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SubjectRe: [RFC] [PATCH] Pre-emption control for userspace
On Mon, 2014-03-03 at 11:07 -0700, Khalid Aziz wrote:
> I am working on a feature that has been requested by database folks that
> helps with performance. Some of the oft executed database code uses
> mutexes to lock other threads out of a critical section. They often see
> a situation where a thread grabs the mutex, runs out of its timeslice
> and gets switched out which then causes another thread to run which
> tries to grab the same mutex, spins for a while and finally gives up.
> This can happen with multiple threads until original lock owner gets the
> CPU again and can complete executing its critical section. This queueing
> and subsequent CPU cycle wastage can be avoided if the locking thread
> could request to be granted an additional timeslice if its current
> timeslice runs out before it gives up the lock. Other operating systems
> have implemented this functionality and is used by databases as well as
> JVM. This functionality has been shown to improve performance by 3%-5%.
> I have implemented similar functionality for Linux. This patch adds a
> file /proc/<tgid>/task/<tid>/sched_preempt_delay for each thread.
> Writing 1 to this file causes CFS scheduler to grant additional time
> slice if the currently running process comes up for pre-emption. Writing
> to this file needs to be very quick operation, so I have implemented
> code to allow mmap'ing /proc/<tgid>/task/<tid>/sched_preempt_delay. This
> allows a userspace task to write this flag very quickly. Usage model is
> a thread mmaps this file during initialization. It then writes a 1 to
> the mmap'd file after it grabs the lock in its critical section where it
> wants immunity from pre-emption. It then writes 0 again to this file
> after it releases the lock and calls sched_yield() to give up the
> processor. I have also added a new field in scheduler statistics -
> nr_preempt_delayed, that counts the number of times a thread has been
> granted amnesty. Further details on using this functionality are in
> Documentation/scheduler/sched-preempt-delay.txt in the patch. This
> patch is based upon the work Venkatesh Pallipadi had done couple of
> years ago.
> Please provide feedback on this functionality and patch.

Good timing! The topic came up just yesterday in LSF/MM. This
functionality is on the wish list for both facebook and postgres.

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