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Re: why does rwlock prefer readers by default?

On Sat, May 24, 2014 at 06:33:06PM +0200, OndÅej BÃlka wrote:
> > It also means you need to handle the case where it fails.
> > 
> > > With readers we let kernel handle that.
> > 
> > The kernel? There's only one futex object for an individual contended
> > address, and if it can't be created, futex wait will return an error
> > and then you just spin.
> >
> Do you have documentation? My point was that futex object needs to
> remember which threads to wake. Could you cause spinlocks for multiple
> threads in current implementation, see  nptl/pthread_rwlock_wrlock.c:75 

A given thread can only be waiting on at most one futex, and even if
it did require resource allocation to add a waiter, failure would just
return to userspace without waiting, allowing the caller to retry
(consuming cpu time but not causing deadlock except possibly in
realtime scheduling cases).

> > > A argument that you need unbounded memory usage is misleading as this is
> > > bounded by number of threads and contention of many readers/writers is bigger
> > > issue than allocating few extra bytes.
> > 
> > The number of threads is essentially unbounded (limit is either ~500
> > million or ~1 billion, I forget which).
> > 
> Still a thread needs its stack which is at least one page. 

That doesn't impose any limit on 64-bit systems. The range of int,
used for tids/futexes, and the fact that the upper few bits have
special meaning in futex, is the limiting factor.

> > > To detect these you use bloom
> > > filter: split counter to 8 8-bit counters, for each rwlock randomly generate 
> > > mask which counters it uses and check if all these counters are zero then yield.
> > 
> > I don't see how this is better than choosing a single-bit mask.
> > Multiple bits just makes it more-likely to prefer a reader when you
> > shouldn't.
> > 
> A problem is how you clear mask when you stop using one lock.

I don't follow.

> > > There is techical problem that if a counter reaches 255 we could not
> > > decrease/increase it but it should not happen in practice.
> > 
> > What do you do when it does?
> > 
> Keep that 255, it only causes prefering readers for that thread.

In that case what happens when you decrement? You can reach 0 when you
still hold a read lock, and then calling rdlock again will deadlock
(attempting to prefer a writer) rather than allowing you to obtain the
lock recursively.


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