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SubjectRe: -mm seems significanty slower than mainline on kernbench
Peter Williams wrote:
> Con Kolivas wrote:
>> On Wednesday 11 January 2006 23:24, Peter Williams wrote:
>>> Martin J. Bligh wrote:
>>>> That seems broken to me ?
>>> But, yes, given that the problem goes away when the patch is removed
>>> (which we're still waiting to see) it's broken. I think the problem is
>>> probably due to the changed metric (i.e. biased load instead of simple
>>> load) causing idle_balance() to fail more often (i.e. it decides to not
>>> bother moving any tasks more often than it otherwise would) which would
>>> explain the increased idle time being seen. This means that the fix
>>> would be to review the criteria for deciding whether to move tasks in
>>> idle_balance().
>> Look back on my implementation. The problem as I saw it was that one
>> task alone with a biased load would suddenly make a runqueue look much
>> busier than it was supposed to so I special cased the runqueue that
>> had precisely one task.
> OK. I'll look at that.

Addressed in a separate e-mail.

> But I was thinking more about the code that (in the original) handled
> the case where the number of tasks to be moved was less than 1 but more
> than 0 (i.e. the cases where "imbalance" would have been reduced to zero
> when divided by SCHED_LOAD_SCALE). I think that I got that part wrong
> and you can end up with a bias load to be moved which is less than any
> of the bias_prio values for any queued tasks (in circumstances where the
> original code would have rounded up to 1 and caused a move). I think
> that the way to handle this problem is to replace 1 with "average bias
> prio" within that logic. This would guarantee at least one task with a
> bias_prio small enough to be moved.
> I think that this analysis is a strong argument for my original patch
> being the cause of the problem so I'll go ahead and generate a fix. I'll
> try to have a patch available later this morning.

Attached is a patch that addresses this problem. Unlike the description
above it does not use "average bias prio" as that solution would be very
complicated. Instead it makes the assumption that NICE_TO_BIAS_PRIO(0)
is a "good enough" for this purpose as this is highly likely to be the
median bias prio and the median is probably better for this purpose than
the average.

Signed-off-by: Peter Williams <>

Peter Williams

"Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious."
-- Ambrose Bierce
Index: MM-2.6.X/kernel/sched.c
--- MM-2.6.X.orig/kernel/sched.c 2006-01-12 09:23:38.000000000 +1100
+++ MM-2.6.X/kernel/sched.c 2006-01-12 10:44:50.000000000 +1100
@@ -2116,11 +2116,11 @@ find_busiest_group(struct sched_domain *
(avg_load - this_load) * this->cpu_power)

- if (*imbalance < SCHED_LOAD_SCALE) {
+ if (*imbalance < NICE_TO_BIAS_PRIO(0) * SCHED_LOAD_SCALE) {
unsigned long pwr_now = 0, pwr_move = 0;
unsigned long tmp;

- if (max_load - this_load >= SCHED_LOAD_SCALE*2) {
+ if (max_load - this_load >= NICE_TO_BIAS_PRIO(0) * SCHED_LOAD_SCALE*2) {
*imbalance = NICE_TO_BIAS_PRIO(0);
return busiest;
 \ /
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