On Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 11:20:04AM +0100, Catalin Marinas wrote: > On Fri, Apr 06, 2018 at 03:22:49PM +0200, Andrea Parri wrote: > > On Thu, Apr 05, 2018 at 05:58:57PM +0100, Will Deacon wrote: > > > I've been kicking the tyres further on qspinlock and with this set of > > > patches > > > I'm happy with the performance and fairness properties. In particular, the > > > locking algorithm now guarantees forward progress whereas the > > > implementation > > > in mainline can starve threads indefinitely in cmpxchg loops. > > > > > > Catalin has also implemented a model of this using TLA to prove that the > > > lock is fair, although this doesn't take the memory model into account: > > > > > > https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/cmarinas/kernel-tla.git/commit/ > > > > Nice! I'll dig into this formalization, but my guess is that our model > > (and axiomatic models "a-la-herd", in general) are not well-suited when > > it comes to study properties such as fairness, liveness... > > Maybe someone with a background in formal methods could give a better > answer. How TLA+ works is closer to rmem [1] (operational model, > exhaustive memoised state search) than herd. Liveness verification > requires checking that, under certain fairness properties, some state is > eventually reached. IOW, it tries to show that either all state change > graphs lead to (go through) such state or that there are cycles in the > graph and the state is never reached. I don't know whether herd could be > modified to check liveness. I'm not sure it can handle infinite loops > either (the above model checks an infinite lock/unlock loop on each > CPU and that's easier to implement in a tool with memoised states). > > The TLA+ model above assumes sequential consistency, so no memory > ordering taken into account. One could build an operational model in > TLA+ that's equivalent to the axiomatic one (e.g. following the Flat > model equivalence as in [2]), however, liveness checking (at least with > TLA+) is orders of magnitude slower than safety. Any small variation has > an exponential impact on the state space, so likely to be impractical. > For specific parts of the algorithm, you may be able to use a poor man's > ordering by e.g. writing two accesses in two different orders so the > model checks both combinations. > > There are papers (e.g. [3]) on how to convert liveness checking to > safety checking but I haven't dug further. I think it's easier/faster if > you do liveness checking with a simplified model and separately check > the safety with respect to memory ordering on tools like herd.

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Indeed. A fundamental problem, AFAICT, is to formalize that concept of '[it] will _eventually_ happen'. Consider a simple example: { x = 0} P0 | P1 | x = 1 | while (!x) | ; herd 'knows' that: - on the 1st iteration of the 'while' loop, the load from x can return the value 0 or 1 (only); - on the 2nd iteration of the 'while' loop, the load from x can return the value 0 or 1; - [ ... and 'so on'! ] but this is pretty much all herd knows about this snippet by now ... ;) Thanks, Andrea > > [1] http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~sf502/regressions/rmem/ > [2] http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~pes20/armv8-mca/armv8-mca-draft.pdf > [3] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1571066104804109 > > -- > Catalin