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SubjectRe: [ltt-dev] [RFC git tree] Userspace RCU (urcu) for Linux (repost)
On Mon, Feb 09, 2009 at 12:17:37AM -0500, Mathieu Desnoyers wrote:
> * Mathieu Desnoyers (compudj@krystal.dyndns.org) wrote:
> > * Paul E. McKenney (paulmck@linux.vnet.ibm.com) wrote:
> > > On Sun, Feb 08, 2009 at 05:44:19PM -0500, Mathieu Desnoyers wrote:
> > > > * Paul E. McKenney (paulmck@linux.vnet.ibm.com) wrote:
> > > > > On Fri, Feb 06, 2009 at 05:06:40AM -0800, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> > > > > > On Thu, Feb 05, 2009 at 11:58:41PM -0500, Mathieu Desnoyers wrote:
> > > > > > > (sorry for repost, I got the ltt-dev email wrong in the previous one)
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Hi Paul,
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > I figured out I needed some userspace RCU for the userspace tracing part
> > > > > > > of LTTng (for quick read access to the control variables) to trace
> > > > > > > userspace pthread applications. So I've done a quick-and-dirty userspace
> > > > > > > RCU implementation.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > It works so far, but I have not gone through any formal verification
> > > > > > > phase. It seems to work on paper, and the tests are also OK (so far),
> > > > > > > but I offer no guarantee for this 300-lines-ish 1-day hack. :-) If you
> > > > > > > want to comment on it, it would be welcome. It's a userland-only
> > > > > > > library. It's also currently x86-only, but only a few basic definitions
> > > > > > > must be adapted in urcu.h to port it.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Here is the link to my git tree :
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > git://lttng.org/userspace-rcu.git
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > http://lttng.org/cgi-bin/gitweb.cgi?p=userspace-rcu.git;a=summary
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Very cool!!! I will take a look!
> > > > > >
> > > > > > I will also point you at a few that I have put together:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/paulmck/perfbook.git
> > > > > >
> > > > > > (In the CodeSamples/defer directory.)
> > > > >
> > > > > Interesting approach, using the signal to force memory-barrier execution!
> > > > >
> > > > > o One possible optimization would be to avoid sending a signal to
> > > > > a blocked thread, as the context switch leading to blocking
> > > > > will have implied a memory barrier -- otherwise it would not
> > > > > be safe to resume the thread on some other CPU. That said,
> > > > > not sure whether checking to see whether a thread is blocked is
> > > > > any faster than sending it a signal and forcing it to wake up.
> > > >
> > > > I'm not sure it will be any faster, and it could be racy too. How would
> > > > you envision querying the execution state of another thread ?
> > >
> > > For my 64-bit implementation (or the old slow 32-bit version), the trick
> > > would be to observe that the thread didn't do an RCU read-side critical
> > > section during the past grace period. This observation would be by
> > > comparing counters.
> > >
> > > For the new 32-bit implementation, the only way I know of is to grovel
> > > through /proc, which would probably be slower than just sending the
> > > signal.
> > >
> >
> > Yes, I guess the signal is not so bad.
> >
> > > > > Of course, this approach does require that the enclosing
> > > > > application be willing to give up a signal. I suspect that most
> > > > > applications would be OK with this, though some might not.
> > > >
> > > > If we want to make this transparent to the application, we'll have to
> > > > investigate further in sigaction() and signal() library override I
> > > > guess.
> > >
> > > Certainly seems like it is worth a try!
> > >
> > > > > Of course, I cannot resist pointing to an old LKML thread:
> > > > >
> > > > > http://lkml.org/lkml/2001/10/8/189
> > > > >
> > > > > But I think that the time is now right. ;-)
> > > > >
> > > > > o I don't understand the purpose of rcu_write_lock() and
> > > > > rcu_write_unlock(). I am concerned that it will lead people
> > > > > to decide that a single global lock must protect RCU updates,
> > > > > which is of course absolutely not the case. I strongly
> > > > > suggest making these internal to the urcu.c file. Yes,
> > > > > uses of urcu_publish_content() would then hit two locks (the
> > > > > internal-to-urcu.c one and whatever they are using to protect
> > > > > their data structure), but let's face it, if you are sending a
> > > > > signal to each and every thread, the additional overhead of the
> > > > > extra lock is the least of your worries.
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > Ok, just changed it.
> > >
> > > Thank you!!!
> > >
> > > > > If you really want to heavily optimize this, I would suggest
> > > > > setting up a state machine that permits multiple concurrent
> > > > > calls to urcu_publish_content() to share the same set of signal
> > > > > invocations. That way, if the caller has partitioned the
> > > > > data structure, global locking might be avoided completely
> > > > > (or at least greatly restricted in scope).
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > That brings an interesting question about urcu_publish_content :
> > > >
> > > > void *urcu_publish_content(void **ptr, void *new)
> > > > {
> > > > void *oldptr;
> > > >
> > > > internal_urcu_lock();
> > > > oldptr = *ptr;
> > > > *ptr = new;
> > > >
> > > > switch_qparity();
> > > > switch_qparity();
> > > > internal_urcu_unlock();
> > > >
> > > > return oldptr;
> > > > }
> > > >
> > > > Given that we take a global lock around the pointer assignment, we can
> > > > safely assume, from the caller's perspective, that the update will
> > > > happen as an "xchg" operation. So if the caller does not have to copy
> > > > the old data, it can simply publish the new data without taking any
> > > > lock itself.
> > > >
> > > > So the question that arises if we want to remove global locking is :
> > > > should we change this
> > > >
> > > > oldptr = *ptr;
> > > > *ptr = new;
> > > >
> > > > for an atomic xchg ?
> > >
> > > Makes sense to me!
> > >
> > > > > Of course, if updates are rare, the optimization would not
> > > > > help, but in that case, acquiring two locks would be even less
> > > > > of a problem.
> > > >
> > > > I plan updates to be quite rare, but it's always good to foresee how
> > > > that kind of infrastructure could be misused. :-)
> > >
> > > ;-) ;-) ;-)
> > >
> > > > > o Is urcu_qparity relying on initialization to zero? Or on the
> > > > > fact that, for all x, 1-x!=x mod 2^32? Ah, given that this is
> > > > > used to index urcu_active_readers[], you must be relying on
> > > > > initialization to zero.
> > > >
> > > > Yes, starts at 0.
> > >
> > > Whew! ;-)
> > >
> > > > > o In rcu_read_lock(), why is a non-atomic increment of the
> > > > > urcu_active_readers[urcu_parity] element safe? Are you
> > > > > relying on the compiler generating an x86 add-to-memory
> > > > > instruction?
> > > > >
> > > > > Ditto for rcu_read_unlock().
> > > > >
> > > > > Ah, never mind!!! I now see the __thread specification,
> > > > > and the keeping of references to it in the reader_data list.
> > > >
> > > > Exactly :)
> > >
> > > Getting old and blind, what can I say?
> > >
> > > > > o Combining the equivalent of rcu_assign_pointer() and
> > > > > synchronize_rcu() into urcu_publish_content() is an interesting
> > > > > approach. Not yet sure whether or not it is a good idea. I
> > > > > guess trying it out on several applications would be the way
> > > > > to find out. ;-)
> > > > >
> > > > > That said, I suspect that it would be very convenient in a
> > > > > number of situations.
> > > >
> > > > I thought so. It seemed to be a natural way to express it to me. Usage
> > > > will tell.
> > >
> > > ;-)
> > >
> > > > > o It would be good to avoid having to pass the return value
> > > > > of rcu_read_lock() into rcu_read_unlock(). It should be
> > > > > possible to avoid this via counter value tricks, though this
> > > > > would add a bit more code in rcu_read_lock() on 32-bit machines.
> > > > > (64-bit machines don't have to worry about counter overflow.)
> > > > >
> > > > > See the recently updated version of CodeSamples/defer/rcu_nest.[ch]
> > > > > in the aforementioned git archive for a way to do this.
> > > > > (And perhaps I should apply this change to SRCU...)
> > > >
> > > > See my other mail about this.
> > >
> > > And likewise!
> > >
> > > > > o Your test looks a bit strange, not sure why you test all the
> > > > > different variables. It would be nice to take a test duration
> > > > > as an argument and run the test for that time.
> > > >
> > > > I made a smaller version which only reads a single variable. I agree
> > > > that the initial test was a bit strange on that aspect.
> > > >
> > > > I'll do a version which takes a duration as parameter.
> > >
> > > I strongly recommend taking a look at my CodeSamples/defer/rcutorture.h
> > > file in my git archive:
> > >
> > > git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/paulmck/perfbook.git
> > >
> > > This torture test detects the missing second flip 15 times during a
> > > 10-second test on a two-processor machine.
> > >
> > > The first part of the rcutorture.h file is performance tests -- search
> > > for the string "Stress test" to find the torture test.
> > >
> >
> > I will.
> >
> > > > > I killed the test after better part of an hour on my laptop,
> > > > > will retry on a larger machine (after noting the 18 threads
> > > > > created!). (And yes, I first tried Power, which objected
> > > > > strenously to the "mfence" and "lock; incl" instructions,
> > > > > so getting an x86 machine to try on.)
> > > >
> > > > That should be easy enough to fix. A bit of primitive cut'n'paste would
> > > > do.
> > >
> > > Yep. Actually, I was considering porting your code into my environment,
> > > which already has the Power primitives. Any objections? (This would
> > > have the side effect of making a version available via perfbook.git.
> > > I would of course add comments referencing your git archive as the
> > > official version.)
> >
> > Yes, no objection. I am currently looking at your last patch, cleaning
> > it up and making the 32 and 64-bit code the same. Also trying to save a
> > few instructions. I'll keep you posted when it's ready and committed.
>
> The new version is pushed into the repository. I changed you patch a
> bit. Flaming is welcome. :)

