Communicating Process Architectures 2011:  WoTUG-33

  • 79 465 7
  • Like this paper and download? You can publish your own PDF file online for free in a few minutes! Sign Up
File loading please wait...
Citation preview

COMMUNICATING PROCESS ARCHITECTURES 2011

Concurrent Systems Engineering Series Series Editors: M.R. Jane, J. Hulskamp, P.H. Welch, D. Stiles and T.L. Kunii

Volume 68 Previously published in this series: Volume 67, Communicating Process Architectures 2009 (WoTUG-32), P.H. Welch, H.W. Roebbers, J.F. Broenink, F.R.M. Barnes, C.G. Ritson, A.T. Sampson, G.S. Stiles and B. Vinter Volume 66, Communicating Process Architectures 2008 (WoTUG-31), P.H. Welch, S. Stepney, F.A.C. Polack, F.R.M. Barnes, A.A. McEwan, G.S. Stiles, J.F. Broenink and A.T. Sampson Volume 65, Communicating Process Architectures 2007 (WoTUG-30), A.A. McEwan, S. Schneider, W. Ifill and P.H. Welch Volume 64, Communicating Process Architectures 2006 (WoTUG-29), P.H. Welch, J. Kerridge and F.R.M. Barnes Volume 63, Communicating Process Architectures 2005 (WoTUG-28), J.F. Broenink, H.W. Roebbers, J.P.E. Sunter, P.H. Welch and D.C. Wood Volume 62, Communicating Process Architectures 2004 (WoTUG-27), I.R. East, J. Martin, P.H. Welch, D. Duce and M. Green Volume 61, Communicating Process Architectures 2003 (WoTUG-26), J.F. Broenink and G.H. Hilderink Volume 60, Communicating Process Architectures 2002 (WoTUG-25), J.S. Pascoe, P.H. Welch, R.J. Loader and V.S. Sunderam Volume 59, Communicating Process Architectures 2001 (WoTUG-24), A. Chalmers, M. Mirmehdi and H. Muller Volume 58, Communicating Process Architectures 2000 (WoTUG-23), P.H. Welch and A.W.P. Bakkers Volume 57, Architectures, Languages and Techniques for Concurrent Systems (WoTUG-22), B.M. Cook Volumes 54–56, Computational Intelligence for Modelling, Control & Automation, M. Mohammadian Volume 53, Advances in Computer and Information Sciences ’98, U. Güdükbay, T. Dayar, A. Gürsoy and E. Gelenbe Transputer and OCCAM Engineering Series Volume 45, Parallel Programming and Applications, P. Fritzson and L. Finmo Volume 44, Transputer and Occam Developments (WoTUG-18), P. Nixon Volume 43, Parallel Computing: Technology and Practice (PCAT-94), J.P. Gray and F. Naghdy Volume 42, Transputer Research and Applications 7 (NATUG-7), H. Arabnia

ISSN 1383-7575 ISSN 1879-8039

Communicating Process Architectures 2011 WoTUG-33

Edited by

Peter H. Welch University of Kent, UK

Adam T. Sampson University of Abertay Dundee, UK

Jan B. Pedersen University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA

Jon Kerridge Edinburgh Napier University, UK

Jan F. Broenink University of Twente, the Netherlands

and

Frederick R.M. Barnes University of Kent, UK

Proceedings of the 33rd WoTUG Technical Meeting, 19–22 June 2011, University of Limerick, Ireland

Amsterdam • Berlin • Tokyo • Washington, DC

© 2011 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior written permission from the publisher. ISBN 978-1-60750-773-4 (print) ISBN 978-1-60750-774-1 (online) Library of Congress Control Number: 2011929917 Publisher IOS Press BV Nieuwe Hemweg 6B 1013 BG Amsterdam Netherlands fax: +31 20 687 0019 e-mail: [email protected] Distributor in the USA and Canada IOS Press, Inc. 4502 Rachael Manor Drive Fairfax, VA 22032 USA fax: +1 703 323 3668 e-mail: [email protected]

LEGAL NOTICE The publisher is not responsible for the use which might be made of the following information. PRINTED IN THE NETHERLANDS

