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    SubjectRe: [PATCH] a local-timer-free version of RCU
    On Tue, Nov 16, 2010 at 07:51:04AM -0800, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
    > On Tue, Nov 16, 2010 at 02:52:34PM +0100, Frederic Weisbecker wrote:
    > > On Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 05:28:46PM -0800, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
    > > > My concern is not the tick -- it is really easy to work around lack of a
    > > > tick from an RCU viewpoint. In fact, this happens automatically given the
    > > > current implementations! If there is a callback anywhere in the system,
    > > > then RCU will prevent the corresponding CPU from entering dyntick-idle
    > > > mode, and that CPU's clock will drive the rest of RCU as needed via
    > > > force_quiescent_state().
    > >
    > > Now, I'm confused, I thought a CPU entering idle nohz had nothing to do
    > > if it has no local callbacks, and rcu_enter_nohz already deals with
    > > everything.
    > >
    > > There is certainly tons of subtle things in RCU anyway :)
    > Well, I wasn't being all that clear above, apologies!!!
    > If a given CPU hasn't responded to the current RCU grace period,
    > perhaps due to being in a longer-than-average irq handler, then it
    > doesn't necessarily need its own scheduler tick enabled. If there is a
    > callback anywhere else in the system, then there is some other CPU with
    > its scheduler tick enabled. That other CPU can drive the slow-to-respond
    > CPU through the grace-period process.

    So, the scenario is that a first CPU (CPU 0) enqueues a callback and then
    starts a new GP. But the GP is abnormally long because another CPU (CPU 1)
    takes too much time to respond. But the CPU 2 enqueues a new callback.

    What you're saying is that CPU 2 will take care of the current grace period
    that hasn't finished, because it needs to start another one?
    So this CPU 2 is going to be more insistant and will then send IPIs to
    CPU 1.

    Or am I completely confused? :-D

    Ah, and if I understood well, if nobody like CPU 2 had been starting a new
    grace period, then nobody would send those IPIs?

    Looking at the rcu tree code, the IPI is sent from the state machine in
    force_quiescent_state(), if the given CPU is not in dyntick mode.
    And force_quiescent_state() is either called from the rcu softirq
    or when one queues a callback. So, yeah, I think I understood correctly :)

    But it also means that if we have two CPUs only, and CPU 0 starts a grace
    period and then goes idle. CPU 1 may never respond and the grace period
    may end in a rough while.

    > The current RCU code should work in the common case. There are probably
    > a few bugs, but I will make you a deal. You find them, I will fix them.
    > Particularly if you are willing to test the fixes.

    Of course :)

    > > > The force_quiescent_state() workings would
    > > > want to be slightly different for dyntick-hpc, but not significantly so
    > > > (especially once I get TREE_RCU moved to kthreads).
    > > >
    > > > My concern is rather all the implicit RCU-sched read-side critical
    > > > sections, particularly those that arch-specific code is creating.
    > > > And it recently occurred to me that there are necessarily more implicit
    > > > irq/preempt disables than there are exception entries.
    > >
    > > Doh! You're right, I don't know why I thought that adaptive tick would
    > > solve the implicit rcu sched/bh cases, my vision took a shortcut.
    > Yeah, and I was clearly suffering from a bit of sleep deprivation when
    > we discussed this in Boston. :-/

    I suspect the real problem was my oral english understanding ;-)

    > > > 3. The implicit RCU-sched read-side critical sections just work
    > > > as they do today.
    > > >
    > > > Or am I missing some other problems with this approach?
    > >
    > > No, looks good, now I'm going to implement/test a draft of these ideas.
    > >
    > > Thanks a lot!
    > Very cool, and thank you!!! I am sure that you will not be shy about
    > letting me know of any RCU problems that you might encounter. ;-)

    Of course not ;-)


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