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Subject[PATCH 1/1] mutex: prevent optimistic spinning from spinning longer than neccessary
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There is a scalability issue for current implementation of optimistic
mutex spin in the kernel. It is found on a 8 node 64 core Nehalem-EX
system (HT mode).

The intention of the optimistic mutex spin is to busy wait and spin on a
mutex if the owner of the mutex is running, in the hope that the mutex will
get released soon and can then be acquired without going to sleep. However,
when we have a large number of threads, contending for the mutex, we could
have the mutex grabbed by other thread, and then another ……, and we will still
be spinning, wasting cpu cycles and adding to the contention. One
possible fix is to quit spinning and put the current thread on wait-list
if mutex lock switch to a new owner while we spin, indicating heavy
contention (see the patch included).

I did some testing on a 8 node Nehalem-EX system with a total of 64
cores. Using Ingo's test-mutex program that creates/delete files with
256 threads (http://lkml.org/lkml/2006/1/8/50) , I see the following
speed up after putting in the mutex spin fix:

./mutex-test V 256 10
Ops/sec
2.6.34 62864
With fix 197200

Repeating the test with Aim7 fserver workload, again there is a speed up
with the fix:

Jobs/min
2.6.34 91657
With fix 149325

To look at the impact on the distribution of mutex acquisition time, I
collected the mutex acquisition time on Aim7 fserver workload with some
instrumentation. The average acquisition time is reduced by 48% and
number of contentions reduced by 32%.

#contentions Time to acquire mutex (cycles)
2.6.34 72973 44765791
With fix 49210 23067129

The histogram of mutex acquisition time is listed below. The
acquisition time is in 2^bin cycles. We see that without the fix, the
acquisition time is mostly around 2^26 cycles. With the fix, we the
distribution get spread out a lot more towards the lower cycles,
starting from 2^13. However, there is an increase of the tail
distribution with the fix at 2^28 and 2^29 cycles. I think it is a
small price to pay for the reduced average acquisition time and also
getting the cpu to do useful work.

Mutex acquisition time distribution (acq time = 2^bin cycles):
2.6.34 With Fix
bin #occurrence % #occurrence %
11 2 0.00% 120 0.24%
12 10 0.01% 790 1.61%
13 14 0.02% 2058 4.18%
14 86 0.12% 3378 6.86%
15 393 0.54% 4831 9.82%
16 710 0.97% 4893 9.94%
17 815 1.12% 4667 9.48%
18 790 1.08% 5147 10.46%
19 580 0.80% 6250 12.70%
20 429 0.59% 6870 13.96%
21 311 0.43% 1809 3.68%
22 255 0.35% 2305 4.68%
23 317 0.44% 916 1.86%
24 610 0.84% 233 0.47%
25 3128 4.29% 95 0.19%
26 63902 87.69% 122 0.25%
27 619 0.85% 286 0.58%
28 0 0.00% 3536 7.19%
29 0 0.00% 903 1.83%
30 0 0.00% 0 0.00%

Regards,
Tim

Signed-off-by: Tim Chen <tim.c.chen@linux.intel.com>
diff -ur linux-2.6.34/kernel/sched.c linux-2.6.34-fix/kernel/sched.c
--- linux-2.6.34/kernel/sched.c 2010-05-16 14:17:36.000000000 -0700
+++ linux-2.6.34-fix/kernel/sched.c 2010-06-04 10:28:33.564777030 -0700
@@ -3815,8 +3815,11 @@
/*
* Owner changed, break to re-assess state.
*/
- if (lock->owner != owner)
+ if (lock->owner != owner) {
+ if (lock->owner)
+ return 0;
break;
+ }

/*
* Is that owner really running on that cpu?

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