Communicating Process Architectures 2011 P.H. Welch et al. (Eds.) IOS Press, 2011 © 2011 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

v

Preface This thirty-third Communicating Process Architectures conference, CPA 2011, takes place at the University of Limerick, 19-22 June, 2011. It is hosted by Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre, and (as for CPA 2009) co-located with FM 2011 (the 17th International Symposium on Formal Methods). Also co-located this year are SEW-34 (the 34th Annual IEEE Software Engineering Workshop) and several specialist Workshops. We are very pleased this year to have Gavin Lowe, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Oxford Computing Laboratory for our keynote speaker. His research over the past two decades has made significant contributions to the field of concurrency, with special emphasis on CSP and the formal modelling of computer security. His paper addresses a long-standing and crucial issue for this community: the verified implementation of CSP external choice, with no restrictions. We have also received a good set of papers covering many of the key issues in modern computer science, which all seem to concern concurrency in one form or another these days. Inside, you will find papers on concurrency models and their theory, pragmatics (the effective use of multicores), language ideas and implementation (for mobile processes, generalised forms of choice), tools to assist verification and performance, applications (large scale simulation, robotics, web servers), benchmarks (for scientific and distributed computing) and, perhaps most importantly, education. They reflect the increasing relevance of concurrency both to express and manage complex problems as well as to exploit readily available parallel hardware. Authors from all around the world, old hands and new faces, PhD students and professors will be gathered here this week. We hope everyone will have a good time and engage in many stimulating discussions and much learning – both in the formal sessions of the conference and in the many opportunities afforded by the evening receptions and dinners, which are happening every night, and into the early hours beyond. We thank the authors for their submissions and the Programme Committee for their hard work in reviewing the papers. We also thank Mike Hinchey at Lero for inviting CPA 2011 to be part of the week of events surrounding FM 2011 and for being so helpful during the long months of planning. Finally, we thank Patsy Finn and Susan Mitchell, also at Lero, for all the detailed – and extra – work they put in researching and making all the special arrangements we requested for CPA.

Peter Welch (University of Kent), Adam Sampson (University of Abertay Dundee), Frederick Barnes (University of Kent), Jan B. Pedersen (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), Jan Broenink (University of Twente), Jon Kerridge (Edinburgh Napier University).

vi

Editorial Board Dr. Frederick R.M. Barnes, School of Computing, University of Kent, UK Dr. Jan F. Broenink, Control Engineering, Faculty EEMCS, University of Twente, The Netherlands Prof. Jon Kerridge, School of Computing, Edinburgh Napier University, UK Prof. Jan B. Pedersen, School of Computer Science, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA Dr. Adam T. Sampson, Institute of Arts, Media and Computer Games, University of Abertay Dundee, UK Prof. Peter H. Welch, School of Computing, University of Kent, UK (Chair)

vii

Reviewing Committee Dr. Alastair R. Allen, Aberdeen University, UK Mr. Philip Armstrong, University of Oxford, UK Dr. Paul S. Andrews, University of York, UK Dr. Rick Beton, Equal Experts, UK Dr. John Markus Bjørndalen, University of Tromsø, Norway Dr. Jim Bown, University of Abertay Dundee, UK Dr. Phil Brooke, University of Teesside, UK Mr. Neil C.C. Brown, University of Kent, UK Dr. Kevin Chalmers, Edinburgh Napier University, UK Dr. Barry Cook, 4Links Ltd., UK Mr. Martin Ellis, University of Kent, UK Dr. Oliver Faust, Altreonic, Belgium Dr. Bill Gardner, University of Guelph, Canada Prof. Michael Goldsmith, University of Warwick, UK Mr. Marcel Groothuis, University of Twente, The Netherlands Dr. Gerald Hilderink, The Netherlands Dr. Kohei Honda, Queen Mary & Westfield College, UK Mr. Jason Hurt, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA Ms. Ruth Ivimey-Cook, UK Prof. Matthew Jadud, Allegheny College, USA Mr. Brian Kauke, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA Prof. Gavin Lowe, University of Oxford, UK Dr. Jeremy M.R. Martin, GlaxoSmithKline, UK Dr. Alistair McEwan, University of Leicester, UK Dr. Fiona A.C. Polack, University of York, UK Mr. Carl G. Ritson, University of Kent, UK Mr. Herman Roebbers, TASS Technology Solutions BV, the Netherlands Mr. Mike Rogers, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA Mr. David Sargeant, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA Prof. Steve Schneider, University of Surrey, UK Prof. Marc L. Smith, Vassar College, USA Prof. Susan Stepney, University of York, UK Mr. Bernard Sufrin, University of Oxford, UK Dr.ir. Johan P.E. Sunter, TASS, The Netherlands Dr. Øyvind Teig, Autronica Fire and Security, Norway Dr. Gianluca Tempesti, University of Surrey, UK Dr. Helen Treharne, University of Surrey, UK Dr. Kevin Vella, University of Malta, Malta Prof. Brian Vinter, Copenhagen University, Denmark Prof. Alan Wagner, University of British Columbia, Canada Prof. Alan Winfield, University of the West of England, UK Mr. Doug N. Warren, University of Kent, UK Prof. George C. Wells, Rhodes University, South Africa

