[RESEND PATCH v2 0/5] lib/sort & lib/list_sort: faster and smaller
From: George Spelvin
Date: Tue Mar 19 2019 - 04:26:10 EST
(Resend because earlier send had GIT_AUTHOR_DATE in the e-mail
headers and got filed with last month's archives. And probably
tripped a few spam filters.)
v1->v2: Various spelling, naming and code style cleanups.
Generally positive and no negative responses to the
goals and algorithms used.
I'm running these patches, with CONFIG_TEST_SORT and
CONFIG_TEST_LIST_SORT, on the machine I'm sending this from.
I have tweaked the comments further, but I have verified
the compiled object code is identical to a snapshot I took
when I rebooted.
As far as I'm concerned, this is ready to be merged.
As there is no owner in MAINTAINERS, I was thinking of
sending it via AKPM, like the recent lib/lzo changes.
Andrew, is that okay with you?
Because CONFIG_RETPOLINE has made indirect calls much more expensive,
I thought I'd try to reduce the number made by the library sort
The first three patches apply to lib/sort.c.
Patch #1 is a simple optimization. The built-in swap has special cases
for aligned 4- and 8-byte objects. But those are almost never used;
most calls to sort() work on larger structures, which fall back to the
byte-at-a-time loop. This generalizes them to aligned *multiples* of 4
and 8 bytes. (If nothing else, it saves an awful lot of energy by not
thrashing the store buffers as much.)
Patch #2 grabs a juicy piece of low-hanging fruit. I agree that
nice simple solid heapsort is preferable to more complex algorithms
(sorry, Andrey), but it's possible to implement heapsort with far fewer
comparisons (50% asymptotically, 25-40% reduction for realistic sizes)
than the way it's been done up to now. And with some care, the code
ends up smaller, as well. This is the "big win" patch.
Patch #3 adds the same sort of indirect call bypass that has been added
to the net code of late. The great majority of the callers use the
builtin swap functions, so replace the indirect call to sort_func with a
(highly preditable) series of if() statements. Rather surprisingly,
this decreased code size, as the swap functions were inlined and their
prologue & epilogue code eliminated.
lib/list_sort.c is a bit trickier, as merge sort is already close to
optimal, and we don't want to introduce triumphs of theory over
practicality like the Ford-Johnson merge-insertion sort.
Patch #4, without changing the algorithm, chops 32% off the code size and
removes the part[MAX_LIST_LENGTH+1] pointer array (and the corresponding
upper limit on efficiently sortable input size).
Patch #5 improves the algorithm. The previous code is already optimal
for power-of-two (or slightly smaller) size inputs, but when the input
size is just over a power of 2, there's a very unbalanced final merge.
There are, in the literature, several algorithms which solve this, but
they all depend on the "breadth-first" merge order which was replaced
by commit 835cc0c8477f with a more cache-friendly "depth-first" order.
Some hard thinking came up with a depth-first algorithm which defers
merges as little as possible while avoiding bad merges. This saves
0.2*n compares, averaged over all sizes.
The code size increase is minimal (64 bytes on x86-64, reducing the net
savings to 26%), but the comments expanded significantly to document
the clever algorithm.
TESTING NOTES: I have some ugly user-space benchmarking code
which I used for testing before moving this code into the kernel.
Shout if you want a copy.
I'm running this code right now, with CONFIG_TEST_SORT and
CONFIG_TEST_LIST_SORT, but I confess I haven't rebooted since
the last round of minor edits to quell checkpatch. I figure there
will be at least one round of comments and final testing.
George Spelvin (5):
lib/sort: Make swap functions more generic
lib/sort: Use more efficient bottom-up heapsort variant
lib/sort: Avoid indirect calls to built-in swap
lib/list_sort: Simplify and remove MAX_LIST_LENGTH_BITS
lib/list_sort: Optimize number of calls to comparison function
include/linux/list_sort.h | 1 +
lib/list_sort.c | 244 +++++++++++++++++++++++++---------
lib/sort.c | 266 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++---------
3 files changed, 387 insertions(+), 124 deletions(-)