks are an issue in sequential computing, while resource contention is an issue in concurrent computing. On many systems the operating system reclaims resources after the process makes the exit system call.[2]

Big ideas in resources management[edit]

System resources[edit]

Role of the operating system[edit]

Deepen your understanding[edit]

The topics below are not linked directly to IB standards. If you want to improve and deepen your understanding of resource management you should understand the topics presented below.


  • Identify the resources that need to be managed within a computer system.
  • Evaluate the resources available in a variety of computer systems.
  • Identify the limitations of a range of resources in a specified computer system.
  • Describe the possible problems resulting from the limitations in the resources in a computer system.
  • Explain the role of the operating system in terms of managing memory, peripherals and hardware interfaces.
  • Outline OS resource management techniques: scheduling, policies, multitasking, virtual memory, paging, interrupt, polling.
  • Discuss the advantages of producing a dedicated operating system for a device.
  • Outline how an operating system hides the complexity of the hardware from users and applications.


Provide an answer from a number of possibilities. Recognize and state briefly a distinguishing fact or feature.

Assess the implications and limitations; make judgments about the ideas, works, solutions or methods in relation to selected criteria.

Give a detailed account or picture of a situation, event, pattern or process.

Give a detailed account including reasons or causes.

Give a brief account.

Offer a considered and balanced review that includes a range of arguments, factors or hypotheses. Opinions or conclusions should be presented clearly and supported by appropriate evidence.