Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real world

By: Mark Roulo (nothanks.delete@this.xxx.com), July 8, 2015 4:54 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Linus Torvalds (torvalds.delete@this.linux-foundation.org) on July 8, 2015 1:38 pm wrote:
> dmcq (dmcq.delete@this.fano.co.uk) on July 8, 2015 10:11 am wrote:
> >
> > If Linux copes with weak memory ordering and just using barriers then that is good. If a person wants to
> > use shared data they should signal to the hardware that they are doing that - it should not be a general
> > overhead.
>
> You completely missed my argument.Apparently the whole "testing is meaningful" passed you by with no impact.
>
> > The design of the hardware is becoming more automated and straightforward rules are what are needed.
>
> .. I would say that _stricter_ rules are needed. We have a history of CPU's starting off with really badly
> designed and weak rules in general, and every single time that tends to be a big mistake. Undefined behavior
> in a CPU is bad. And weak memory ordering pretty much ends up being "undefined behavior".
>
> Now, would I like memory ordering even stricter than what Intel gives me? Yeah, that would be lovely. I think
> s390 ends up actually doing that. But I'll take what I can get, and I'll point out the relative strengths and
> weaknesses. The x86 is a relatively strong model that helps make some orderign issues much easier to handle.
>
> (In particular, causality is something that people don't think about, because we take it
> for granted. When your memory ordering breaks causality, I guarantee you that people can
> look at code that is "obviously correct" and have a really hard time debugging it)

A real-world example of this is double-checked locking. It was an obvious
performance improvement for singletons in Java and it also worked fine most
of the time.

Where most of the time meant:
    a) Almost all the time on all hardware/OS/JVM/JIT combinations.
    b) ALL the time on some combinations ... including the popular ones (I can't reproduce your bug ...)

I'll note that folks with CS backgrounds thought double-checked locking was a
good idea (for a while). One example is here:

    http://www.cs.wustl.edu/~schmidt/PDF/DC-Locking.pdf

Yes, the Douglas Schmidt in this paper is *the* Doug Schmidt.

A nice explanation of why this doesn't work so well is here:

    http://www.cs.umd.edu/~pugh/java/memoryModel/DoubleCheckedLocking.html

The point here being that *legal* behavior that is subtle, counter-intuitive and/or rare is bad.
Yes, the code is buggy. And some very talented folks made this mistake.

But in this case the combination of human expectations and hardware design
choices make bugs like this more likely. Especially for average programmers.

That is a bad combination, even if we can put the blame on someone besides
the CPU architects.

