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SubjectRe: [PATCH] doc: add note on usleep_range range
On Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 10:25:29PM +0100, Pavel Machek wrote:
> Hi!
>
> > > "to have zero jitter" at least. I believe it is "does not".
> > >
> > > I don't see how atomic vs. non-atomic context makes difference. There
> > > are sources of jitter that affect atomic context...
> >
> > The relevance is that while there is jitter in atomic context it can
> > be quite small (depending on your hardware and the specifics of system
> > config) but in non-atomic context the jitter is so large that it
> > makes no relevant difference if you give usleep_range slack of a few
> > microseconds.
>
> I disagree here. Even in non-atomic code, you'll get _no_ jitter most
> of the time. If you care about average case, small slack may still
> make sense.

yes - thats what the results say - the mean does not differe significantly
so if you care about average case - it makes no difference.

>
> > > > + less than 50 microseconds probably is only preventing
> > > > + timer subsystem optimization but providing no benefit.
> > >
> > > And I don't trust you here. _If_ it prevents timer optimalization,
> > > _then_ it provides benefit, at least in the average case.
> > >
> > here is the data:
> >
> > System: Intel Core i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz Ocotocore
> > OS: Debian 8.1 (but thats quite irrelevant)
> > Kernel: 4.10-rc2 (localversion-next next-20170106)
> > config: x86_64_defconfig (Voluntary | Preempt)
> >
> > Test-setup - poped this into akernel module and just
> > brute force load/unload it in a loop - not very elegant
> > but it does the job.
> >
> > static int __init usleep_test_init(void)
> > {
> > ktime_t now,last;
> > unsigned long min,max;
> > min = 200;
> > max = 250;
> > last = ktime_get();
> > usleep_range(min, max);
> > now = ktime_get();
> > printk("%llu\n", ktime_to_ns(now)-ktime_to_ns(last));
> > return 0;
> > }
> >
> > Results:
> >
> > usleep_range() 5000 samples - idle system
> > 100,100 200,200 190,200
> > Min. :188481 Min. :201917 Min. :197793
> > 1st Qu.:207062 1st Qu.:207057 1st Qu.:207051
> > Median :207139 Median :207133 Median :207133
> > Mean :207254 Mean :207233 Mean :207244
> > 3rd Qu.:207341 erd Qu.:207262 3rd Qu.:207610
> > Max. :225340 Max. :214222 Max. :214885
> >
> > 100,200 to 200,200 is maybe relevant impact for
> > some systems with respect to the outliers, but
> > mean and median are almost the same, for
> > 190,200 to 200,200 there is statistically no
> > significant difference with respect to performance
> > Note that the timestamp before and after also has
> > jitter - so only part of the jitter can be attributed
> > to usleep_range() it self. But idle system optimization
> > is not that interesting for most systems.
>
> I disagree here. Most of systems are idle, most of the time. You say
> that basically everyone should provide 50 usec of slack... So I guess
> I'd like to see comparisons for 200,200 and 200,250 (and perhaps also
> 200,500 or something).
>
I did not say that everyone should use 50us of slack - rather the statement
was "makes no relevant difference if you give usleep_range slack of a few
microseconds." and that min==max makes *no* sense and that providing
even just small slack (in 10s of us range) makes a relevant difference
at system level.

Regarding idle system - the statement is that optimizing for idle
system makes no sense - not that idle system is rare. In an idle
system (as you can see in the above table) there is *no* diffeence
in the mean values - just to highligt this

100,200 200,200 190,200
Mean :207254 Mean :207233 Mean :207244

so for an idle system it makes very little difference (and I still doubt
that anyone could find this sub promille difference by testing at the
application level) - conversely for a loaded system the whole issue is
irrelevant as the jitter is completely dominated from system activity and
the usleep_range() parameters have more or less no impact.

In summary:
idle-system: 10s of us difference between min/max has if at all
marginal impact
loaded-system: no negative impact at all

but the system as a whole can profit from reducing the number of hires
timersit needs to hanle. Thus I still see no reason to not consider
usleep_range(min,max) with min==max as a mistake.

But to put a numer on it - if max-min < 10us I would consider it wrong
I think that basically never makes sense for any non RT (PREEMT-RT that
is) thread.

thx!
hofrat

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