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SubjectRe: [PATCH] 2.6.16 - futex: small optimization (?)
Pierre PEIFFER a écrit :
> Hi,
>
>
> I found a (optimization ?) problem in the futexes, during a futex_wake,
> if the waiter has a higher priority than the waker.
>
> In fact, in this case, the waiter is immediately scheduled and tries to
> take a lock still held by the waker. This is specially expensive on UP
> or if both threads are on the same CPU, due to the two task-switchings.
> This produces an extra latency during a wakeup in pthread_cond_broadcast
> or pthread_cond_signal, for example.
>
> See below my detailed explanation.
>
> I found a solution given by the patch, at the end of this mail. It works
> for me on kernel 2.6.16, but the kernel hangs if I use it with -rt patch
> from Ingo Molnar. So, I have a doubt on the correctness of the patch.
>
> The idea is simple: in unqueue_me, I first check
> "if (list_empty(&q->list))"
>
> If yes => we were woken (the list is initialized in wake_futex).
> Then, it immediately returns and let the waker drop the key_refs
> (instead of the waiter).
>
>

Its true that futex code implies lot of context switches (kernel side but also
user side).

Even if you change kernel behavior in futex_wake(), you wont change the fact
that a typical pthread_cond_signal does :

1) lock cond var
lll_lock(cv->lock);
2) wake one waiter if necessary
FUTEX_WAKE(cv->wakeup_seq, 1);
3) unlock cond var

If a waiter process B has higher priority than the wake process A, then most
probably, B is scheduled before A had a chance to unlock cond var (step 3))

So B will re-enter kernel (because of the contended cond var lock), and A will
re-enter kernel too to futex_wake() process A again, but on cond var lock this
time, not on condvar wakeup_seq futex.

Each time a thread enters futex kernel code, an expensive find_extend_vma()
lookup is done, (expensive because of the read_lock but also the possible
amount of vm_area_struct in mm_struct)

I wish futex code had a special implementation for PTHREAD_SCOPE_PROCESS
futexes , where no vma lookups would be necessary at all. Most mutexes or
condvar have a process private scope (not shared by different processes)

Eric



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