Looks reasonable at first glance. Just out of curiosity, why are
urcu_gp_ctr and urcu_active_readers int rather than char? I guess that
one reason would be that many architectures work better with int than
with char...

So, how many cycles did this save? ;-)

Thanx, Paul

> Mathieu
>
> > Mathieu
> >
> > > > > Again, looks interesting! Looks plausible, although I have not 100%
> > > > > convinced myself that it is perfectly bug-free. But I do maintain
> > > > > a healthy skepticism of purported RCU algorithms, especially ones that
> > > > > I have written. ;-)
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > That's always good. I also tend to always be very skeptical about what I
> > > > write and review.
> > > >
> > > > Thanks for the thorough review.
> > >
> > > No problem -- it has been quite fun! ;-)
> > >
> > > Thanx, Paul
> > >
> >
> > --
> > Mathieu Desnoyers
> > OpenPGP key fingerprint: 8CD5 52C3 8E3C 4140 715F BA06 3F25 A8FE 3BAE 9A68
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > ltt-dev mailing list
> > ltt-dev@lists.casi.polymtl.ca
> > http://lists.casi.polymtl.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/ltt-dev
> >
>
> --
> Mathieu Desnoyers
> OpenPGP key fingerprint: 8CD5 52C3 8E3C 4140 715F BA06 3F25 A8FE 3BAE 9A68


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