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SubjectRe: [PATCH 3/8] mm: vmscan: Reclaim order-0 and use compaction instead of lumpy reclaim
On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 04:22:44PM +0000, Mel Gorman wrote:
> + */
> + if (sc->lumpy_reclaim_mode & LUMPY_MODE_COMPACTION)
> + nr_to_scan = max(nr_to_scan, (1UL << sc->order));

Just one nitpick: I'm not sure this is a good idea. We can scan quite
some pages and we may do nothing on them. First I guess for symmetry
this should be 2UL << sc->oder to match the 2UL << order in the
watermark checks in compaction.c (maybe it should be 3UL if something
considering the probability at least one page is mapped and won't be
freed is quite high). But SWAP_CLUSTER_MAX is only 32 pages.. not even
close to 1UL << 9 (hugepage order 9). So I think this can safely be
removed... it only makes a difference for the stack with order 2. And
for order 2 when we take the spinlocks we can take all 32 pages
without screwing the "free" levels in any significant way, considering
maybe only 4 pages are really freed in the end, and if all 32 pages
are really freed (i.e. all plain clean cache), all that matters to
avoid freeing more cache is to stick to compaction next time around
(i.e. at the next allocation). And if compaction fails again next time
around, then it's all right to shrink 32 more pages even for order

In short I'd delete the above chunk and to run the shrinker unmodified
as this is a too lowlevel idea, and the only real life effect is to
decrease VM scalability for kernel stack allocation a tiny bit, with
no benefit whatsoever.

It's subtle because the difference it'd makes it so infinitesimal and
I can only imagine it's a worsening overall difference.
> @@ -1425,6 +1438,9 @@ shrink_inactive_list(unsigned long nr_to_scan, struct zone *zone,
> putback_lru_pages(zone, sc, nr_anon, nr_file, &page_list);
> + if (sc->lumpy_reclaim_mode & LUMPY_MODE_COMPACTION)
> + reclaimcompact_zone_order(zone, sc->order, sc->gfp_mask);
> +
> trace_mm_vmscan_lru_shrink_inactive(zone->zone_pgdat->node_id,
> zone_idx(zone),
> nr_scanned, nr_reclaimed,

I'm worried about this one as the objective here is to increase the
amount of free pages, and the loop won't stop until we reach
nr_reclaimed >= nr_to_reclaim. I'm afraid it'd lead sometime to be
doing an overwork of compaction here for no good. In short there is no
feedback check into the loop to verify if this newly introduced
compaction work in the shrinker lead us to get the hugepage and stop
the loop. It sounds some pretty random compaction invocation here just
to run it more frequently.

nr_to_reclaim is only 32 anyway. So my suggestion is to remove it and
let the shrinker do its thing without interleaving compaction inside
the shrinker, without feedback check if the compaction actually
succeeded (maybe 100% of free ram is contiguous already), and then try
compaction again outside of the shrinker interleaving it with the
shrinker as usual if the watermarks aren't satisfied yet after
shrinker freed nr_to_reclaim pages.

I prefer we keep separated the job of freeing more pages from the job
of compacting the single free pages into higher order pages. It's only
32 pages being freed we're talking about here so no need to calling
compaction more frequently (if something we should increase
nr_to_reclaim to 512 and to call compaction less frequently). If the
interleaving of the caller isn't ok then fix it in the caller and also
update the nr_to_reclaim, but I think keeping those separated is way
cleaner and the mixture is unnecessary.

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