|| ||Haoqiang Zheng <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|| ||[RFC PATCH] swap-sched: schedule with dynamic dependency detection (2.6.12-rc3)|
|| ||Sun, 8 May 2005 02:11:41 -0400|
swap-sched is a patch that solves dynamic priority inversion problem.
Run X at normal priority (nice 0) and keep the system really busy by
running a lot of interactive jobs (with dynamic priority at 115), or
simply run some CPU bound tasks at nice -10. Then start a mpeg player
at a high priority (nice -20). What would you expect? In my machine,
the mpeg player runs at poorly 4 frm/s. Why the tasks running at
dynamic priorities of 115 can have such dramatic impact on the
performance of mpeg player running at nice -20? What happens is the
mpeg player often blocks to wait the normal priority X to render the
frames. Without knowing such dependency between mpeg player and X, the
existing Linux scheduler would select other tasks to run and thus
results in poor video playback quality. This problem is generally
known as priority inversion.
Certainly, this very problem can be solved by setting the priority of
X to nice -10 (like what Redhat etc. does). However, inter-process
communication mechanisms like pipe, socket and signal etc. are widely
used in modern applications, and thus the inter-process dependencies
are everywhere in today's computer systems. It's not possible for a
system administrator to find out all the dependencies and set the
priorities properly. Obviously, we need a system that can dynamically
detects the dependencies among the tasks and take the dependency
information into account when scheduling. swap-sched is such a system.
swap-sched consists of two components: the automatic dependency
detection component and the dependency based scheduling
component. swap-sched detects the dependency among tasks by
monitoring/instrumenting the inter-process
communication/synchronization related system calls. Since all the
inter-process communications/synchronizations (except shared-memory)
are done via system calls, the dynamic dependencies can be effectively
detected by instrumenting these system calls.
In a conventional CPU scheduler, a task is removed from the runqueue
once it's blocked. This is a PROBLEM since a high priority task's
request is ignored once it's blocked, even though it's blocked because
of waiting for the execution of another task. Based on this
observation, swap-sched solves the priority inversion problem by make
two simple changes to the existing CPU scheduler. First, it keeps all
the tasks that are blocked but depends on some other tasks that are
runnable in runqueue. (We call such tasks are virtual runnable
tasks). Second, the existing CPU scheduler is called as usual. But since the
virtual runnable tasks are in runqueue, they may be scheduled. In this
case the swap scheduler is called to choose one of the providers of
the task (the task that the virtual runnable task depends on) to run.
Our results show that SWAP has low overhead, effectively solves the
priority inversion problem and can provide substantial improvements in
system performance in scheduling processes with dependencies. For the
mpeg player + X scenario discussed above, mpeg player can play at 23
frm/s with swap-sched enabled!!!
Please visit our swap-sched project homepage at
http://swap-sched.sourceforge.net/ for details and latest
patches. Suggestions/Comments are welcomed.