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SubjectRe: broken cycle counts from perf record in frequency mode [Was: Re: deducing CPU clock rate over time from cycle samples]
Date
On Montag, 28. August 2017 19:28:08 CEST Andi Kleen wrote:
> Adding Peter.
>
> The original thread starts at
> https://www.spinics.net/lists/linux-perf-users/msg03486.html

Peter, Arnaldo,

do you have any input on this issue? I really wonder why noone else is
complaining about the frequency mode being unreliable or right out broken in
many situations. Since it's the default mode, I think this urgently needs to
be investigated - it makes perf unusable for a large group of users who want
to use it but don't know about `-c N` as a workaround...

> On Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 04:40:43PM +0200, Milian Wolff wrote:
> > On Monday, August 28, 2017 4:08:47 PM CEST Milian Wolff wrote:
> > > On Sunday, June 18, 2017 9:53:05 PM CEST Milian Wolff wrote:
> > > > On Sonntag, 18. Juni 2017 06:22:19 CEST Andi Kleen wrote:
> > > > > Milian Wolff <milian.wolff@kdab.com> writes:
> > > > > > But when I look at the naively calculated first derivative, to
> > > > > > visualize
> > > > > > CPU load, i.e. CPU clock rate in Hz, then things start to become
> > > > > > somewhat
> > > > > > confusing:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > ~~~~
> > > > > > perf script -F time,period | awk 'BEGIN {lastTime = -1;} { time =
> > > > > > $1 +
> > > > > > 0.0; if (lastTime != -1) {printf("%.6f\t%f\n", time, $2 / (time -
> > > > > > lastTime));} lastTime = time; }' | gnuplot -p -e "plot '-' with
> > > > > > linespoints"
> > > > > > ~~~~
> > > > >
> > > > > The perf time stamps approach the maximum precision of double (12 vs
> > > > > 15 digits). Likely the division loses too many digits, which may
> > > > > cause
> > > > > the bogus results. I've ran into similar problems before.
> > > >
> > > > I don't think so, just look at the raw values:
> > > >
> > > > $ perf script -F time,period --ns
> > > > 71789.438122347: 1
> > > > 71789.438127160: 1
> > > > 71789.438129599: 7
> > > > 71789.438131844: 94
> > > > 71789.438134282: 1391
> > > > 71789.438139871: 19106
> > > > 71789.438156426: 123336
> > > > ...
> > > >
> > > > $ qalc '123336/(71789.438156426s - 71789.438139871s) to Hz'
> > > > 123336 / ((71789.438 * second) - (71789.438 * second)) = approx.
> > > > 7.4500755E9 Hz
> > > >
> > > > > One way around is is to normalize the time stamps first that they
> > > > > start with 0, but this only works for shorter traces.
> > > > > Or use some bignum float library
> > > >
> > > > I take the time delta between two samples, so a normalization of the
> > > > individual times to 0 would not affect my calculations - the delta
> > > > stays
> > > > the same after all.
> > > >
> > > > Also, using bignum in my calculations wouldn't change anything either.
> > > > If
> > > > perf tells me that 123336 cycles have been executed in 16.555 us, then
> > > > it
> > > > will always be larger than any expected value. At 3.2GHz it should be
> > > > maximally 52976 cycles in such a short timeframe...
> > > >
> > > > > Also at the beginning of frequency the periods are very small, and
> > > > > the default us resolution will give big jumps for such a
> > > > > calculation.
> > > >
> > > > OK, but who/what measures the large cycle values then? Is this a PMU
> > > > limitation? Or is this an issue with the interaction with the kernel,
> > > > when
> > > > the algorithm tries to find a good frequency at the beginning?
> > > >
> > > > > It's better to use the script --ns option then, but that makes the
> > > > > double precision problem event worse.
> > > >
> > > > See above, using `--ns` doesn't change anything. And qalc e.g. already
> > > > uses
> > > > bignum internally.
> > > >
> > > > > In generally you get better results by avoiding frequency mode,
> > > > > but always specify a fixed period.
> > > >
> > > > This indeed removes the spikes at the beginning:
> > > >
> > > > perf record --switch-events --call-graph dwarf -P -c 500000
> > > >
> > > > The value is chosen to give a similar sample count to frequency mode.
> > >
> > > Hey all,
> > >
> > > I want to revive the above discussion as I'm still completely puzzled by
> > > the observation. The tl;dr; for those who have not followed the
> > > previous discussion:
> > >
> > > perf record in frequency mode (i.e. "record ~1000 samples per second")
> > > sometimes reports excessively large cycle counts.
> > >
> > > In the previous mails I have outlined how to visualize this issue
> > > graphically with gnuplot, by drawing the first derivative of the cycles
> > > over time which gives nicely comparable numbers to ones CPU clock speed.
