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SubjectRe: [PATCH] sched: support dynamiQ cluster
On Thu, Apr 05, 2018 at 06:22:48PM +0200, Vincent Guittot wrote:
> Hi Morten,
> On 5 April 2018 at 17:46, Morten Rasmussen <> wrote:
> > On Wed, Apr 04, 2018 at 03:43:17PM +0200, Vincent Guittot wrote:
> >> On 4 April 2018 at 12:44, Valentin Schneider <> wrote:
> >> > Hi,
> >> >
> >> > On 03/04/18 13:17, Vincent Guittot wrote:
> >> >> Hi Valentin,
> >> >>
> >> > [...]
> >> >>>
> >> >>> I believe ASYM_PACKING behaves better here because the workload is only
> >> >>> sysbench threads. As stated above, since task utilization is disregarded, I
> >> >>
> >> >> It behaves better because it doesn't wait for the task's utilization
> >> >> to reach a level before assuming the task needs high compute capacity.
> >> >> The utilization gives an idea of the running time of the task not the
> >> >> performance level that is needed
> >> >>
> >> >
> >> > That's my point actually. ASYM_PACKING disregards utilization and moves those
> >> > threads to the big cores ASAP, which is good here because it's just sysbench
> >> > threads.
> >> >
> >> > What I meant was that if the task composition changes, IOW we mix "small"
> >> > tasks (e.g. periodic stuff) and "big" tasks (performance-sensitive stuff like
> >> > sysbench threads), we shouldn't assume all of those require to run on a big
> >> > CPU. The thing is, ASYM_PACKING can't make the difference between those, so
> >>
> >> That's the 1st point where I tend to disagree: why big cores are only
> >> for long running task and periodic stuff can't need to run on big
> >> cores to get max compute capacity ?
> >> You make the assumption that only long running tasks need high compute
> >> capacity. This patch wants to always provide max compute capacity to
> >> the system and not only long running task
> >
> > There is no way we can tell if a periodic or short-running tasks
> > requires the compute capacity of a big core or not based on utilization
> > alone. The utilization can only tell us if a task could potentially use
> > more compute capacity, i.e. the utilization approaches the compute
> > capacity of its current cpu.
> >
> > How we handle low utilization tasks comes down to how we define
> > "performance" and if we care about the cost of "performance" (e.g.
> > energy consumption).
> >
> > Placing a low utilization task on a little cpu should always be fine
> > from _throughput_ point of view. As long as the cpu has spare cycles it
> I disagree, throughput is not only a matter of spare cycle it's also a
> matter of how fast you compute the work like with IO activity as an
> example

From a cpu centric point of view it is, but I agree that from a
application/user point of view completion time might impact throughput
too. For example of if your throughput depends on how fast you can
offload work to some peripheral device (GPU for example).

However, as I said in the beginning we don't know what the task does.

> > means that work isn't piling up faster than it can be processed.
> > However, from a _latency_ (completion time) point of view it might be a
> > problem, and for latency sensitive tasks I can agree that going for max
> > capacity might be better choice.
> >
> > The misfit patches places tasks based on utilization to ensure that
> > tasks get the _throughput_ they need if possible. This is in line with
> > the placement policy we have in select_task_rq_fair() already.
> >
> > We shouldn't forget that what we are discussing here is the default
> > behaviour when we don't have sufficient knowledge about the tasks in the
> > scheduler. So we are looking a reasonable middle-of-the-road policy that
> > doesn't kill your performance or the battery. If user-space has its own
> But misfit task kills performance and might also kills your battery as
> it doesn't prevent small task to run on big cores

As I said it is not perfect for all use-cases, it is middle-of-the-road
approach. But I strongly disagree that it is always a bad choice for
both energy and performance as you suggest. ASYM_PACKING doesn't
guarantee max "throughput" (by your definition) either as you may fill
up your big cores with smaller tasks leaving the big tasks behind on
little cpus.

> The default behavior of the scheduler is to provide max _throughput_
> not middle performance and then side activity can mitigate the power
> impact like frequency scaling or like EAS which tries to optimize the
> usage of energy when system is not overloaded.

That view doesn't fit very well with all activities around integrating
cpufreq and the scheduler. Frequency scaling is an important factor in
optimizing the throughput.

> With misfit task, you
> make the assumption that short task on little core is the best
> placement to do even for a performance PoV.

I never said it was the best placement, I said it was a reasonable
default policy for big.LITTLE systems.

> It seems that you make
> some power/performance assumption without using an energy model which
> can make such decision. This is all the interest of EAS.

I'm trying to see the bigger picture where you seem not to. The
ASYM_PACKING solution is incompatible with EAS. CFS has a cpu centric
view and the default policy I'm suggesting doesn't violate that view.
Your own code in group_is_overloaded() follows this view as it is
utilization based and happily accepts partially utilized groups as being
fine without need to be offloaded despite you could have multiple tasks
waiting to execute. CFS doesn't not provide any latency guarantees, but
we of course do the best we can within reason to minimize it.

Seen in the bigger picture I would consider going for max capacity for
big.LITTLE systems more aggressive than using the performance cpufreq
govenor. Nobody does the latter for battery powered devices, hence I
don't see why anyone would to go big-always for big.LITTLE systems.

> > opinion about performance requirements it is free to use task affinity
> > to control which cpu the task end up on and ensure that the task gets
> > max capacity always. On top of that we have had interfaces in Android
> > for years to specify performance requirements for task (groups) to allow
> > small tasks to be placed on big cpus and big task to be placed on little
> > cpus depending on their requirements. It is even tied into cpufreq as
> > well. A lot of effort has gone into Android to get this balance right.
> > Patrick is working hard on upstreaming some of those features.
> >
> > In the bigger picture always going for max capacity is not desirable for
> > well-configured big.LITTLE system. You would never exploit the advantage
> > of the little cpus as you always use big first and only use little when
> > the bigs are overloaded at which point having little cpus at all makes
> If i'm not wrong misfit task patchset doesn't prevent little task to
> run on big core

It does not, in fact it doesn't touch small tasks at all, that is not
the point of the patch set. The point is to make sure that big tasks
don't get stuck on little cpus. IOW, a selective little to big
migration based on task utilization.

> > little sense. Vendors build big.LITTLE systems because they want a
> > better performance/energy trade-off, if they wanted max capacity always,
> > they would just built big-only systems.
> And that's all the purpose of the EAS patchset. EAS patchset is there
> to put some energy awareness in the scheduler decision. There is 2
> running mode for EAS: one when there is spare cycles so tasks can be
> placed to optimize energy consumption. And one when the system or part
> of the system is overloaded and it goes back to default performance
> mode because there is no interest for energy efficiency and we just
> want to provide max performance. So the asym packing fits with this
> latter mode as it provide the max compute capacity to the default mode
> and doesn't break EAS as it uses the load balance which is disable by
> EAS in not overloaded mode

We still care about energy even when we are overutilized. We really
don't want a vastly different placement policy depending on whether we
are overutilized or not if we can avoid it as the situation changes
frequently in many real world scenarios. With ASYM_PACKING everything
could suddenly shift to big cpus if a little cpu is suddenly
overutilized. With the misfit patches, we would detect exactly which
little cpu that needs help, migrate the misfit task and everything will
return to non-overutilized. That is why I said that ASYM_PACKING is
incompatible with energy-aware scheduling and we would need the misfit
patches anyway.


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