Interactivity vs. fairness in networked linux systems

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In general, the Linux 2.6 scheduler can ensure fairness and provide excellent interactive performance at the same time. However, our experiments and mathematical analysis have shown that the current Linux interactivity mechanism tends to incorrectly categorize non-interactive network applications as interactive, which can lead to serious fairness or starvation issues. In the extreme, a single process can unjustifiably obtain up to 95% of the CPU! The root cause is due to the facts that: (1) network packets arrive at the receiver independently and discretely, and the 'relatively fast' non-interactive network process might frequently sleep to wait for packet arrival. Though ... continued below

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27 pages

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Wu, Wenji & Crawford, Matt January 1, 2007.

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In general, the Linux 2.6 scheduler can ensure fairness and provide excellent interactive performance at the same time. However, our experiments and mathematical analysis have shown that the current Linux interactivity mechanism tends to incorrectly categorize non-interactive network applications as interactive, which can lead to serious fairness or starvation issues. In the extreme, a single process can unjustifiably obtain up to 95% of the CPU! The root cause is due to the facts that: (1) network packets arrive at the receiver independently and discretely, and the 'relatively fast' non-interactive network process might frequently sleep to wait for packet arrival. Though each sleep lasts for a very short period of time, the wait-for-packet sleeps occur so frequently that they lead to interactive status for the process. (2) The current Linux interactivity mechanism provides the possibility that a non-interactive network process could receive a high CPU share, and at the same time be incorrectly categorized as 'interactive.' In this paper, we propose and test a possible solution to address the interactivity vs. fairness problems. Experiment results have proved the effectiveness of the proposed solution.

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27 pages

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  • Report No.: FERMILAB-PUB-07-037-CD
  • Grant Number: AC02-07CH11359
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 927937
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc899888

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • January 1, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Sept. 26, 2017, 5:25 p.m.

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Wu, Wenji & Crawford, Matt. Interactivity vs. fairness in networked linux systems, article, January 1, 2007; Batavia, Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc899888/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.