> > >
> > > Sometimes, this value goe up to 10Ghz and beyond. Sometimes the values
> > > are
> > > so broken (i.e. so high), that they completely break the analysis with
> > > perf
> > > report or similar, as they completely skew the total event count and
> > > thereby drastically influence the fractional cost reported by perf. E.g.
> > > just now I ran `perf record` on another application and got this result:
> > >
> > > ~~~~~
> > > $ perf script | grep page_remove_rmap -C 10
> > >
> > > QXcbEventReader 23866 605019.879412: 128193 cycles:ppp:
> > > ffffffffbb23fbf5 __fget_light (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> > >
> > > lab_mandelbrot 23865 605019.879469: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > > ffffffffbb064504 native_write_msr
> > > (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> > >
> > > QXcbEventReader 23866 605019.879471: 1810360 cycles:ppp:
> > > ffffffffbb1cb4ec find_vma (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> > >
> > > lab_mandelbrot 23865 605019.879472: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > > ffffffffbb064504 native_write_msr
> > > (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> > >
> > > lab_mandelbrot 23865 605019.879474: 10 cycles:ppp:
> > > ffffffffbb064504 native_write_msr
> > > (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> > >
> > > lab_mandelbrot 23865 605019.879475: 216 cycles:ppp:
> > > ffffffffbb064504 native_write_msr
> > > (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> > >
> > > lab_mandelbrot 23865 605019.879486: 5106 cycles:ppp:
> > > ffffffffbb064504 native_write_msr
> > > (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> > >
> > > lab_mandelbrot 23865 605019.879489: 19381 cycles:ppp:
> > > 7f85beae64ce QWaitCondition::wait (/usr/lib/libQt5Core.so.5.9.1)
> > >
> > > lab_mandelbrot 23865 605019.879495: 251346 cycles:ppp:
> > > 7f85bf2567c1 QScreen::~QScreen (/usr/lib/libQt5Gui.so.5.9.1)
> > >
> > > lab_mandelbrot 23865 605019.880722: 3210571 cycles:ppp:
> > > 7f85bd96f850 __cxa_finalize (/usr/lib/libc-2.25.so)
> > >
> > > lab_mandelbrot 23865 605019.881592: 21110358010774 cycles:ppp:
> > > ffffffffbb1d4218 page_remove_rmap
> > > (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux) ~~~~~
> > >
> > > Note the last sample's cycle cost of 21110358010774. This is so large,
> > > that
> > > it completely dominates the total event count, which lies at
> > > 21126914067278. The runtime for this perf record was about 4s, it was on
> > > a
> > > single threaded application with 4.12.8-2-ARCH on a Intel(R) Core(TM)
> > > i7-4770 CPU @ 3.40GHz. So that hardware should at most be capable of
> > > running up to ~1.36E10 cycles over 4s. perf record, thanks to the last
> > > sample, measured ~2.11E13 cycles - clearly off the charts.
> > >
> > > I have never seen this issue outside of perf's frequency mode. But then
> > > again, that mode is the default and quite useful. Can anyone explain
> > > what
> > > I'm seeing here?
> > >
> > > Is it a bug in the kernel?
> > > Is it a bug/limitation in the PMU?
> >
> > I think this also sometimes manifests itself in lack of samples. I.e. for
> > the same workload above I now only get a couple dozen samples over a
> > timeframe of 4s in total:
> >
> > ~~~~~
> > $ time perf record .../lab_mandelbrot -b 10
> > [ perf record: Woken up 1 times to write data ]
> > [ perf record: Captured and wrote 0.041 MB perf.data (131 samples) ]
> >
> > real 0m5.042s
> > user 0m4.964s
> > sys 0m0.054s
> > ~~~~~
> >
> > Dmesg is silent here, so I don't think it's due to throttling:
> >
> > ~~~~~
> > /proc/sys/kernel/perf_cpu_time_max_percent
> > 25
> > /proc/sys/kernel/perf_event_max_contexts_per_stack
> > 8
> > /proc/sys/kernel/perf_event_max_sample_rate
> > 50400
> > /proc/sys/kernel/perf_event_max_stack
> > 127
> > /proc/sys/kernel/perf_event_mlock_kb
> > 516
> > /proc/sys/kernel/perf_event_paranoid
> > -1
> > ~~~~~
> >
> > Rather, it's again the broken cycle counts which probably confuse the
> > frequency algorithm in the kernel:
> >
> > ~~~~~
> > $ perf script
> >
> > perf 5678 611709.152451: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504
> >
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > perf 5678 611709.152455: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504
> >
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > perf 5678 611709.152456: 8 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504
> >
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > perf 5678 611709.152457: 203 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504
> >
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > perf 5678 611709.152459: 5421 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504
> >
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.152461: 144518 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb173fe0>
> > __perf_event__output_id_sample (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.152502: 1902383 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb208e00>
> > unlock_page_memcg (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.153037: 18471563529604 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f20085ecc58 _dl_map_object_from_fd (/usr/lib/ld-2.25.so)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5679 611709.163192: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5679 611709.163195: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5679 611709.163197: 7 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5679 611709.163198: 158 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5679 611709.163200: 3376 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5679 611709.163202: 79849 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f2005e50b10>
> > __ctype_init (/usr/lib/libc-2.25.so)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5679 611709.163233: 1142185 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb340a87>
> > clear_page_erms (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.164503: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.164505: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.164507: 14 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.164508: 264 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.164510: 5234 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.164513: 102113 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb10928a>
> > sys_futex (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.164540: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.164543: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.164545: 12 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.164547: 217 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.164548: 4154 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.164551: 82262 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f2006a880a2>
> > pthread_cond_wait@@GLIBC_2.3.2 (/usr/lib/libpthread-2.25.so)
> >
> > .. this pattern repeats and already looks quite bogus I think ...
