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SubjectRe: [PATCH 02/22 -v7] Add basic support for gcc profiler instrumentation


On Fri, 1 Feb 2008, Paul E. McKenney wrote:

> > > > OK, fair enough. I'll explain it a bit more.
> > > >
> > > > How's this:
> > > >
> > > > /*
> > > > * We are entering ops into the mcount_list but another
> > > > * CPU might be walking that list. We need to make sure
> > > > * the ops->next pointer is valid before another CPU sees
> > > > * the ops pointer included into the mcount_list.
> > > > */
> > > >
> > >
> > > The above is my new comment. But Peter says that it's still not good
> > > enough and that all write memory barriers need read barriers.
> >
> > To clarify, either: full mb, rmb or read depend.
>
> This is true. A write barrier ensures that the writes remain ordered,
> but unless the reads are also ordered, the reader can still get confused.
> For example (assuming all variables are initially zero):
>
> writer:
>
> a = 1;
> smp_wmb(); /* or smp_mb() */
> b = 1;
>
> reader:
>
> tb = b;
> ta = a;
>
> The writer will (roughly speaking) execute the assignments in order,
> but the reader might not. If the reader executes the assignment from
> "a" first, it might see tb==1&&ta==0. To prevent this, we do:
>
> reader:
>
> tb = b;
> smp_rmb(); /* or smp_mb() */
> ta = a;
>
> There are a lot of variations on this theme.

Yep, this is all clear, but not quite what this code does.

>
> > > Let me explain the situation here.
> > >
> > > We have a single link list called mcount_list that is walked when more
> > > than one function is registered by mcount. Mcount is called at the start
> > > of all C functions that are not annotated with "notrace". When more than
> > > one function is registered, mcount calls a loop function that does the
> > > following:
> > >
> > > notrace void mcount_list_func(unsigned long ip, unsigned long parent_ip)
> > > {
> > > struct mcount_ops *op = mcount_list;
> >
> > When thinking RCU, this would be rcu_dereference and imply a read
> > barrier.
> >
> > > while (op != &mcount_list_end) {
> > > op->func(ip, parent_ip);
> > > op = op->next;
> >
> > Same here; the rcu_dereference() would do the read depend barrier.
>
> Specifically:
>
> notrace void mcount_list_func(unsigned long ip, unsigned long parent_ip)
> {
> struct mcount_ops *op = rcu_dereference(mcount_list);
>
> while (op != &mcount_list_end) {
> op->func(ip, parent_ip);
> op = rcu_dereference(op->next);
>
> This assumes that you are using call_rcu(), synchronize_rcu(), or
> whatever to defer freeing/reuse of the ops structure.

One special part of this is that the ops structure is never to be freed
(this is documented). It should be a static read-mostly structure.
Since it is not to be freed, I did not export the registered functions to
keep modules from using it. I may later add an export that will cause the
module to increment it's usage count so that it may never be freed.

There's no guarantees that prevent the func from being called after it was
unregistered, nor should the users of this, ever touch the "next" pointer.

This makes things easy when you don't need to free ;-)

>
> > > };
> > > }
> > >
> > > A registered function must already have a "func" filled, and the mcount
> > > register code takes care of "next". It is documented that the calling
> > > function should "never" change next and always expect that the func can be
> > > called after it is unregistered. That's not the issue here.
> > >
> > > The issue is how to insert the ops into the list. I've done the following,
> > > as you can see in the code this text is inserted between.
> > >
> > > ops->next = mcount_list;
> > > smp_wmb();
> > > mcount_list = ops;
> > >
> > > The read side pair is the reading of ops to ops->next, which should imply
> > > a smp_rmb() just by the logic. But Peter tells me things like alpha is
> > > crazy enough to do better than that! Thus, I'm asking you.
>
> Peter is correct when he says that Alpha does not necessarily respect data
> dependencies. See the following URL for the official story:
>
> http://www.openvms.compaq.com/wizard/wiz_2637.html
>
> And I give an example hardware cache design that can result in this
> situation here:
>
> http://www.rdrop.com/users/paulmck/scalability/paper/ordering.2007.09.19a.pdf
>
> See the discussion starting with the "Why Reorder Memory Accesses?"
> heading in the second column of the first page.
>
> Strange, but true. It took an Alpha architect quite some time to
> convince me of this back in the late 90s. ;-)
>
> > > Can some arch have a reader where it receives ops->next before it received
> > > ops? This seems to me to be a phsyic arch, to know where ops->next is
> > > before it knows ops!
>
> The trick is that the machine might have a split cache, with (say)
> odd-numbered cache lines being processed by one half and even-numbered
> lines processed by the other half. If reading CPU has one half of the
> cache extremely busy (e.g., processing invalidation requests from other
> CPUs) and the other half idle, memory misordering can happen in the
> receiving CPU -- if the pointer is processed by the idle half, and
> the pointed-to struct by the busy half, you might see the unitialized
> contents of the pointed-to structure. The reading CPU must execute
> a memory barrier to force ordering in this case.
>
> > > Remember, that the ops that is being registered, is not viewable by any
> > > other CPU until mcount_list = ops. I don't see the need for a read barrier
> > > in this case. But I could very well be wrong.
>
> And I was right there with you before my extended discussions with the
> aforementioned Alpha architect!
>

hmm, I'm still not convinced ;-)

This is a unique situation. We don't need to worry about items being freed
because there's too many races to allow that. The items are only to
register functions and are not to be dynamically allocated or freed. In
this situation we do not need to worry about deletions.

The smp_wmb is only for initialization of something that is about to enter
the list. It is not to protect against freeing.

Specifically:

ops->next = mcount_list;
smp_wmb();
mcount_list = ops;


What this is to prevent is a new item that has next = NULL being viewable
to other CPUS before next is initalized.

On another cpu we have (simplified by removing loop):

op = mcount_list;
op->func();
op = op->next;
if (op->next != NULL)
op->func;
What we want to prevent is reading of the new ops before ops->next is set.

What you are saying is that on alpha, even though the write to ops->next
has completed before mcount_list is set, we can still get a reversed
order?

ops->next = mcount_list; -- in one cache line
smp_wmb();
mcount_list = ops; -- in another cache line

Even though the ops->next is completed, we can have on another cpu:

op = mcount_list; (which is the ops from above)
op = op->next; -- still see the old ops->next?

I just want to understand this. I already put in the read_barrier_depends
because it doesn't hurt on most archs anyway (nops).

Thanks,

-- Steve




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