December 06, 2008
A few days ago, I commented that I thought that maybe the GC should be using spinlocks, given how little time a typical allocation takes compared to context switches, etc.  I've created a version of the D 2.21 druntime GC with spinlocks instead of synchronized, and created the following simple benchmark to just generate a ton of contention for the GC:

import core.thread, core.memory, std.perf, std.stdio, std.c.time, std.c.stdio;

void main() {
    readln;  //Allow for affinity to be changed.
    GC.disable;
    auto T = new Thread(&foo);
    T.start;
    scope auto pc = new PerformanceCounter;
    pc.start;
    foo();
    T.join;
    pc.stop;
    writeln(pc.milliseconds);
}

void foo() {
   foreach(i; 0..10_000_000) {
       auto foo = GC.malloc(8);
       GC.free(foo);
   }
}

Here are the times:

Using both of my CPU cores, meaning serious contention, in milliseconds:

Spinlock:  10006
Synchronized:  28563

The synchronized version uses ~25-30% CPU, because of OS rescheduling, while the spinlock version uses 100%.

Setting the affinity to only one CPU to simulate a single-CPU environment:

Spinlock:  4356
Synchronized:  4758

Replacing one thread's foo() by a dummy function so that the lock is never
even contested:

Spinlock:  1876
Synchronized:  2589


I will acknowledge that this is an extremely simple benchmark, but I think
it's reasonably representative of a severely contested memory allocation lock.
 The spinlock I used was the simplest possible atomic CAS lock, nothing fancy.
December 06, 2008
On 2008-12-06 21:31:34 +0100, dsimcha <dsimcha@yahoo.com> said:

> A few days ago, I commented that I thought that maybe the GC should be using
> spinlocks, given how little time a typical allocation takes compared to
> context switches, etc.  I've created a version of the D 2.21 druntime GC with
> spinlocks instead of synchronized, and created the following simple benchmark
> to just generate a ton of contention for the GC:
> 
> import core.thread, core.memory, std.perf, std.stdio, std.c.time, std.c.stdio;
> 
> void main() {
>     readln;  //Allow for affinity to be changed.
>     GC.disable;
>     auto T = new Thread(&foo);
>     T.start;
>     scope auto pc = new PerformanceCounter;
>     pc.start;
>     foo();
>     T.join;
>     pc.stop;
>     writeln(pc.milliseconds);
> }
> 
> void foo() {
>    foreach(i; 0..10_000_000) {
>        auto foo = GC.malloc(8);
>        GC.free(foo);
>    }
> }
> 
> Here are the times:
> 
> Using both of my CPU cores, meaning serious contention, in milliseconds:
> 
> Spinlock:  10006
> Synchronized:  28563
> 
> The synchronized version uses ~25-30% CPU, because of OS rescheduling, while
> the spinlock version uses 100%.
> 
> Setting the affinity to only one CPU to simulate a single-CPU environment:
> 
> Spinlock:  4356
> Synchronized:  4758
> 
> Replacing one thread's foo() by a dummy function so that the lock is never
> even contested:
> 
> Spinlock:  1876
> Synchronized:  2589
> 
> 
> I will acknowledge that this is an extremely simple benchmark, but I think
> it's reasonably representative of a severely contested memory allocation lock.
>  The spinlock I used was the simplest possible atomic CAS lock, nothing fancy.

Nice, I think indeed for the allocation I think that spinlock are definitely preferable, but I think that they should be integrated in the runtime, so that the runtime can  be built also on platforms that do not support them (maybe a spinlock module that can be implemented on the top of normal locks if the need arises, it should not add too much overhead I hope.

Fawzi

December 07, 2008
Hi,
Could you measure spinlock with this bench?
http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/u32q/benchmark.php?test=binarytrees&lang=all

Thanks.
December 07, 2008
The Anh Tran:
> Could you measure spinlock with this bench? http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/u32q/benchmark.php?test=binarytrees&lang=all

This is a D version designed to be simple (it's like the Java version): http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/gp4/benchmark.php?test=binarytrees&lang=dlang&id=1

Bye,
bearophile
December 07, 2008
== Quote from The Anh Tran (trtheanh@gmail.com)'s article
> Hi,
> Could you measure spinlock with this bench?
> http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/u32q/benchmark.php?test=binarytrees&lang=all
> Thanks.

I tried to reply to your post last night with my modified gcx.d, but apparently posting attachments of that size (~80kb) silently fails.

There is no multithreaded implementation of the binary trees benchmark for D that I was able to find.  As far as the single-threaded version, spinlocks would make absolutely no difference because the druntime GC uses thread_needLock() to avoid any kind of lock on single-threaded code.

If you or anyone else wants to play around w/ my modified gcx.d code and try it under different use cases, I've posted it to http://cis.jhu.edu/~dsimcha/gcx.d.
December 09, 2008
dsimcha wrote:
> == Quote from The Anh Tran (trtheanh@gmail.com)'s article
>> Hi,
>> Could you measure spinlock with this bench?
>> http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/u32q/benchmark.php?test=binarytrees&lang=all
>> Thanks.
> 
> I tried to reply to your post last night with my modified gcx.d, but apparently posting attachments of that size (~80kb) silently fails.
> 
> There is no multithreaded implementation of the binary trees benchmark for D that I was able to find.  As far as the single-threaded version, spinlocks would make absolutely no difference because the druntime GC uses thread_needLock() to avoid any kind of lock on single-threaded code.
> 
> If you or anyone else wants to play around w/ my modified gcx.d code and try it under different use cases, I've posted it to http://cis.jhu.edu/~dsimcha/gcx.d.

I've failed to recompile druntime with your gcx.d. I'm still a D newbie :|. Ie: need someone to hold my hand and guide steps by steps ;)

This is my multithread alloc implementation.
If it uses std.gc, and runs with 2 threads; it is 5 times slower than 1
thread !???


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