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Date:	Thu, 22 May 2014 08:45:29 +0200
From:	Peter Zijlstra <>
To:	Andrew Morton <>
Cc:	Mel Gorman <>, Oleg Nesterov <>,
	Johannes Weiner <>,
	Vlastimil Babka <>, Jan Kara <>,
	Michal Hocko <>, Hugh Dickins <>,
	Dave Hansen <>,
	Linux Kernel <>,
	Linux-MM <>,
	Linux-FSDevel <>,
	Paul McKenney <>,
	Linus Torvalds <>,
	David Howells <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] mm: filemap: Avoid unnecessary barries and waitqueue
 lookups in unlock_page fastpath v5

On Wed, May 21, 2014 at 02:50:00PM -0700, Andrew Morton wrote:
> On Wed, 21 May 2014 23:33:54 +0200 Peter Zijlstra <> wrote:

> Alternative solution is not to merge the patch ;)

There is always that.. :-)

> > Yeah, so we only clear that bit when at 'unlock' we find there are no
> > more pending waiters, so if the last unlock still had a waiter, we'll
> > leave the bit set.
> Confused.  If the last unlock had a waiter, that waiter will get woken
> up so there are no waiters any more, so the last unlock clears the flag.
> um, how do we determine that there are no more waiters?  By looking at
> the waitqueue.  But that waitqueue is hashed, so it may contain waiters
> for other pages so we're screwed?  But we could just go and wake up the
> other-page waiters anyway and still clear PG_waiters?
> um2, we're using exclusive waitqueues so we can't (or don't) wake all
> waiters, so we're screwed again?

Ah, so leave it set. Then when we do an uncontended wakeup, that is a
wakeup where there are _no_ waiters left, we'll iterate the entire
hashed queue, looking for a matching page.

We'll find none, and only then clear the bit.

> (This process is proving to be a hard way of writing Mel's changelog btw).

Agreed :/

> If I'm still on track here, what happens if we switch to wake-all so we
> can avoid the dangling flag?  I doubt if there are many collisions on
> that hash table?

Wake-all will be ugly and loose a herd of waiters, all racing to
acquire, all but one of whoem will loose the race. It also looses the
fairness, its currently a FIFO queue. Wake-all will allow starvation.

> If there *are* a lot of collisions, I bet it's because a great pile of
> threads are all waiting on the same page.  If they're trying to lock
> that page then wake-all is bad.  But if they're just waiting for IO
> completion (probable) then it's OK.

Yeah, I'm not entirely sure on the rationale for adding PG_waiters to
writeback completion, and yes PG_writeback is a wake-all.

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