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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2/4] perf: Add exclude_task perf event attribute

* Frederic Weisbecker <fweisbec@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, May 25, 2010 at 08:58:08AM +0200, Peter Zijlstra wrote:
> > On Tue, 2010-05-25 at 11:43 +1000, Paul Mackerras wrote:
> > > On Fri, May 21, 2010 at 04:05:13PM +0200, Frederic Weisbecker wrote:
> > >
> > > > Excluding is useful when you want to trace only hard and softirqs.
> > > >
> > > > For this we use a new generic perf_exclude_event() (the previous
> > > > one beeing turned into perf_exclude_swevent) to which you can pass
> > > > the preemption offset to which your events trigger.
> > > >
> > > > Computing preempt_count() - offset gives us the preempt_count() of
> > > > the context that the event has interrupted, on top of which we
> > > > can filter the non-irq contexts.
> > >
> > > How does this work for hardware events when we are sampling and
> > > getting an interrupt every N events? It seems like the hardware is
> > > still counting all events and interrupting every N events, but we are
> > > only recording a sample if the interrupt occurred in the context we
> > > want. In other words the context of the Nth event is considered to be
> > > the context for the N-1 events preceding that, which seems a pretty
> > > poor approximation.
> > >
> > > Also, for hardware events, if we are counting rather than sampling,
> > > the exclude_task bit will have no effect. So perhaps in that case the
> > > perf_event_open should fail rather than appear to succeed but give
> > > wrong data.
> >
> > Right, so for hardware event we'd need to go with those irq_{enter,exit}
> > hooks and either fully disable the call, or do as Ingo suggested, read
> > the count delta and add that to period_left, so that we'll delay the
> > sample (and subtract from ->count, which is I think the trickiest bit as
> > it'll generate a non-monotonic ->count).
> >
> > So I prefer the disable/enable from irq_enter/exit, however I also
> > suspect that that is by far the most expensive option.
>
>
> Playing with that, it's easy to contain the counting on the filtered
> contexts: I can just flush (event->read()) when we enter/exit a context
> but filter the update of event->count depending on exclude_* things.
>
> There are several problems with that though:
>
> - overflow interrupts continue, we can block them, but still...
> - periods become randomly async as the interrupts happen. We
> could save the period_left on context enter to solve this
>
>
> It would be certainly easier and clearer to use stop/start things on context
> enter/exit.
>
> And the only thing that seem to happen in these paths is a write
> to the event config register.
> Is it what is going to be too slow?
> If you compare that to all the reads on the counter,
> the interrupts that still need to be serviced and filtered with the
> other solution, may be the stop/start solution is eventually better
> in contrast.
>
> How much time approximately does it take to write in this config register?

it should be fast enough. I think we should first go for a good, high-quality
implementation that has a correct model for collecting information - and then,
if in practice there's any significant slowdown, we could perhaps add a
speedup that cuts corners.

If we first cut corners we'll never be able to fully trust the info, and we'll
never know how it would all have played out via the disable/enable method.

Thanks,

Ingo


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