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From: Calum Grant (calum_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-08-25 13:43:02

> [mailto:boost-bounces_at_[hidden]] On Behalf Of Peter Dimov
> Maxim Yegorushkin wrote:
> > On Thu, 25 Aug 2005 17:34:59 +0400, Peter Dimov <pdimov_at_[hidden]>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> Maxim Yegorushkin wrote:
> >>
> >>> I just skimmed through boost/detail/quick_allocator.hpp
> and noticed
> >>> that quick_allocator causes false sharing on SMP. It happens when
> >>> several counters are allocated within the same cache line
> and those
> >>> counters are used by different processors, thus thrashing
> >>> processors' cache lines when the counter is written, even
> when the
> >>> counter is used by a single processor only.
> >>
> >> What do you suggest?
> >
> > IMO, patching it to avoid false sharing may require too much effort.
> That, and it would increase the memory footprint.

Typically you avoid sharing by using thread-local storage (TLS). Thus
you can't pool memory between threads, resulting in an increase in
memory usage on average. Depending on the sophistication of the
allocator, you could end up with resource leaks if you allocate in one
thread and deallocate in another, but that is an edge case.

But the good news is that if you just have one thread, you don't have
extra overhead. The performance of locking operations (even interlocked
increments/exchanges) will come to dominate the allocator on multi-cpu
and even multi-core systems. So even a naïve pool allocator using TLS
will scale reasonably well.

I would quite like to see the memory model specified via a template
argument to the pool allocator, as opposed to a macro. Just an
instinctive aversion to macros...

Regards, Calum

> > Not quite constructive, but I would stick to using standard
> new/delete
> > and replaced libc provided malloc() with hoard's one for my project.
> That's always been the recommended course of action.
> quick_allocator is for
> (a) benchmarks that use a horribly slow underlying malloc,
> (b) people that
> try the #define and their particular project tends to benefit
> a lot, and (c)
> people that want to customize the allocations of their local copy of
> shared_ptr, but need a starting point.
> It's very much a "toy" compared to industrial grade malloc
> replacements,
> especially in MT mode, where you definitely want
> thread-specific (or at the
> very least, lock free) free lists. False sharing is rarely at
> the top of
> your worries on high contention SMP. :-)
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