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SubjectRe: Context switch times
Done. I put the ALS2001 paper on CPU pooling and load balancing 
on the lse.sourceforge.net/scheduling website. Here is a direct shortcut
http://lse.sourceforge.net/scheduling/als2001/pmqs.ps
The patches are a bit behind. Will be updated soon.

If you have some suggestions on what is a good metric to move
tasks please let me know. We can incorporate them.

-- Hubertus

* george anzinger <george@mvista.com> [20011009 19;50]:"
> Hubertus Franke wrote:
> >
> > * Mika Liljeberg <Mika.Liljeberg@welho.com> [20011007 05;57]:"
> > > Alan Cox wrote:
> > > > This isnt idle speculation - I've done some minimal playing with this but
> > > > my initial re-implementation didnt handle SMP at all and I am still not 100%
> > > > sure how to resolve SMP or how SMP will improve out of the current cunning
> > > > plan.
> > >
> > > Here's some idle speculation on SMP to top it off. :) I tend to think
> > > that the load balancing between CPUs should be a completely separate
> > > algorithim and should not necessarily be run at every schedule(). The
> > > idea is to compeletely decouple the problem of scheduling a single CPU
> > > between tasks and the problem of load balancing between the CPUs, making
> > > each problem simpler to solve.
> > >
> >
> > This is what we implemented as an extension to our MQ scheduler.
> > I will present on the results for this during ALS technical session:
> > "CPU Pooling and Load Balancing in Linux MultiQueue Scheduling".
> > If interested I can already put an earlier version on lse.sourceforge.net.
>
> Please do. It should be a good read.
>
> George
>
> >
> > It basically does (1) and (2). (3) is done unintelligently right now.
> >
> > > Consider the following basic rules:
> > >
> > > A) When a new task comes along, pick the "least loaded" CPU and lock the
> > > new task onto that.
> > > B) Whenever the load imbalance between least loaded CPU and most loaded
> > > CPU becomes too great, move one or more tasks from most loaded CPU to
> > > the least loaded CPU.
> > >
> > > The rules themselves should be self-explanatory: A provides initial load
> > > balancing, while B tries to keep the balance (with a sensible hysteresis
> > > to avoid thrashing). However, there are a few minor details to solve:
> > >
> > > 1) How to determine the load of a CPU? If we can quantify this clearly,
> > > we can easily set a hysteresis level to trigger load balancing between
> > > two CPUs.
> > > 2) When and how often to check for load imbalance?
> > > 3) How to select the task(s) that should be moved between two CPUs to
> > > correct an imbalance?
> > >
> > > For problems 1 and 2 I propose the following solution: Insert the the
> > > load balancing routine itself as a (fake) task on each CPU and run it
> > > when the CPU gets around to it. The load balancer should behave almost
> > > like a CPU-bound task, scheduled on the lowest priority level with other
> > > runnable tasks. The last bit is important: the load balancer should not
> > > be allowed to starve but should be invoked approximately once every
> > > "full rotation" of the scheduler.
> > >
> > > With the above it is easy to estimate the load of a CPU. We can simply
> > > use the elapsed time between two invokations of the load balancer task.
> > > When the load balancer task of a particular CPU gets run, it chalks up
> > > the elapsed time on a score board somewhere, and checks whether there is
> > > a significant imbalance between itself and some other CPU. If there is,
> > > it commences to move some tasks between itself and the other CPU (note
> > > rule B, though, it should be enough to mess with just two CPU queues at
> > > a time to minimize balancing and locking overhead).
> > >
> > > Problem 3 is tricky. Basically, there should be a cost/benefit function
> > > F(tasks to move) that should be minimized. Ideally F(task_i), the
> > > cost/benefit of moving a single task, would be calculated as a byproduct
> > > of the CPU scheduler algorithm.
> > >
> > > F(task_i) might be function of elapsed time since task_i was last
> > > scheduled and the average time slice used by task_i, to account for the
> > > probable cache hit. This would leave it up to the load balancer to move
> > > as many lowest cost tasks to a new CPU as is needed to correct the
> > > imbalance (average time slices used by each task would be needed in
> > > order to make this decision).
> > >
> > > Naturally, some additional rules might be necessary to make a task
> > > eligible for moving, e.g., never move the only/last CPU bound task to
> > > another CPU. In addition, it might actually make sense to move at most
> > > one task at each invocation of the load balancer, to further reduce the
> > > probability of thrashing. The load would still converge fairly quickly
> > > towards a balanced state. It would also scale fairly well with the
> > > number of CPUs.
> > >
> > > How does that sound?
> > >
> > > MikaL
> > > -
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