This page intentionally left blank

ix

Contents Preface Peter Welch, Adam Sampson, Frederick Barnes, Jan B. Pedersen, Jan Broenink and Jon Kerridge

v

Editorial Board

vi

Reviewing Committee

vii

Implementing Generalised Alt – A Case Study in Validated Design Using CSP Gavin Lowe

1

Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model Using the SPIN Model Checker Rune Møllegaard Friborg and Brian Vinter

35

Programming the CELL-BE Using CSP Kenneth Skovhede, Morten N. Larsen and Brian Vinter

55

Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes with Polymorphic Interfaces Jan Bækgaard Pedersen and Matthew Sowders Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation Douglas N. Warren An Analysis of Programmer Productivity Versus Performance for High Level Data Parallel Programming Alex Cole, Alistair McEwan and Satnam Singh Experiments in Multicore and Distributed Parallel Processing Using JCSP Jon Kerridge Evaluating an Emergent Behaviour Algorithm in JCSP for Energy Conservation in Lighting Systems Anna Kosek, Aly Syed and Jon Kerridge

71 87

111 131

143

LUNA: Hard Real-Time, Multi-Threaded, CSP-Capable Execution Framework M.M. Bezemer, R.J.W. Wilterdink and J.F. Broenink

157

Concurrent Event-Driven Programming in occam-π for the Arduino Christian L. Jacobsen, Matthew C. Jadud, Omer Kilic and Adam T. Sampson

177

Fast Distributed Process Creation with the XMOS XS1 Architecture James Hanlon and Simon J. Hollis

195

Serving Web Content with Dynamic Process Networks in Go James Whitehead II

209

x

Performance of the Distributed CPA Protocol and Architecture on Traditional Networks Kevin Chalmers

227

Object Store Based Simulation Interworking Carl G. Ritson, Paul S. Andrews and Adam T. Sampson

243

A Model for Concurrency Using Single-Writer Single-Assignment Variables Matthew Huntbach

255

The Computation Time Process Model Martin Korsgaard and Sverre Hendseth

273

SystemVerilogCSP: Modeling Digital Asynchronous Circuits Using SystemVerilog Interfaces Arash Saifhashemi and Peter A. Beerel Process-Oriented Subsumption Architectures in Swarm Robotic Systems Jeremy C. Posso, Adam T. Sampson, Jonathan Simpson and Jon Timmis A Systems Re-Engineering Case Study: Programming Robots with occam and Handel-C Dan Slipper and Alistair A. McEwan The Flying Gator: Towards Aerial Robotics in occam-π Ian Armstrong, Michael Pirrone-Brusse, Anthony Smith and Matthew Jadud CONPASU-Tool: A Concurrent Process Analysis Support Tool Based on Symbolic Computation Yoshinao Isobe

287 303

317 329

341

Development of an ML-Based Verification Tool for Timed CSP Processes Takeshi Yamakawa, Tsuneki Ohashi and Chikara Fukunaga

363

Mobile Processes and Call Channels with Variant Interfaces (a Duality) Eric Bonnici and Peter H. Welch

377

Adding Formal Verification to occam-π Peter H. Welch, Jan B. Pedersen, Fred R.M. Barnes, Carl G. Ritson and Neil C.C. Brown

379

Subject Index

381

Author Index

383

Communicating Process Architectures 2011 P.H. Welch et al. (Eds.) IOS Press, 2011 © 2011 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved. doi:10.3233/978-1-60750-774-1-1

