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    SubjectRe: [RFC][PATCH 0/2] Swap token re-tuned
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    On Mon, 2006-10-02 at 00:59 -0700, Andrew Morton wrote:
    > On Mon, 02 Oct 2006 09:35:52 +0200
    > Peter Zijlstra <a.p.zijlstra@chello.nl> wrote:
    >
    > > On Sun, 2006-10-01 at 15:56 -0700, Andrew Morton wrote:
    > > > On Sat, 30 Sep 2006 00:11:51 +0530
    > > > Ashwin Chaugule <ashwin.chaugule@celunite.com> wrote:
    > >
    > > > > PATCH 2:
    > > > >
    > > > > Instead of using TIMEOUT as a parameter to transfer the token, I think a
    > > > > better solution is to hand it over to a process that proves its
    > > > > eligibilty.
    > > > >
    > > > > What my scheme does, is to find out how frequently a process is calling
    > > > > these functions. The processes that call these more frequently get a
    > > > > higher priority.
    > > > > The idea is to guarantee that a high priority process gets the token.
    > > > > The priority of a process is determined by the number of consecutive
    > > > > calls to swap-in and no-page. I mean "consecutive" not from the
    > > > > scheduler point of view, but from the process point of view. In other
    > > > > words, if the task called these functions every time it was scheduled,
    > > > > it means it is not getting any further with its execution.
    > > > >
    > > > > This way, its a matter of simple comparison of task priorities, to
    > > > > decide whether to transfer the token or not.
    > > >
    > > > Does this introduce the possibility of starvation? Where the
    > > > fast-allocating process hogs the system and everything else makes no
    > > > progress?
    > >
    > > I tinkered with this a bit yesterday, and didn't get good results for:
    > > mem=64M ; make -j5
    > >
    > > -vanilla: 2h32:55

    Command being timed: "make -j5"
    User time (seconds): 2726.81
    System time (seconds): 2266.85
    Percent of CPU this job got: 54%
    Elapsed (wall clock) time (h:mm:ss or m:ss): 2:32:55
    Average shared text size (kbytes): 0
    Average unshared data size (kbytes): 0
    Average stack size (kbytes): 0
    Average total size (kbytes): 0
    Maximum resident set size (kbytes): 0
    Average resident set size (kbytes): 0
    Major (requiring I/O) page faults: 269956
    Minor (reclaiming a frame) page faults: 8699298
    Voluntary context switches: 414020
    Involuntary context switches: 242365
    Swaps: 0
    File system inputs: 0
    File system outputs: 0
    Socket messages sent: 0
    Socket messages received: 0
    Signals delivered: 0
    Page size (bytes): 4096
    Exit status: 0

    > > -swap-token: 2h41:48

    Command being timed: "make -j5"
    User time (seconds): 2720.54
    System time (seconds): 2428.60
    Percent of CPU this job got: 53%
    Elapsed (wall clock) time (h:mm:ss or m:ss): 2:41:48
    Average shared text size (kbytes): 0
    Average unshared data size (kbytes): 0
    Average stack size (kbytes): 0
    Average total size (kbytes): 0
    Maximum resident set size (kbytes): 0
    Average resident set size (kbytes): 0
    Major (requiring I/O) page faults: 281943
    Minor (reclaiming a frame) page faults: 8692417
    Voluntary context switches: 421770
    Involuntary context switches: 241323
    Swaps: 0
    File system inputs: 0
    File system outputs: 0
    Socket messages sent: 0
    Socket messages received: 0
    Signals delivered: 0
    Page size (bytes): 4096
    Exit status: 0

    > > various other attempts at tweaking the code only made it worse. (will
    > > have to rerun these test, but a ~3h test is well, a 3h test ;-)
    >
    > I don't think that's a region of operation where we care a great deal.
    > What was the average CPU utlisation? Only a few percent.

    ~50%, its a slow box this, a p3-550.

    > It's just thrashing too much to bother optimising for. Obviously we want
    > it to terminate in a sane period of time and we'd _like_ to improve it.
    > But I think we'd accept a 10% slowdown in this region of operation if it
    > gave us a 10% speedup in the 25%-utilisation region.
    >
    > IOW: does the patch help mem=96M;make -j5??

    Will kick off some test later today.

    > > Being frustrated with these results - I mean the idea made sense, so
    > > what is going on - I came up with this answer:
    > >
    > > Tasks owning the swap token will retain their pages and will hence swap
    > > less, other (contending) tasks will get less pages and will fault more
    > > frequent. This prio mechanism will favour exactly those tasks not
    > > holding the token. Which makes for token bouncing.
    >
    > OK.
    >
    > (We need to do something with
    > ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/akpm/patches/2.6/2.6.18/2.6.18-mm2/broken-out/mm-thrash-detect-process-thrashing-against-itself.patch,
    > btw. Has been in -mm since March and I'm still waiting for some benchmarks
    > which would justify its inclusion..)

    Hmm, benchmarks, I need VM benchmarks for my page replacment work
    too ;-)

    Perhaps I can create a multi-threaded progamm that knows a few patterns.

    > > The current mechanism seemingly assigns the token randomly (whomever
    > > asks while not held gets it - and the hold time is fixed), however this
    > > change in paging behaviour (holder less, contenders more) shifts the
    > > odds in favour of one of the contenders. Also the fixed holding time
    > > will make sure the token doesn't get released too soon and can make some
    > > progress.
    > >
    > > So while I agree it would be nice to get rid of all magic variables
    > > (holding time in the current impl) this proposed solution hasn't
    > > convinced me (for one it introduces another).
    > >
    > > (for the interrested, the various attempts I tried are available here:
    > > http://programming.kicks-ass.net/kernel-patches/swap_token/ )
    >
    > OK, thanks or looking into it. I do think this is rich ground for
    > optimisation.

    Given the amazing reduction in speed I accomplished yesterday (worst was
    3h09:02), I'd say we're not doing bad, but yeah, I too think there is
    room for improvement.

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