[Haskell-cafe] Re: Joels Time Leak

Sebastian Sylvan sebastian.sylvan at gmail.com
Tue Jan 3 10:37:14 EST 2006

On 1/3/06, Simon Marlow <simonmar at haskell.org> wrote:
> Tomasz Zielonka wrote:
> > On Thu, Dec 29, 2005 at 01:20:41PM +0000, Joel Reymont wrote:
> >
> >>Why does it take a fraction of a second for 1 thread to unpickle and
> >>several seconds per thread for several threads to do it at the same
> >>time? I think this is where the mistery lies.
> >
> >
> > Have you considered any of this:
> >
> > - too big memory pressure: more memory means more frequent and more
> >   expensive GCs, 1000 threads using so much memory means bad cache
> >   performance
> > - a deficiency of GHC's thread scheduler - giving too much time one
> >   thread steals it from others (Simons, don't get angry at me - I am
> >   probably wrong here ;-)
> I don't think there's anything really strange going on here.
> The default context switch interval in GHC is 0.02 seconds, measured in
> CPU time by default.  GHC's scheduler is stricly round-robin, so
> therefore with 100 threads in the system it can be 2 seconds between a
> thread being descheduled and scheduled again.

According to this:

The minimum time between context switches is 20 milliseconds.

Is there any good reason why 0.02 seconds is the best that you can get
here? Couldn't GHC's internal timer tick at a _much_ faster rate (like
50-100µs or so)?
Apart from meaning big trouble for applications with a large number of
threads (such as Joels) it'll also make life difficult for any sort of
real-time application. For instance if you want to use HOpenGL to
render a simulation engine and you split it up into tons of concurrent
processes (say one for each dynamic entity in the engine), the 20ms
granularity would make it quite hard to achieve 60 frames per second
in that case...


Sebastian Sylvan
UIN: 44640862

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list