On Sun, Mar 14, 2021 at 11:30 PM kernel test robot
FYI, we noticed a -52.4% regression of fxmark.hdd_btrfs_DWAL_63_bufferedio.works/sec
That's quite the huge regression.
due to commit: f3344adf38bd ("mm: memcontrol: optimize
per-lruvec stats counter memory usage")
That's _literally_ just changing a dynamically allocated per-cpu array
of "long" to an array of "s32" and in the process shrinking it
from 304 bytes to 152 bytes.
in testcase: fxmark
on test machine: 288 threads Intel(R) Xeon Phi(TM) CPU 7295 @ 1.50GHz with 80G memory
I think this must be some really random memory layout issue that
causes some false sharing or similar.
And it's not even that some fundamental data structure gets a
different layout, it literally is just either:
(a) the (now smaller) array is allocated from a differently chunk,
and that then causes random cache effects with something else
(b) the (old, and bigger) array was more spread out, and as a result
had different fields in different cachelines and less false sharing
Normally I'd say that (b) is the obvious case, except for the fact
that this is a __percpu array.
So in the common case there shouldn't be any cache contention _within_
the array itself. Any cache contention should be with something else
very hot that the change now randomly makes be in the same cache way
Afaik, only the flushing of the vmstats batches does access the percpu
arrays from other CPUs, so (b) is not _entirely_ impossible if
memcg_flush_percpu_vmstats() were to be very very very hot.
But the profile data doesn't show anything remotely like that.
In fact, the actual report seems to show things improving, ie things
like elapsed time going down:
1361 -9.5% 1232
1361 -9.5% 1232 fxmark.time.elapsed_time.max
25.67 +9.1% 28.00 fxmark.time.percent_of_cpu_this_job_got
343.68 -2.0% 336.76 fxmark.time.system_time
23.66 +2.5 26.12 mpstat.cpu.all.sys%
but I don't know what the benchmark actually does, so maybe it just
repeats things until it hits a certain confidence interval, and thus
"elapsed time" is immaterial.
Honestly, normally if I were to get a report about "52% regression"
for a commit that is supposed to optimize something, I'd just revert
the commit as a case of "ok, that optimization clearly didn't work".
But there is absolutely no sign that this commit is actually the
culprit, or explanation for why that should be, and what could be
So I'm going to treat this as a "bisection failure, possibly due to
random code or data layout changes". Particularly since this seems to
be a 4-socket Xeon Phi machine, which I think is likely a very very
fragile system if there is some odd cache layout issue.
If somebody can actually figure out what happened there, that would be
good, but for now it goes into my "archived as a random outlier"