1

Implementing Generalised Alt A Case Study in Validated Design using CSP Gavin LOWE Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford, Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QD, UK; e-mail [email protected] Abstract. In this paper we describe the design and implementation of a generalised alt operator for the Communicating Scala Objects library. The alt operator provides a choice between communications on different channels. Our generalisation removes previous restrictions on the use of alts that prevented both ends of a channel from being used in an alt. The cost of the generalisation is a much more difficult implementation, but one that still gives very acceptable performance. In order to support the design, and greatly increase our confidence in its correctness, we build CSP models corresponding to our design, and use the FDR model checker to analyse them. Keywords. Communicating Scala Objects, alt, CSP, FDR.

Introduction Communicating Scala Objects (CSO) [14] is a library of CSP-like communication primitives for the Scala programming language [12]. As a simple example, consider the following code: val c = OneOne[String]; def P = proc{ c! ”Hello world!” ; } def Q = proc{ println (c?); } (P || Q)();

The first line defines a (synchronous) channel c that can communicate Strings (intended to be used by one sender and one receiver—hence the name OneOne; CSO also has channels whose ends can be shared); the second and third lines define processes (more accurately, threads) that, respectively, send and receive a value over the channel; the final line combines the processes in parallel, and runs them. CSO —inspired by occam [9]— includes a construct, alt, to provide a choice between communicating on different channels. In this paper we describe the design and implementation of a generalisation of the alt operator. We begin by describing the syntax and (informal) semantics of the operator in more detail. As an initial example, the code alt ( c −−> { println(”c: ”+(c ?)); } | d −−> { println(”d: ”+(d?)); } )

tests whether the environment is willing to send this process a value on either c or d, and if so fires an appropriate branch. Note that the body of each branch is responsible for performing the actual input: the alt just performs the selection, based on the communications offered by the environment. Channels may be closed, preventing further communication; each alt considers only its open channels.

2

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

Each branch of an alt may have a boolean guard. For example, in the alt: alt ( (n >= 0 &&& c) −−> { println(”c: ”+(c?)); } | d −−> { println(”d: ”+(d?)); } )

the communication on c is enabled only if n >= 0. An alt may also have a timeout branch, for example: alt ( c −−> { println(”c: ”+(c ?)); } | after (500) −−> { println(”timeout” ); } )

If no communication has taken place on a different branch within the indicated time (in milliseconds) then the alt times out and selects the timeout branch. Finally, an alt may have an orelse branch, for example: alt ( (n >= 0 &&& c) −−> { println(”c: ”+(c?)); } | orelse −−> { println(”orelse” ); } )

If every other branch is disabled —that is, the guard is false or the channel is closed— then the orelse branch is selected. (By contrast, if there is no orelse branch and all the other branches are disabled, then the alt throws an Abort exception.) Each alt may have at most one timeout or orelse branch. In the original version of CSO —as in occam— alts could perform selections only between input ports (the receiving ends of channels, known as InPorts). Later this was extended to include output ports (the sending ends of channels, known as OutPorts), for example: alt ( in −?−> { println(”in: ”+(in ?)); } | out −!−> { out!2011; } )

The different arrows −?−> and −!−> show whether the InPort or OutPort of the channel is to be used; the simple arrow −−> can be considered syntactic sugar for −?−>. Being able to combine inputs and outputs in the same alt can be useful in a number of circumstances. The following example comes from the bag-of-tasks pattern [4]. A server process maintains a collection of tasks (in this case, in a stack) to be passed to worker processes on channel toWorker. Workers can return (sub-)tasks to the server on channel fromWorker. In addition, a worker can indicate that it has completed its last task on channel done; the server maintains a count, busyWorkers, of the workers who are currently busy. The main loop of the server can be defined as follows: serve( (! stack.isEmpty &&& toWorker) −!−> { toWorker!(stack.pop) ; busyWorkers += 1; } | (busyWorkers>0 &&& fromWorker) −?−> { stack.push(fromWorker?); } | (busyWorkers>0 &&& done) −?−> { done? ; busyWorkers −= 1 } )

The construct serve represents an alt that is repeatedly executed until all its branches are disabled — in this case, assuming no channels are closed, when the stack is empty and busyWorkers = 0. In the above example, it is possible to replace the output branch (the first branch) by one where the server receives a request from a worker (on channel req) before sending the task (! stack.isEmpty &&& req) −?−> { req?; toWorker!(stack.pop) ; busyWorkers += 1; }

However, such a solution adds complexity for the programmer; a good API should hide such complexities. Further, such a solution is not always possible. However, the existing implementation of alt has the following restriction [15]: A channel’s input and output ports may not both simultaneously participate in alts.

