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SubjectRe: [ckrm-tech] [PATCH 0/4] sched: Add CPU rate caps
Balbir Singh wrote:
> Peter Williams wrote:
>> Andrew Morton wrote:
>>> On Sun, 18 Jun 2006 18:26:38 +1000
>>> Peter Williams <> wrote:
>>> People are going to want to extend this to capping a *group* of tasks,
>>> with
>>> some yet-to-be-determined means of tying those tasks together. How well
>>> suited is this code to that extension?
>> Quite good. It can be used from outside the scheduler to impose caps on
>> arbitrary groups of tasks. Were the PAGG interface available I could
>> knock up a module to demonstrate this. When/if the "task watchers"
>> patch is included I will try and implement a higher level mechanism
>> using that. The general technique is to get an estimate of the
>> "effective number" of tasks in the group (similar to load) and give each
>> task in the group a cap which is the group's cap divided by the
>> effective number of tasks (or the group cap whichever is smaller -- i.e.
>> the effective number of tasks could be less than one).
>> )
> There is one possible issue with this approach. Lets assume that we desire
> a cap of 10 for a set of two tasks. As discussed earlier, each task
> would get a limit of 5% if they are equally busy.
> Lets call the group as G1 and the tasks as T1 and T2.
> If we have another group called G2 with tasks T3, T4 and T5 and a soft
> cap of 90. Then each of T3, T4 and T5 would get a soft cap of
> 30% (assuming that they are equally busy). Now if T5 stops using its limit
> for a while let say its cpu utilization is 10% - how do we divide the saved
> 20% between T1, T2, T3 and T4.
> In a group scenario, the balance 20% should be shared between T3 and T4.

You're mixing up the method described above with the other one we
discussed where the group's cap is divided among its tasks in proportion
to their demand. With the model I describe above reduced demand by any
tasks in a group would be reflected in a reduced value for the
"effective number of tasks" in the group with a consequent increase in
the cap applied to all group members.

I think both methods will work and the main difference would be in their

> Also mathematically
> A group is a superset of task
> It is hard to implement things for a task and make it work for groups,

I disagree. If the low level control is there at the task level or (if
we were managing memory) the address space level then it is relatively
simple (even if boring) to do arbitrary resource control for groups from
the outside.

One of the key advantages of doing it from the outside is that any
locking that is required at the group level is unlikely to get tangled
up with the existing locking mechanisms such as the run queue lock.
This is not true if group management is done on the inside e.g. in the
scheduling code.

> but if we had something for groups, we could easily adapt it to tasks
> by making each group equal to a task

You seem to have a flair for adding unnecessary overhead for those who
won't use this functionality. :-)

>> Doing it inside the scheduler is also doable but would have some locking
>> issues. The run queue lock could no longer be used to protect the data
>> as there's no guarantee that all the tasks in the group are associated
>> with the same queue.

I should have elaborated here that (conceptually) modifying this code to
apply caps to groups of tasks instead of individual tasks is simple. It
mainly involves moving most the data (statistics plus cap values) to a
group structure and then modifying the code to update statistics for the
group instead of the task and then make the decisions about whether a
task should have a cap enforced (i.e. moved to one of the soft cap
priorities or sin binned) based on the group statistics.

However, maintaining and accessing the group statistics will require
additional locking as the run queue lock will no longer be able to
protect the data as not all tasks in the group will be associated with
the same CPU. Care will be needed to ensure that this new locking
doesn't lead to dead locks with the run queue locks.

In addition to the extra overhead caused by these locking requirements,
the code for gathering the statistics will need to be more complex also
adding to the overhead. There is also the issue of increased
serialization (there is already some due to load balancing) of task
scheduling to be considered although, to be fair, this increased
serialization will be within groups.

>>> If the task can exceed its cap without impacting any other tasks (ie:
>>> there
>>> is spare idle capacity), what happens?
>> That's the difference between soft and hard caps. If it's a soft cap
>> then the task is allowed to exceed it if there's spare capacity. If
>> it's a hard cap it's not.
> By how much is the task allowed to exceed if there is spare capacity?

Up to the amount of spare capacity.

> Will the spare capacity allocation require resetting of caps to implement
> the new caps?

No. It's part of the soft cap mechanism.

>>> I trust that spare capacity gets
>>> used? (Is this termed "work conserving"?)
>> Soft caps, yes. Hard caps, no.

In summary, these patches are a good basis for doing capping for groups
of tasks by at least two means:

1. modification to do group capping in the scheduler, or
2. implementing group capping from outside the scheduler.

I intend spending more effort looking at the second of these options
than looking at the first.

Dr Peter Williams, Chief Scientist <>
Aurema Pty Limited
Level 2, 130 Elizabeth St, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
Tel:+61 2 9698 2322 Fax:+61 2 9699 9174
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