[PATCH v5 04/45] percpu_rwlock: Implement the core design of Per-CPU Reader-Writer Locks

Srivatsa S. Bhat srivatsa.bhat at linux.vnet.ibm.com
Thu Jan 24 15:30:04 EST 2013

On 01/24/2013 01:27 AM, Tejun Heo wrote:
> Hello, Srivatsa.
> On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 01:03:52AM +0530, Srivatsa S. Bhat wrote:
>> Hmm.. I split it up into steps to help explain the reasoning behind
>> the code sufficiently, rather than spring all of the intricacies at
>> one go (which would make it very hard to write the changelog/comments
>> also). The split made it easier for me to document it well in the
>> changelog, because I could deal with reasonable chunks of code/complexity
>> at a time. IMHO that helps people reading it for the first time to
>> understand the logic easily.
> I don't know.  It's a judgement call I guess.  I personally would much
> prefer having ample documentation as comments in the source itself or
> as a separate Documentation/ file as that's what most people are gonna
> be looking at to figure out what's going on.  Maybe just compact it a
> bit and add more in-line documentation instead?

OK, I'll think about this.

>>> The only two options are either punishing writers or identifying and
>>> updating all such possible deadlocks.  percpu_rwsem does the former,
>>> right?  I don't know how feasible the latter would be.
>> I don't think we can avoid looking into all the possible deadlocks,
>> as long as we use rwlocks inside get/put_online_cpus_atomic() (assuming
>> rwlocks are fair). Even with Oleg's idea of using synchronize_sched()
>> at the writer, we still need to take care of locking rules, because the
>> synchronize_sched() only helps avoid the memory barriers at the reader,
>> and doesn't help get rid of the rwlocks themselves.
> Well, percpu_rwlock don't have to use rwlock for the slow path.  It
> can implement its own writer starving locking scheme.  It's not like
> implementing slow path global rwlock logic is difficult.

Great idea! So probably I could use atomic ops or something similar in the
slow path to implement the scheme we need...

>> CPU 0                          CPU 1
>> read_lock(&rwlock)
>>                               write_lock(&rwlock) //spins, because CPU 0
>>                               //has acquired the lock for read
>> read_lock(&rwlock)
>>    ^^^^^
>> What happens here? Does CPU 0 start spinning (and hence deadlock) or will
>> it continue realizing that it already holds the rwlock for read?
> I don't think rwlock allows nesting write lock inside read lock.
> read_lock(); write_lock() will always deadlock.

Sure, I understand that :-) My question was, what happens when *two* CPUs
are involved, as in, the read_lock() is invoked only on CPU 0 whereas the
write_lock() is invoked on CPU 1.

For example, the same scenario shown above, but with slightly different
timing, will NOT result in a deadlock:

Scenario 2:
  CPU 0                                CPU 1


read_lock(&rwlock) //doesn't spin

                                    write_lock(&rwlock) //spins, because CPU 0
                                    //has acquired the lock for read

So I was wondering whether the "fairness" logic of rwlocks would cause
the second read_lock() to spin (in the first scenario shown above) because
a writer is already waiting (and hence new readers should spin) and thus
cause a deadlock.

Srivatsa S. Bhat

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