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

3

This restriction makes the implementation of alts considerably easier. It means that at least one end of each communication will be unconditional, i.e. that offer to communicate will not be withdrawn once it is made. However, the restriction can prove inconvenient in practice, preventing many natural uses of alts. For example, consider a ring topology, where each node may pass data to its clockwise neighbour or receive data from its anticlockwise neighbour; this pattern can be used to adapt the above bag-of-tasks to a distributed-bag-of-tasks as follows, where give and get are aliases for the channels connecting this node to its neighbours:1 serve( (! stack.isEmpty &&& toWorker) −!−> { toWorker!(stack.pop); workerBusy = true; } | (workerBusy &&& fromWorker) −?−> { stack.push(fromWorker?); } | (workerBusy &&& done) −?−> { done?; workerBusy = false; } | (! stack.isEmpty &&& give) −!−> { give!(stack.pop); } | ((! workerBusy && stack.isEmpty) &&& get) −?−> { stack.push(get?); } )

However, now the InPorts and OutPorts of channels connecting nodes are both participating in alts, contrary to the above restriction. One goal of this paper is to present a design and implementation for a generalised alt operator, that overcomes the above restriction. McEwan [11] presents a formal model for a solution to this problem, based on a twophase commit protocol, with the help of a centralised controller. Welch et al. [17,18] implement a generalised alt, within the JCSP library. The implementation makes use of a single (system-wide) Oracle server process, which arbitrates in all alts that include an output branch or a barrier branch (which allows multi-way synchronisation); alts that use only input branches can be implemented without the Oracle. This is a pragmatic solution, but has the disadvantage of the Oracle potentially being a bottleneck. Brown [1] adopted the same approach within the initial version of the CHP library. However, later versions of CHP built upon Software Transactional Memory [6] and so was decentralised in that alts offering to communicate on disjoint channels did not need to interact; see [3,2]. Our aim in this paper is to investigate an alternative, more scalable design. In particular, we are aiming for a design with no central controller, and that does not employ additional channels internally. However, coming up with a correct design is far from easy. Our development strategy, described in later sections, was to build CSP [13] models of putative designs, and then to analyse them using FDR [5]. In most cases, our putative designs turned out to be incorrect: FDR revealed subtle interactions between the components that led to incorrect behaviour. Debugging CSP models using FDR is very much easier than debugging code by testing for a number of reasons: • FDR does exhaustive state space exploration, whereas execution of code explores the state space nondeterministically, and so may not detect errors; • The counterexamples returned by FDR are of minimal length (typically about 20 in this work), whereas counterexamples found by testing are likely to be much longer (maybe a million times longer, based on our experience of a couple of bugs that did crop up in the code); • CSP models are more abstract and so easier to understand than code. 1 This design ignores the problem of distributed termination; a suitable distributed termination protocol can be layered on top of this structure.

