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the immediate issue that was reported by Jens Gustedt and needed to be
fixed was corruption of the cv/mutex waiter states when switching to
using a new mutex with the cv after all waiters were unblocked but
before they finished returning from the wait function.
self-synchronized destruction was also handled poorly and may have had
race conditions. and the use of sequence numbers for waking waiters
admitted a theoretical missed-wakeup if the sequence number wrapped
through the full 32-bit space.
the new implementation is largely documented in the comments in the
source. the basic principle is to use linked lists initially attached
to the cv object, but detachable on signal/broadcast, made up of nodes
residing in automatic storage (stack) on the threads that are waiting.
this eliminates the need for waiters to access the cv object after
they are signaled, and allows us to limit wakeup to one waiter at a
time during broadcasts even when futex requeue cannot be used.
performance is also greatly improved, roughly double some tests.
basically nothing is changed in the process-shared cond var case,
where this implementation does not work, since processes do not have
access to one another's local storage.
private-futex uses the virtual address of the futex int directly as
the hash key rather than requiring the kernel to resolve the address
to an underlying backing for the mapping in which it lies. for certain
usage patterns it improves performance significantly.
in many places, the code using futex __wake and __wait operations was
already passing a correct fixed zero or nonzero flag for the priv
argument, so no change was needed at the site of the call, only in the
__wake and __wait functions themselves. in other places, especially
where the process-shared attribute for a synchronization object was
not previously tracked, additional new code is needed. for mutexes,
the only place to store the flag is in the type field, so additional
bit masking logic is needed for accessing the type.
for non-process-shared condition variable broadcasts, the futex
requeue operation is unable to requeue from a private futex to a
process-shared one in the mutex structure, so requeue is simply
disabled in this case by waking all waiters.
for robust mutexes, the kernel always performs a non-private wake when
the owner dies. in order not to introduce a behavioral regression in
non-process-shared robust mutexes (when the owning thread dies), they
are simply forced to be treated as process-shared for now, giving
correct behavior at the expense of performance. this can be fixed by
adding explicit code to pthread_exit to do the right thing for
non-shared robust mutexes in userspace rather than relying on the
kernel to do it, and will be fixed in this way later.
since not all supported kernels have private futex support, the new
code detects EINVAL from the futex syscall and falls back to making
the call without the private flag. no attempt to cache the result is
made; caching it and using the cached value efficiently is somewhat
difficult, and not worth the complexity when the benefits would be
seen only on ancient kernels which have numerous other limitations and
prior to version 1.1.0, the difference between pthread_self (the
public function) and __pthread_self (the internal macro or inline
function) was that the former would lazily initialize the thread
pointer if it was not already initialized, whereas the latter would
crash in this case. since lazy initialization is no longer supported,
use of pthread_self no longer makes sense; it simply generates larger,
lock out new waiters during the broadcast. otherwise the wait count
added to the mutex might be lower than the actual number of waiters
moved, and wakeups may be lost.
this issue could also be solved by temporarily setting the mutex
waiter count higher than any possible real count, then relying on the
kernel to tell us how many waiters were requeued, and updating the
counts afterwards. however the logic is more complex, and i don't
really trust the kernel. the solution here is also nice in that it
replaces some atomic cas loops with simple non-atomic ops under lock.
due to moving waiters from the cond var to the mutex in bcast, these
waiters upon wakeup would steal slots in the count from newer waiters
that had not yet been signaled, preventing the signal function from
taking any action.
to solve the problem, we simply use two separate waiter counts, and so
that the original "total" waiters count is undisturbed by broadcast
and still available for signal.
testing revealed that the old implementation, while correct, was
giving way too many spurious wakeups due to races changing the value
of the condition futex. in a test program with 5 threads receiving
broadcast signals, the number of returns from pthread_cond_wait was
roughly 3 times what it should have been (2 spurious wakeups for every
legitimate wakeup). moreover, the magnitude of this effect seems to
grow with the number of threads.
the old implementation may also have had some nasty race conditions
with reuse of the cond var with a new mutex.
the new implementation is based on incrementing a sequence number with
each signal event. this sequence number has nothing to do with the
number of threads intended to be woken; it's only used to provide a
value for the futex wait to avoid deadlock. in theory there is a
danger of race conditions due to the value wrapping around after 2^32
signals. it would be nice to eliminate that, if there's a way.
testing showed no spurious wakeups (though they are of course
possible) with the new implementation, as well as slightly improved
using swap has a race condition: the waiters must be added to the
mutex waiter count *before* they are taken off the cond var waiter
count, or wake events can be lost.
somehow i forgot that normal-type mutexes don't store the owner tid.
this avoids the "stampede effect" where pthread_cond_broadcast would
result in all waiters waking up simultaneously, only to immediately
contend for the mutex and go back to sleep.
previously, a waiter could miss the 1->0 transition of block if
another thread set block to 1 again after the signal function set
block to 0. we now use the caller's thread id as a unique token to
store in block, which no other thread will ever write there. this
ensures that if block still contains the tid, no signal has occurred.
spurious wakeups will of course occur whenever there is a spurious
return from the futex wait and another thread has begun waiting on the
cond var. this should be a rare occurrence except perhaps in the
presence of interrupting signal handlers.
signal/bcast operations have been improved by noting that they need
not avoid inspecting the cond var's memory after changing the futex
value. because the standard allows spurious wakeups, there is no way
for an application to distinguish between a spurious wakeup just
before another thread called signal/bcast, and the deliberate wakeup
resulting from the signal/bcast call. thus the woken thread must
assume that the signalling thread may still be waiting to act on the
cond var, and therefore it cannot destroy/unmap the cond var.
it's amazing none of the conformance tests i've run even bothered to
check whether something so basic works...
this allows sys/types.h to provide the pthread types, as required by
POSIX. this design also facilitates forcing ABI-compatible sizes in
the arch-specific alltypes.h, while eliminating the need for
developers changing the internals of the pthread types to poke around
with arch-specific headers they may not be able to test.