svn commit: r218195 - in head/sys: amd64/amd64 arm/arm i386/i386 ia64/ia64 kern mips/mips powerpc/powerpc sparc64/sparc64 sun4v/sun4v sys ufs/ffs

Bruce Evans brde at
Fri Feb 4 02:28:28 UTC 2011

On Thu, 3 Feb 2011 mdf at wrote:

> Bruce correctly points out that the code doesn't work like I expect
> with PREEMPTION, which most people will be running.

Not just PREEMPTION, but with almost any non-fast^Wfiltered interrupt

> I'm thinking of adding a new per-thread field to record the last ticks
> value that a voluntary mi_switch() was done, so that there's a
> standard way of checking if a thread is being a hog; this will work
> for both PREEMPTION and !PREEMPTION, and would be appropriate for the
> places that previously used a counter.  (This would require
> uio_yield() to be SW_VOL, but I can't see why it's not a voluntary
> context switch anyways).

I don't like using a ticks value for this at all.  It gives complexities
and doing the scheduler's work for it.  If you don't count involuntary
context switches, then the ticks spent by involuntarily-switch-to threads
will be counted against the hog thread.  And switches back from these
threads are probably voluntary (this is the case for ithreads), so you
would need complexities to not reset the last ticks values for some
voluntary context switches too.  A perfectly fair way to keep track of
hoggishness might be to monitor the thread's runtime and yield if this
is too large a percentage of the real time, but this might be complex
and is doing the scheduler's work for it (better than the scheduler does
-- schedulers still use ticks, but the runtime is much more accurate).
OTOH, yielding on every tick might work well.  This is equivalent to
reducing hogticks to 1 and doesn't need an externally maintained last-
tick value.  Just do an atomic cmpset of `ticks' with a previous value
and yield if it changed.  This could probably be used for increments of
larger than 1 too.  But I now remember that the hogticks checks are
intentionally not done like this, so that they can be as small and
efficient as possible and not need local state or a function call.
I must have expected them to be used more.  The reason to consider
yielding on every tick is that 2 quanta (200 mS) isn't as long as it
was when it was first used for hogticks.  Back then, memory speeds were
maybe 50 MB/S at best and you could reach hogticks limit simply by
reading a few MB from /dev/zero.

> I'm happy to rename the functions (perhaps just yield_foo() rather
> than foo_yield()?) and stop using uio_yield as the base name since
> it's not a uio function.  I wanted to keep the uio_yield symbol to
> preserve the KBI/KPI.

Errors should not be preserved.


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