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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH] introduce sys_membarrier(): process-wide memory barrier
On Sun, Jan 10, 2010 at 11:25:21PM -0500, Mathieu Desnoyers wrote:
> * Paul E. McKenney (paulmck@linux.vnet.ibm.com) wrote:
> [...]
> > > Even when taking the spinlocks, efficient iteration on active threads is
> > > done with for_each_cpu(cpu, mm_cpumask(current->mm)), which depends on
> > > the same cpumask, and thus requires the same memory barriers around the
> > > updates.
> >
> > Ouch!!! Good point and good catch!!!
> >
> > > We could switch to an inefficient iteration on all online CPUs instead,
> > > and check read runqueue ->mm with the spinlock held. Is that what you
> > > propose ? This will cause reading of large amounts of runqueue
> > > information, especially on large systems running few threads. The other
> > > way around is to iterate on all the process threads: in this case, small
> > > systems running many threads will have to read information about many
> > > inactive threads, which is not much better.
> >
> > I am not all that worried about exactly what we do as long as it is
> > pretty obviously correct. We can then improve performance when and as
> > the need arises. We might need to use any of the strategies you
> > propose, or perhaps even choose among them depending on the number of
> > threads in the process, the number of CPUs, and so forth. (I hope not,
> > but...)
> >
> > My guess is that an obviously correct approach would work well for a
> > slowpath. If someone later runs into performance problems, we can fix
> > them with the added knowledge of what they are trying to do.
> >
>
> OK, here is what I propose. Let's choose between two implementations
> (v3a and v3b), which implement two "obviously correct" approaches. In
> summary:
>
> * baseline (based on 2.6.32.2)
> text data bss dec hex filename
> 76887 8782 2044 87713 156a1 kernel/sched.o
>
> * v3a: ipi to many using mm_cpumask
>
> - adds smp_mb__before_clear_bit()/smp_mb__after_clear_bit() before and
> after mm_cpumask stores in context_switch(). They are only executed
> when oldmm and mm are different. (it's my turn to hide behind an
> appropriately-sized boulder for touching the scheduler). ;) Note that
> it's not that bad, as these barriers turn into simple compiler barrier()
> on:
> avr32, blackfin, cris, frb, h8300, m32r, m68k, mn10300, score, sh,
> sparc, x86 and xtensa.
> The less lucky architectures gaining two smp_mb() are:
> alpha, arm, ia64, mips, parisc, powerpc and s390.
> ia64 is gaining only one smp_mb() thanks to its acquire semantic.
> - size
> text data bss dec hex filename
> 77239 8782 2044 88065 15801 kernel/sched.o
> -> adds 352 bytes of text
> - Number of lines (system call source code, w/o comments) : 18
>
> * v3b: iteration on min(num_online_cpus(), nr threads in the process),
> taking runqueue spinlocks, allocating a cpumask, ipi to many to the
> cpumask. Does not allocate the cpumask if only a single IPI is needed.
>
> - only adds sys_membarrier() and related functions.
> - size
> text data bss dec hex filename
> 78047 8782 2044 88873 15b29 kernel/sched.o
> -> adds 1160 bytes of text
> - Number of lines (system call source code, w/o comments) : 163
>
> I'll reply to this email with the two implementations. Comments are
> welcome.

Cool!!! Just for completeness, I point out the following trivial
implementation:

/*
* sys_membarrier - issue memory barrier on current process running threads
*
* Execute a memory barrier on all running threads of the current process.
* Upon completion, the caller thread is ensured that all process threads
* have passed through a state where memory accesses match program order.
* (non-running threads are de facto in such a state)
*
* Note that synchronize_sched() has the side-effect of doing a memory
* barrier on each CPU.
*/
SYSCALL_DEFINE0(membarrier)
{
synchronize_sched();
}

This does unnecessarily hit all CPUs in the system, but has the same
minimal impact that in-kernel RCU already has. It has long latency,
(milliseconds) which might well disqualify it from consideration for
some applications. On the other hand, it automatically batches multiple
concurrent calls to sys_membarrier().

Thanx, Paul


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