10.1 Some Terminology

Caching hierarchy is the name generally given to a collection of caches (or proxies) that forward requests to one another. We say that the members of the hierarchy are neighbors or peers.

Neighbor caches have either a parent or sibling relationship. Topologically, parent caches are one level up in the hierarchy, while siblings are on the same level. The real difference is that parents can forward cache misses for their children. Siblings, on the other hand, aren't allowed to forward cache misses. This means that, before sending a request to a sibling, the originator should know that it will be a cache hit. Intercache protocols like ICP, HTCP, and Cache Digests can predict cache hits in neighbors. CARP, however, can't.

Sometimes, cache hierarchies aren't really hierarchical. Consider, for example, a group of five sibling caches. Because there are no parents or children, there is no sense of up or down. In this case, you could call it a cache mesh, or even an array, instead of a hierarchy.

    Appendix A. Config File Reference