[Gluster-devel] [RFC ] dictionary optimizations
anand.avati at gmail.com
Wed Sep 4 00:55:06 UTC 2013
On Tue, Sep 3, 2013 at 1:42 AM, Xavier Hernandez <xhernandez at datalab.es>wrote:
> Al 03/09/13 09:33, En/na Anand Avati ha escrit:
> On Mon, Sep 2, 2013 at 7:24 AM, Xavier Hernandez <xhernandez at datalab.es>wrote:
>> dict_t structures are widely used in glusterfs. I've some ideas that
>> could improve its performance.
>> * On delete operations, return the current value if it exists.
>> This is very useful when we want to get a value and remove it from the
>> dictionary. This way it can be done accessing and locking the dict_t only
>> once (and it is atomic).
> Makes sense.
>> * On add operations, return the previous value if it existed.
>> This avoids to use a lookup and a conditional add (and it is atomic).
> Do you mean dict_set()? If so, how do you propose we differentiate
> between "failure" and "previous value did not exist"? Do you propose
> setting the previous value into a pointer to pointer, and retain the return
> value as is today?
> Yes, I'm thinking to something similar to dict_set() (by the way, I would
> remove the dict_add() function).
dict_add() is used in unserialization routines where dict_set() for a big
set of keys guaranteed not to repeat is very expensive (unserializing would
otherwise have a quadratic function as its asymptote). What is the reason
you intend to remove it?
> What you propose would be the simplest solution right now. However I think
> it would be interesting to change the return value to an error code (this
> would supply more detailed information in case of failure and we could use
> EEXIST to know if the value already existed. In fact I think it would be
> interesting to progressively change the -1 return code of many functions by
> an error code). The pointer to pointer argument could be NULL if the
> previous value is not needed.
> Of course this would change the function signature, breaking a lot of
> existing code. Another possibility could be to create a dict_replace()
> function, and possibly make it to fail if the value didn't exist.
It is best we do not change the meaning of existing APIs, and just add new
APIs instead. The new API can be:
int dict_replace (dict_t *dict, const char *key, data_t *newval, data_t
.. and leave dict_set() as is.
>> * Always return the data_pair_t structure instead of data_t or the data
>> This can be useful to avoid future lookups or other operations on the
>> same element. Macros can be created to simplify writing code to access the
>> actual value.
> The use case is not clear. A more concrete example will help..
> Having a data_pair_t could help to navigate from an existing element
> (getting next or previous. This is really interesting if dict where
> implemented using a sorted structure like a trie since it would allow to
> process a set of similar entries very fast, like the trusted.afr.<brick>
> values for example) or removing or replacing it without needing another
> lookup (a more detailed analysis would be needed to see how to handle race
> By the way, is really the dict_t structure used concurrently ? I haven't
> analyzed all the code deeply, but it seems to me that every dict_t is only
> accessed from a single place at once.
There have been instances of dict_t getting used concurrently, when used as
xdata and in xattrop (by AFR). There have been bugs in the past with
concurrent dict access.
>> * Use a trie instead of a hash.
>> A trie structure is a bit more complex than a hash, but only processes
>> the key once and does not need to compute the hash. A test implementation I
>> made with a trie shows a significant improvement in dictionary operations.
> There is already an implementation of trie in libglusterfs/src/trie.c.
> Though it does not compact (collapse) single-child nodes upwards into the
> parent. In any case, let's avoid having two implementations of tries.
> I know. The current implementation wastes a lot of memory because it uses
> an array of 256 pointers, and in some places it needs to traverse the
> array. Not a b¡g deal, but if it is made many times it could be noticeable.
> In my test I used a trie with 4 child pointers (with collapsing
> single-child nodes) that runs a bit faster than the 256 implementation and
> uses much less memory. I tried with 2, 4, 16 and 256 childs per node, and 4
> seems to be the best (at least for dictionary structures) though there are
> very little difference between 4 and 16 in terms of speed.
The 256 child pointers give you constant time lookup for the next level
child with just an offset indirection. With smaller fan-out, do you search
through the list? Can you show an example of this? Collapsing single child
node upwards is badly needed though.
> I agree that it is not good to maintain two implementations of the same
> thing. Maybe we could change the trie implementation. It should be
Yes, I believe the current API can accommodate such internal changes.
> * Implement dict_foreach() as a macro (similar to kernel's
>> This gives more control and avoids the need of helper functions.
> This makes sense too, but there are quite a few users of dict_foreach in
> the existing style. Moving them all over might be a pain.
> Maybe we could create a differently named macro to implement this feature
> and allow the developers to slowly change it. The old implementation could
> be flagged as deprecated and use the new one for new code. Old code will
> have enough time to change it until eventually the old implementation is
> If we make important changes to the dict_t structure, we could replace
> current functions by macros that use the new implementation but simulates
> the old behavior.
>> Additionally, I think it's possible to redefine structures to reduce the
>> number of allocations and pointers used for each element (actual data,
>> data_t, data_pair_t and key).
> This is highly desirable. There was some effort from Amar in the past (
> http://review.gluster.org/3910) but it has been in need of attention for
> some time. It would be intersting to know if you were thinking along
> similar lines?
> Yes, it is quite similar though I should analyze it more deeply. I
> would also try to remove some unused/unneeded fields that are used in very
> few places, add complexity and can be replaced easily, like extra_free and
> extra_stdfree in dict_t for example.
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