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SubjectRe: [PATCH v7 3/3] nl80211/mac80211: Report signal average
On Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 12:00:35PM +0900, Bruno Randolf wrote:
> Extend nl80211 to report an exponential weighted moving average (EWMA) of the
> signal value. Since the signal value usually fluctuates between different
> packets, an average can be more useful than the value of the last packet.
> This uses the recently added generic EWMA library function.

Isn't that generic EWMA library function making this much more CPU
intensive than necessary? I would assume the compiler is not able to
optimize the unsigned long division in ewma_add() when the weight value
is "hidden" in this way through ewma_init() call. While generic library
functions can be nice, it could be useful to have an option for using an
inline version of ewma_add that takes in avg->weight as one of the
arguments to allow cases like weight=8 here to be implemented using
shift right instead of unsigned long division especially when done on
hot path..

> @@ -1158,6 +1158,7 @@ ieee80211_rx_h_sta_process(struct ieee80211_rx_data *rx)
> sta->last_signal = status->signal;
> + ewma_add(&sta->avg_signal, -status->signal);

This one here would be done for every frame received and by using a
function call that ends up doing a potentially expensive division.

> @@ -241,6 +241,8 @@ struct sta_info *sta_info_alloc(struct ieee80211_sub_if_data *sdata,
> + ewma_init(&sta->avg_signal, 1000, 8);

The divisor (weight) is set to 8 here which should allow for quite a bit
more efficient ewma_add implementation if it were to be done in a way
that makes it easier for the compiler to see what value is being used
(e.g., passing this 8 to ewma_add_inline()) to allow shift right to be

Or am I missing something here and we have a compiler that is actually
able to take care of this kind of optimizations by itself in the current
ewma library design? Or is the unsigned long division with the expected
weight values going to be fast enough to not justify caring about it
even on any of the embedded boards anyway?

Jouni Malinen PGP id EFC895FA

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