RTS changes affect runtime when they shouldn’t

Ben Gamari ben at smart-cactus.org
Wed Sep 20 18:33:33 UTC 2017

Joachim Breitner <mail at joachim-breitner.de> writes:


> Does anyone have a solid idea what is causing these differences? Are
> they specific to the builder for perf.haskell.org, or do you observe
> them as well? And what can we do here?
There is certainly no shortage of possible causes:


It would be interesting to take a few days to really try to build an
understanding of a few of these performance jumps with perf. At the
moment we can only speculate.

> For the measurements in my thesis I switched to measuring instruction
> counts (using valgrind) instead. These are much more stable, requires
> only a single NoFibRun, and the machine does not have to be otherwise
> quiet. Should I start using these on perf.haskell.org? Or would we lose
> too much by not tracking actual running times any more?
Note that valgrind can also do cache modelling so I suspect it can give
you a reasonably good picture of execution; certainly better than
runtime. However, the trade-off is that (last I checked) it's incredibly
slow. Don't you think I mean just a bit less peppy than usual. I mean
soul-crushingly, mollasses-on-a-cold-December-morning slow.

If we think that we can bear the cost of running valigrind then I think
it would be a great improvement. As you point out, the current run times
are essentially useless.


- Ben
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