[Python-Dev] Python Benchmarks

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at v.loewis.de
Sat Jun 3 10:01:58 CEST 2006

Fredrik Lundh wrote:
> since process time is *sampled*, not measured, process time isn't exactly in-
> vulnerable either.

I can't share that view. The scheduler knows *exactly* what thread is
running on the processor at any time, and that thread won't change
until the scheduler makes it change. So if you discount time spent
in interrupt handlers (which might be falsely accounted for the
thread that happens to run at the point of the interrupt), then
process time *is* measured, not sampled, on any modern operating system:
it is updated whenever the scheduler schedules a different thread.

Of course, the question still is what the resolution of the clock is
that makes these measurements. For Windows NT+, I would expect it to
be "quantum units", but I'm uncertain whether it could measure also
fractions of a quantum unit if the process does a blocking call.

> I don't think that sampling errors can explain all the anomalies we've been seeing,
> but I'd wouldn't be surprised if a high-resolution wall time clock on a lightly loaded
> multiprocess system was, in practice, *more* reliable than sampled process time
> on an equally loaded system.

On Linux, process time is accounted in jiffies. Unfortunately, for
compatibility, times(2) converts that to clock_t, losing precision.


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