object references/memory access

Steve Holden steve at holdenweb.com
Tue Jul 3 00:01:29 CEST 2007

Karthik Gurusamy wrote:
> On Jul 1, 12:38 pm, dlomsak <dlom... at gmail.com> wrote:
> I have found the stop-and-go between two processes on the same machine
> leads to very poor throughput. By stop-and-go, I mean the producer and
> consumer are constantly getting on and off of the CPU since the pipe
> gets full (or empty for consumer). Note that a producer can't run at
> its top speed as the scheduler will pull it out since it's output pipe
> got filled up.
But when both processes are in the memory of the same machine and they 
communicate through an in-memory buffer, what's to stop them from 
keeping the CPU fully-loaded (assuming they are themselves compute-bound)?

> When you increased the underlying buffer, you mitigated a bit this
> shuffling. And hence saw a slight increase in performance.
> My guess that you can transfer across machines at real high speed, is
> because there are no process swapping as producer and consumer run on
> different CPUs (machines, actually).
As a concept that's attractive, but it's easy to demonstrate that (for 
example) two machines will get much better throughput using the 
TCP-based FTP to transfer a large file than they do with the UDP-based 
TFTP. This is because the latter protocol requires the sending unit to 
stop and wait for an acknowledgment for each block transferred. With 
FTP, if you use a large enough TCP sliding window and have enough 
content, you can saturate a link as ling as its bandwidth isn't greater 
than your output rate.

This isn't a guess ...

> Since the two processes are on the same machine, try using a temporary
> file for IPC. This is not as efficient as real shared memory -- but it
> does avoid the IPC stop-n-go. The producer can generate the multi-mega
> byte file at one go and inform the consumer. The file-systems have
> gone thru' decades of performance tuning that this job is done really
> efficiently.
I'm afraid this comes across a bit like superstition. Do you have any 
evidence this would give superior performance?
>> Thanks for the replies so far, I really appreciate you guys
>> considering my situation and helping out.
Steve Holden        +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
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