4

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

A second goal of this paper, then, is to illustrate the use of CSP in such a development. One factor that added to the difficulty was that we were aiming for an implementation using the concurrency primitives provided by the Scala programming language, namely monitors. A third goal of this paper is an investigation of the relationship between abstract CSP processes and implementations using monitors: what CSP processes can be implemented using monitors, and what design patterns can we use? One may use formal analysis techniques with various degrees of rigour. Our philosophy in this work has been pragmatic rather than fully rigorous. Alts and channels are components, and do not seem to have abstract specifications against which the designs can be verified. The best we can do is analyse systems built from the designs, and check that they act as expected. We have analysed a few such systems; this gives us a lot of confidence that other systems would be correct — but does not give us an absolute guarantee of that. Further, the translation from the CSP models to Scala code has been done informally, because, in our opinion, it is fairly obvious. The rest of this paper is structured as follows. Below we present a brief overview of CSP and of monitors. In Section 1 we present an initial attempt at a design; this design will be incorrect, but presenting it will help to illustrate some of the ideas, and indicate some of the difficulties. In Section 2 we present a correct design, but omitting timeouts and closing of channels; we validate the design using FDR. That design, however, does not seem amenable to direct implementation using a monitor. Hence, in Section 3, we refine the design, implementing each alt as the parallel composition of two processes, each of which could be implemented as a monitor. In Section 4 we extend the design, to include timeouts and the closing of channels; this development requires the addition of a third component to each alt. In Section 5 we describe the implementation: each of the three processes in the CSP model of the alt can be implemented using a monitor. We sum up in Section 6. CSP In this section we give a brief overview of the syntax for the fragment of CSP that we will be using in this paper. We then review the relevant aspects of CSP semantics, and the use of the model checker FDR in verification. For more details, see [7,13]. CSP is a process algebra for describing programs or processes that interact with their environment by communication. Processes communicate via atomic events. Events often involve passing values over channels; for example, the event c.3 represents the value 3 being passed on channel c. Channels may be declared using the keyword channel; for example, channel c : Int declares c to be a channel that passes an Int. The notation {|c|} represents the set of events over channel c. In this paper we will have to talk about both CSP channels and CSO channels: we will try to make clear which we mean in each case. The simplest process is STOP, which represents a deadlocked process that cannot communicate with its environment. The process a → P offers its environment the event a; if the event is performed, the process then acts like P. The process c?x → P is initially willing to input a value x on channel c, i.e. it is willing to perform any event of the form c.x; it then acts like P (which may use x). Similarly, the process c?x:X → P is willing to input any value x from set X on channel c, and then act like P (which may use x). The process c!x → P outputs value x on channel c. Inputs and outputs may be mixed within the same communication, for example c?x!y → P. The process P 2 Q can act like either P or Q, the choice being made by the environment: the environment is offered the choice between the initial events of P and Q; hence the alt operator in CSO is very similar to the external choice operator of CSP. By contrast, P  Q may act like either P or Q, with the choice being made internally, not under the control of the environment. 2x:X • P(x) and x:X • P(x) are indexed versions of these operators, with the

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

5

choice being made over the processes P(x) for x in X. The process P  Q represents a sliding choice or timeout: it initially acts like P, but if no event is performed then it can internally change state to act like Q. The process if b then P else Q represents a conditional. It will prove convenient to write assertions in our CSP models, similar in style to assertions in code. We define Assert(b)(P) as shorthand for if b then P else error → STOP; we will later check that the event error cannot occur, ensuring that all assertions are true. The process P [| A |] Q runs P and Q in parallel, synchronising on events from A. The process P ||| Q interleaves P and Q, i.e. runs them in parallel with no synchronisation. The process |||x:X • P(x) represents an indexed interleaving. The process P \ A acts like P, except the events from A are hidden, i.e. turned into internal, invisible events. Prefixing (→ ) binds tighter than each of the binary choice operators, which in turn bind tighter than the parallel operators. A trace of a process is a sequence of (visible) events that a process can perform. We say that P is refined by Q in the traces model, written P T Q, if every trace of Q is also a trace of P. FDR can test such refinements automatically, for finite-state processes. Typically, P is a specification process, describing what traces are acceptable; this test checks whether Q has only such acceptable traces. Traces refinement tests can only ensure that no “bad” traces can occur: they cannot ensure that anything “good” actually happens; for this we need the stable failures or failuresdivergences models. A stable failure of a process P is a pair (tr, X), which represents that P can perform the trace tr to reach a stable state (i.e. where no internal events are possible) where X can be refused, i.e., where none of the events of X is available. We say that P is refined by Q in the stable failures model, written P F Q, if every trace of Q is also a trace of P, and every stable failure of Q is also a stable failure of Q. We say that a process diverges if it can perform an infinite number of internal (hidden) events without any intervening visible events. In this paper, we will restrict ourselves to specification processes that cannot diverge. If P is such a process then we say that P is refined by Q in the failures-divergences model, written P F D Q, if Q also cannot diverge, and every stable failure of Q is also a stable failure of P (which together imply that every trace of Q is also a trace of P). This test ensures that if P can stably offer an event a, then so can Q; hence such tests can be used to ensure Q makes useful progress. Again, such tests can be performed using FDR. Monitors A monitor is a program module —in Scala, an object— with a number of procedures that are intended to be executed under mutual exclusion. A simple monitor in Scala typically has a shape as below. object Monitor{ private var x ,...; // private variables def procedure1 (arg1 : T1 ) = synchronized{...}; ... def proceduren (argn : Tn ) = synchronized{...}; }

The keyword synchronized indicates a synchronized block: before a thread can enter the block, it must acquire the lock on the object; when it leaves the block, it releases the lock; hence at most one thread at a time can be executing within the code of the monitor.