> > .. eventually we hit completely broken values: ...
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.167097: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.167099: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.167100: 17 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.167102: 435 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.167103: 11560 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb031e7b>
> > nmi_handle (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.167107: 306222 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f2006a848ef>
> > pthread_mutex_lock (/usr/lib/libpthread-2.25.so)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.167277: 2558928 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb1bd9f5>
> > vmacache_update (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.168034: 2710380 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f2005e9e72a>
> > _int_free (/usr/lib/libc-2.25.so)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.168772: 2483393 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb220550>
> > get_empty_filp (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.169450: 23749385103571 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f20086019d4 strcmp (/usr/lib/ld-2.25.so)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.190936: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.190939: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.190941: 9 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.190942: 194 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.190943: 4357 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.190946: 100515 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb1086c3>
> > do_futex (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.190975: 1437218 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f2005ea0ef4>
> > _int_realloc (/usr/lib/libc-2.25.so)
> >
> > QDBusConnection 5680 611709.191013: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > QDBusConnection 5680 611709.191015: 1 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > QDBusConnection 5680 611709.191026: 13 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > QDBusConnection 5680 611709.191027: 50 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064504>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > QDBusConnection 5680 611709.191028: 1395 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb064506>
> > native_write_msr (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > QDBusConnection 5680 611709.191029: 38641 cycles:ppp:
> > ffffffffbb65bce7>
> > schedule_hrtimeout_range_clock (/lib/modules/4.12.8-2-ARCH/build/vmlinux)
> >
> > QDBusConnection 5680 611709.191041: 934282 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f1ffcde715f>
> > _dbus_first_type_in_signature (/usr/lib/libdbus-1.so.3.14.13)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.191535: 2815425 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f1ff46dc8ef>
> > qMax<double> (/ssd2/milian/projects/compiled/kf5/lib/libKF5GuiAddons.so.
> > 5.37.0)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.192280: 2620652 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f200640230d>
> > [unknown] (/usr/lib/libm-2.25.so)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.192992: 23749385195574 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f1ff644e442 QMap<KEntryKey, KEntry>::const_iterator::const_iterator
> > (/ssd2/ milian/projects/compiled/kf5/lib/libKF5ConfigCore.so.5.37.0)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.536988: 27340128 cycles:ppp:
> > 565094e15c28>
> > drawMandelbrot
> > (/ssd/milian/projects/kdab/training-material/addon/profiling/
> > build/lab_mandelbrot/src/lab_mandelbrot)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.544397: 2308960570885 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f20064029fc __hypot_finite (/usr/lib/libm-2.25.so)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.858996: 19754129 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f2006402a37>
> > __hypot_finite (/usr/lib/libm-2.25.so)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611709.864538: 2308954751998 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f2006402a77 __hypot_finite (/usr/lib/libm-2.25.so)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611710.183972: 14591525 cycles:ppp:
> > 565094e14ce0>
> > cabs@plt
> > (/ssd/milian/projects/kdab/training-material/addon/profiling/build/
> > lab_mandelbrot/src/lab_mandelbrot)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611710.188004: 2638800790961 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f20078dacc0 QColor::toRgb (/usr/lib/libQt5Gui.so.5.9.1)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611710.495016: 25617507 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f20061cdc6d>
> > __muldc3 (/usr/lib/libgcc_s.so.1)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611710.501962: 2308959251991 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f2006402a63 __hypot_finite (/usr/lib/libm-2.25.so)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611710.815734: 19739740 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f20061cdc5c>
> > __muldc3 (/usr/lib/libgcc_s.so.1)
> >
> > lab_mandelbrot 5678 611710.821164: 2308954745231 cycles:ppp:
> > 7f2006402b33 __hypot_finite (/usr/lib/libm-2.25.so)
> > ~~~~~
> >
> > So, is my PMU messed up?
>
> --
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--
Milian Wolff | milian.wolff@kdab.com | Senior Software Engineer
KDAB (Deutschland) GmbH&Co KG, a KDAB Group company
Tel: +49-30-521325470
KDAB - The Qt Experts


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