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SubjectRe: [PATCH v6 13/18] perf: add support for taken branch sampling to perf report
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On Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 10:59 AM, Ingo Molnar <mingo@elte.hu> wrote:
>
> * Stephane Eranian <eranian@google.com> wrote:
>
>> On Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM, Ingo Molnar <mingo@elte.hu> wrote:
>> >
>> > * Stephane Eranian <eranian@google.com> wrote:
>> >
>> >> From: Roberto Agostino Vitillo <ravitillo@lbl.gov>
>> >>
>> >> This patch adds support for taken branch sampling, i.e, the
>> >> PERF_SAMPLE_BRANCH_STACK feature to perf report. In other
>> >> words, to display histograms based on taken branches rather
>> >> than executed instructions addresses.
>> >>
>> >> The new option is called -b and it takes no argument. To
>> >> generate meaningful output, the perf.data must have been
>> >> obtained using perf record -b xxx ... where xxx is a branch
>> >> filter option.
>> >>
>> >> The output shows symbols, modules, sorted by 'who branches
>> >> where' the most often. The percentages reported in the first
>> >> column refer to the total number of branches captured and
>> >> not the usual number of samples.
>> >>
>> >> Here is a quick example.
>> >> Here branchy is simple test program which looks as follows:
>> >>
>> >> void f2(void)
>> >> {}
>> >> void f3(void)
>> >> {}
>> >> void f1(unsigned long n)
>> >> {
>> >>   if (n & 1UL)
>> >>     f2();
>> >>   else
>> >>     f3();
>> >> }
>> >> int main(void)
>> >> {
>> >>   unsigned long i;
>> >>
>> >>   for (i=0; i < N; i++)
>> >>    f1(i);
>> >>   return 0;
>> >> }
>> >>
>> >> Here is the output captured on Nehalem, if we are
>> >> only interested in user level function calls.
>> >>
>> >> $ perf record -b any_call,u -e cycles:u branchy
>> >>
>> >> $ perf report -b --sort=symbol
>> >>     52.34%  [.] main                   [.] f1
>> >>     24.04%  [.] f1                     [.] f3
>> >>     23.60%  [.] f1                     [.] f2
>> >>      0.01%  [k] _IO_new_file_xsputn    [k] _IO_file_overflow
>> >>      0.01%  [k] _IO_vfprintf_internal  [k] _IO_new_file_xsputn
>> >>      0.01%  [k] _IO_vfprintf_internal  [k] strchrnul
>> >>      0.01%  [k] __printf               [k] _IO_vfprintf_internal
>> >>      0.01%  [k] main                   [k] __printf
>> >
>> > Ok, nice feature.
>> >
>> > One detail needs to be fixed though, if someone does:
>> >
>> >  perf record -b ...
>> >
>> > then 'perf report' should *default* to the above branch stack
>> > output style, without having to specify -b again.
>> >
>> Fair enough.
>>
>> I'll check how we could do that. It's not so obvious as the code
>> stands. I think we may need to add a new feature bit for that.
>> It would avoid having to sniff either the cmdline, the event desc
>> or worst the samples themselves.
>
> Yeah, a feature bit for that looks like the ideal solution
> anyway.
>
Ok, so I looked at that today. Adding the feature bit is trivial.
But what's not easy is to get to the feature bit in perf report
by the time we need it. Very quickly after parsing the options,
we setup a bunch of things such as browser mode, sorting
order based on the -b option. But to get to the feature bit, we
would need to wait until after the session is created in
__cmd_report() which is way later.

So we either hoist perf_session__new() very early, i.e., as soon
as we have the filename or we write yet another parse_header()
function just to get to the feature bits. I would rather choose the
first option. But none is really pretty...

Arnaldo, any better idea?


> Btw., the exact perf record command line ought to be
> reproducible from the metadata stored in the perf.data.
>
> It should be possible to type:
>
>   perf record --replay
>
> or so, which takes a look at the perf.data and repeats that
> exact measurement. Something like this:
>
>   perf record -R -F 10000
>
> could be used to repeat the last measurement, with higher
> frequency sampling.
>
> Thanks,
>
>        Ingo
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