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SubjectRe: RFC for a new Scheduling policy/class in the Linux-kernel
On Thursday 16 July 2009 00:14:11 Ted Baker wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 12:24:26PM -0600, Chris Friesen wrote:
> > > - that A's budget is not diminished.
> >
> > If we're running B with A's priority, presumably it will get some amount
> > of cpu time above and beyond what it would normally have gotten during a
> > particular scheduling interval. Perhaps it would make sense to charge B
> > what it would normally have gotten, and charge the excess amount to A?
> First, why will B get any excess time, if is charged?

My understanding of PEP is that when B executes through the A-proxy, B will
consume parts of A's resources until the lock is freed. This makes sense when
A and B runs on different CPUs and B is moved (temporarily) to CPU#A. If B
were to use it's own budget when running here, once A resumes execution and
exhaustes its entire budget, you can have over-utilization on that CPU (and
under-util on CPU#B).

> There will
> certainly be excess time used in any context switch, including
> premptions and blocking/unblocking for locks, but that will come
> out of some task's budget.

AFAIK, there are no such things as preemption-overhead charging to a task's
budget in the kernel today. This time simply vanishes and must be compensated
for when running a task through the acceptance-stage (say, only 95% util pr
CPU or some such).

> Given the realities of the scheduler,
> the front-end portion of the context-switch will be charged to the
> preempted or blocking task, and the back-end portion of the
> context-switch cost will be charged to the task to which the CPU
> is switched.

> In a cross-processor proxy situation like the one
> above we have four switches: (1) from A to C on processor #1; (2)
> from whatever else (call it D) that was running on processor #2 to
> B, when B receives A's priority; (3) from B back to D when B
> releasse the lock; (4) from C to A when A gets the lock. A will
> naturally be charged for the front-end cost of (1) and the
> back-end cost of (4), and B will naturally be charged for the
> back-end cost of (2) and the front-end cost of (3).
> The budget of each task must be over-provisioned enough to
> allow for these additional costs. This is messy, but seems
> unavoidable, and is an important reason for using scheduling
> policies that minimize context switches.
> Back to the original question, of who should be charged for
> the actual critical section.

That depends on where you want to run the tasks. If you want to migrate B to
CPU#A, A should be charged. If you run B on CPU#B, then B should be charged
(for the exact same reasoning A should be charged in the first case).

The beauty of PEP, is that enabling B to run is very easy. In the case where B
runs on CPU#B, B must be updated statically so that the scheduler will
trigger on the new priority. In PEP, this is done automatically when A is
picked. One solution to this, would be to migrate A to CPU#B and insert A
into the runqueue there. However, then you add more overhead by moving the
task around instead of just 'borrowing' the task_struct.

> From the schedulability analysis point of view, B is getting
> higher priority time than it normally would be allowed to execute,
> potentially causing priority inversion (a.k.a. "interference" or
> "blocking") to a higher priority task D (which does not even share
> a need for the lock that B is holding) that would otherwise run on
> the same processor as B. Without priority inheritance this kind
> of interferfence would not happen. So, we are benefiting A at the
> expense of D. In the analysis, we can either allow for all such
> interference in a "blocking term" in the analysis for D, or we
> might call it "preemption" in the analysis of D and charge it to A
> (if A has higher priority than D). Is the latter any better?

If D has higher priority than A, then neither A nor B (with the locks held)
should be allowed to run before D.

> I
> think not, since we now have to inflate the nominal WCET of A to
> include all of the critical sections that block it.
> So, it seems most logical and simplest to leave the charges where
> they naturally occur, on B. That is, if you allow priority
> inheritance, you allow tasks to sometimes run at higher priority
> than they originally were allocated, but not to execute more
> than originally budgeted.

Yes, no task should be allowed to run more than the budget, but that requires
B to execute *only* on CPU#B.

On the other hand, one could say that if you run PEP and B is executed on
CPU#A, and A then exhausts its budget, you could blame A as well, as
lock-contention is a common problem and it's not only the kernel's fault. Do
we need perfect or best-effort lock-resolving?

> Ted


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