Authors: Souradip Ghosh, Michael Cuevas, Simone Campanoni, and Peter Dinda (Northwestern University)
Abstract: In current operating system kernels and run-time systems, timing is based on hardware timer interrupts, introducing inherent overheads that limit granularity. For example, the scheduling quantum of preemptive threads is limited, resulting in this abstraction being restricted to coarse-grain parallelism. Compiler-based timing replaces interrupts from the hardware timer with callbacks from compiler-injected code. We describe a system that achieves low-overhead timing using whole-program compiler transformations and optimizations combined with kernel and run-time support. A key novelty is new static analyses that achieve predictable, periodic run-time behavior from the transformed code, regardless of control-flow path. We transform the code of a kernel and run-time system to use compiler-based timing and leverage the resulting fine-grain timing to extend an implementation of fibers (cooperatively scheduled threads), attaining what is effectively preemptive scheduling. The result combines the fine granularity of the cooperative fiber model with the ease of programming of the preemptive thread model.
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