[][src]Crate hurdles

A scalable barrier (like std::sync::Barrier) that enables multiple threads to synchronize the beginning of some computation.

This crate provides a similar interface as std::sync::Barrier, but behaves much better in the face of many concurrently waiting threads, and incurs a lower per-thread latency penalty (see benchmarks below). The interface does differ from the standard library barrier however:

  • Barrier in this crate is Clone, and should not be wrapped in a sync::Arc.
  • Barrier::wait in this crate takes a &mut self receiver as each thread must keep some local state.

Furthermore, when a thread blocks on Barrier::wait, the thread will (currently) never be suspended, and instead spin on the barrier. For the first few spins, it will also not call sched_yield to avoid the cost of thread sleep/wakeup. If threads are expected to reach the barrier at nearly the same time, or barrier latency is critical, this is probably what you want. However, if barriers are staggered and far between, then you may want to use std::sync::Barrier instead, as it is better about handling long waits.

Examples

use hurdles::Barrier;
use std::thread;

let mut handles = Vec::with_capacity(10);
let mut barrier = Barrier::new(10);
for _ in 0..10 {
    let mut c = barrier.clone();
    // The same messages will be printed together.
    // You will NOT see any interleaving.
    handles.push(thread::spawn(move|| {
        println!("before wait");
        c.wait();
        println!("after wait");
    }));
}
// Wait for other threads to finish.
for handle in handles {
    handle.join().unwrap();
}

Implementation

At the time of writing, the implementation of std::sync::Barrier internally uses a Mutex, which causes contention with many waiting threads, and incurs an undue performance overhead for each call to wait.

This crate instead implements a counter-based linear barrier as described in "3.1 Centralized Barriers" in Mellor-Crummey and Scott’s paper Algorithms for scalable synchronization on shared-memory multiprocessors from 1991. For a higher-level explanation, see Lars-Dominik Braun's Introduction to barrier algorithms.

Numbers

Modern laptop with 2-core (4HT) Intel Core i7-5600U @ 2.60GHz:

test tests::ours_2 ... bench:         190 ns/iter (+/- 24)
test tests::std_2  ... bench:       2,054 ns/iter (+/- 822)
test tests::ours_4 ... bench:         236 ns/iter (+/- 2)
test tests::std_4  ... bench:      11,913 ns/iter (+/- 60)

Dell server with 2x 10-core (20HT) Intel Xeon E5-2660 v3 @ 2.60GHz across two NUMA nodes:

test tests::ours_4  ... bench:         689 ns/iter (+/- 9)
test tests::std_4   ... bench:       4,762 ns/iter (+/- 151)
test tests::ours_8  ... bench:       1,380 ns/iter (+/- 13)
test tests::std_8   ... bench:      17,545 ns/iter (+/- 288)
test tests::ours_16 ... bench:       2,970 ns/iter (+/- 33)
test tests::std_16  ... bench:      38,215 ns/iter (+/- 469)
test tests::ours_32 ... bench:       3,838 ns/iter (+/- 129)
test tests::std_32  ... bench:      94,266 ns/iter (+/- 12,243)

Structs

Barrier

A barrier which enables multiple threads to synchronize the beginning of some computation.

BarrierWaitResult

A BarrierWaitResult is returned by wait when all threads in the Barrier have rendezvoused.