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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2/2] smp_call_function: use rwlocks on queues rather than rcu
On Fri, Aug 22, 2008 at 03:03:13PM -0500, Christoph Lameter wrote:
> Paul E. McKenney wrote:
>
> > I was indeed thinking in terms of the free from RCU being specially marked.
>
> Isnt there some way to shorten the rcu periods significantly? Critical
> sections do not take that long after all.

In theory, yes. However, the shorter the grace period, the greater the
per-update overhead of grace-period detection -- the general approach
is to use a per-CPU high-resolution timer to force RCU grace period
processing every 100 microseconds or so. Also, by definition, the RCU
grace period can be no shorter than the longest active RCU read-side
critical section. Nevertheless, I have designed my current hierarchical
RCU patch with expedited grace periods in mind, though more for the
purpose of reducing latency of long strings of operations that involve
synchronize_rcu() than for cache locality.

> If the RCU periods are much shorter then the chance of cache hotness of the
> objects is increased.

How short does the grace period need to be to significantly increase the
chance of an RCU-protected data element remaining in cache across an RCU
grace period? The last time I calculated this, the knee of the curve was
at a few tens of milliseconds, but to give you an idea of how long ago
that was, the workload I used was TPC/A. Which might no longer be very
representative. ;-)

Thanx, Paul


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