Designing systems to be less likely to lead to bugs is a good thing. Not the *only*
good thing, and we won't be willing to give up an unlimited amount of performance for
it. But a good thing none the less.
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                    Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldMark Roulo2015/07/08 04:54 PM
                      Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/09 04:37 AM
                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldMark Roulo2015/07/09 08:24 AM
                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/09 10:09 AM
                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldMaynard Handley2015/07/09 10:12 AM
                            Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldLinus Torvalds2015/07/09 12:14 PM
                              Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/09 04:24 PM
                                Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldSimon Farnsworth2015/07/10 01:07 PM
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                                    Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldSimon Farnsworth2015/07/12 01:02 PM
                                      Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/13 05:03 AM
                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldMichael S2015/07/13 05:19 AM
                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldSimon Farnsworth2015/07/14 01:21 PM
                                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/14 02:54 PM
                                            Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldSimon Farnsworth2015/07/15 01:13 PM
                                              Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/15 03:43 PM
                                                Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldSimon Farnsworth2015/07/16 12:41 PM
                                                  Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldWilco2015/07/17 01:57 PM
                                                    Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldLinus Torvalds2015/07/17 04:29 PM
                                                      Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/18 04:07 AM
                                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldJouni Osmala2015/07/16 03:52 AM
                                            Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldSimon Farnsworth2015/07/16 01:05 PM
                                              Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldJouni Osmala2015/07/17 01:18 AM
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                                  Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/12 03:42 AM
                                    Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/12 10:27 AM
                                    Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldLinus Torvalds2015/07/12 11:24 AM
                                      Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldEduardoS2015/07/12 11:53 AM
                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldLinus Torvalds2015/07/12 01:07 PM
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                                              Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/13 12:20 PM
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                                                    Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/13 08:51 PM
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                                                      David's Paul A. Clayton2015/07/14 09:37 AM
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                                                    Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldEtienne2015/07/17 01:15 AM
                                                  Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/13 02:14 PM
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                                                Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldsylt2015/07/13 02:19 PM
                                                  Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/13 03:24 PM
                                                    Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldEduardoS2015/07/13 04:48 PM
                                                      Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldMaynard Handley2015/07/13 07:18 PM
                                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldEduardoS2015/07/13 07:57 PM
                                                      Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/13 09:01 PM
                                                    What high level languages do you have in mind?Mark Roulo2015/07/13 05:00 PM
                                                      What high level languages do you have in mind?dmcq2015/07/14 06:54 AM
                                                  Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldWilco2015/07/13 04:36 PM
                                                    Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldEduardoS2015/07/13 04:56 PM
                                                      Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/13 06:43 PM
                                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldEduardoS2015/07/13 08:11 PM
                                                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/13 09:07 PM
                                      Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldMaynard Handley2015/07/12 12:32 PM
                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldEduardoS2015/07/12 01:35 PM
                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldLinus Torvalds2015/07/12 01:38 PM
                                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldEduardoS2015/07/12 06:47 PM
                                            Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldNoSpammer2015/07/13 12:34 PM
                                              Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldWilco2015/07/13 04:50 PM
                                                Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldNoSpammer2015/07/14 02:02 PM
                                                  Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/14 09:37 PM
                                                    Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldMichael S2015/07/15 01:19 AM
                                                      Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/15 02:26 AM
                                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldNoSpammer2015/07/15 07:05 AM
                                                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/15 08:04 AM
                                                            Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldMichael S2015/07/15 08:29 AM
                                                              Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/15 10:09 AM
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                                                            Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldNoSpammer2015/07/15 12:50 PM
                                                              Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldLinus Torvalds2015/07/15 02:27 PM
                                                                Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldNoSpammer2015/07/15 03:14 PM
                                                                  Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldLinus Torvalds2015/07/15 05:42 PM
                                                      Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldNoSpammer2015/07/15 02:44 AM
                                                    Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldLinus Torvalds2015/07/15 02:17 PM
                                                      Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldWilco2015/07/15 02:43 PM
                                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/15 05:45 PM
                                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldLinus Torvalds2015/07/15 06:35 PM
                                                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/16 02:46 AM
                                                            Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/16 02:49 AM
                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldKonrad Schwarz2015/07/21 07:15 AM
                                      Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/12 07:42 PM
                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/12 09:48 PM
                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldDavid Kanter2015/07/12 10:34 PM
                                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldMichael S2015/07/13 01:51 AM
                                            Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldDavid Kanter2015/07/13 08:31 AM
                                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/13 06:05 AM
                                            Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldGabriele Svelto2015/07/17 05:40 AM
                                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/13 08:09 AM
                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/13 07:46 AM
                                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/14 04:12 AM
                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/15 03:51 AM
                                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/15 04:38 AM
                                            Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/15 06:21 AM
                                      Store queues in POWER/PowerPC processorsGabriele Svelto2015/07/16 01:55 AM
                                        Not sure about that conclusionDavid Kanter2015/07/16 07:34 AM
                                          The POWER4 had the same structureGabriele Svelto2015/07/17 05:20 AM
                                        Committing stores in program orderPaul A. Clayton2015/07/16 01:35 PM
                                          Committing stores in program orderMaynard Handley2015/07/17 12:52 PM
                                      Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldKonrad Schwarz2015/07/20 04:44 AM
                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/20 07:29 AM
                                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldKonrad Schwarz2015/07/21 12:08 AM
                                            Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/21 01:27 AM
                                            Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldMichael S2015/07/21 03:11 AM
                                              Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldKonrad Schwarz2015/07/21 05:24 AM
                                            Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/21 06:22 AM
                                              Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldKonrad Schwarz2015/07/21 07:36 AM
                                                Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/21 08:25 AM
                                              Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/21 08:17 AM
                                                Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/21 09:50 AM
                                                Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldGabriele Svelto2015/07/21 12:46 PM
                                                Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldKonrad Schwarz2015/07/22 12:35 AM
                                                  Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldKonrad Schwarz2015/07/22 01:37 AM
                                                  Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldanon2015/07/23 03:17 AM
                                                    Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldKonrad Schwarz2015/07/23 04:59 AM
                                                      Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldMichael S2015/07/23 07:31 AM
                                                        Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldKonrad Schwarz2015/07/23 03:38 PM
                                                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldKonrad Schwarz2015/07/23 11:44 PM
                                                            Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/24 01:08 AM
                                    Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worlddmcq2015/07/13 07:27 AM
                          Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldKonrad Schwarz2015/07/16 05:11 AM
                      Example of memory ordering causing excitement in the real worldAnonymousse2015/07/16 05:07 AM
          Benefit of dynamic hammock predicationsomeotherdude2015/07/06 05:12 PM
            Benefit of dynamic hammock predicationMichael S2015/07/07 01:19 AM
          Benefit of dynamic hammock predicationPatrick Chase2015/07/06 10:20 PM
            SIMD predication is also helpful, of course (NT)Paul A. Clayton2015/07/07 07:45 AM
        Power8 branch conversionGabriele Svelto2015/07/07 02:50 AM
          isel works for storesPaul A. Clayton2015/07/07 07:43 AM
            isel works for storesPatrick Chase2015/07/07 11:08 AM
            isel DOES NOT work for storessomeotherdude2015/07/07 04:01 PM
              isel DOES NOT work for storesWilco2015/07/07 04:40 PM
              Yes it doesPatrick Chase2015/07/07 11:14 PM
                Yes it doesvvid2015/07/08 09:51 AM
            You don't need isel eitherGabriele Svelto2015/07/08 02:01 AM
              You don't need isel eitherPaul A. Clayton2015/07/08 04:46 AM
                You don't need isel eitherGabriele Svelto2015/07/08 05:22 AM
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