6

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

It is sometimes necessary for a thread to suspend part way through a procedure, to wait for some condition to become true. It can do this by performing the command wait(); it releases the object’s lock at this point. Another thread can wake it up by performing the command notify(); this latter thread retains the object’s lock at this point, and the awoken thread must wait to re-obtain the lock. The following producer-consumer example illustrates this technique. Procedures are available to put a piece of data into a shared slot, and to remove that data; each procedure might have to suspend, to wait for the slot to be emptied or filled, respectively. object Slot{ private var value = 0; // the value in the slot private var empty = true; // is the slot empty? def put(v : Int ) = synchronized{ while(!empty) wait(); // wait until space is available value = v; empty = false; // store data notify (); // wake up consumer } def get : Int = synchronized{ while(empty) wait(); // wait until value is available val result = value; empty = true; // get and clear value notify (); // wake up producer return result ; } }

An unfortunate feature of the implementation of wait within the Java Virtual Machine (upon which Scala is implemented) is that sometimes a process will wake up even if no other process has performed a notify, a so-called spurious wake-up. It is therefore recommended that all waits are guarded by a boolean condition that is unset by the awakening thread; for example: waiting = true ; while(waiting) wait ();

with awakening code: waiting = false ; notify ();

1. Initial Design In this section we present our initial design for the generalised alt. The design is not correct; however, our aims in presenting it are: • • • •

to act as a stepping-stone towards a correct design; to illustrate some of the difficulties in producing a correct design; to introduce some features of the CSP models; to illustrate how model checking can discover flaws in a design.

For simplicity, we do not consider timeouts or the closing of channels within this model. We begin by describing the idea of the design informally, before presenting the CSP model and the analysis.

7

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

In order for an alt to fire a particular branch, say the branch for channel c, there must be another process —either another alt or not— willing to communicate on the other port of c. In order to ascertain this, an alt will register with the channel for each of its branches. • If another process is already registered with channel c’s other port, and ready to communicate, then c will respond to the registration request with YES, and the alt will select that branch. The act of registration represents a promise by the alt, that if it receives an immediate response of YES it will communicate. • However, if no other process is registered with c’s other port and ready to communicate, then c responds with NO, and the alt will continue to register with its other channels. In this case, the registration does not represent a firm promise to communicate, since it may select a different branch: it is merely an expression of interest. If an alt has registered with each of its channels without receiving a positive response, then it waits to hear back from one of them. This process is illustrated in the first few steps of Figure 1: Alt1 registers with Chan1 and Chan2, receiving back a response of NO, before waiting. Chan2

Alt1

Chan1

/

register

o o

Alt2

NO

register NO

/ e

wait

o

commit YES

o

register

/

o deregister

YES

/

Figure 1. First sequence diagram

When a channel receives another registration attempt, it checks whether any of the alts already registered on its other port is able to commit to a communication. If any such alt agrees, the channel returns a positive response to the registering alt; at this point, both alts deregister from all other channels, and the communication goes ahead. However, if none of the registered alts is able to commit, then the channel returns a negative result to the registering alt. This process is illustrated in the last few steps of Figure 1. Alt2 registers with Chan1; Chan1 checks whether Alt1 can commit, and receives a positive answer, which is passed on to Alt2. In the Scala implementation, our aim will be to implement the messages between components as procedure calls and returns. For example, the commit messages will be implemented by a procedure in the alt, also called commit; the responses will be implemented by the values returned from that procedure. A difference between the two types of components is that each alt will be thread-like: a thread will be executing the code of the alt (although at times that thread will be within procedure calls to other components); by contrast, channels will be object-like: they will be mostly passive, but willing to receive procedure calls from active threads.

8

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

1.1. CSP Model Each CSP model will be defined in two parts: a definition of a (generic) alt and channel; and the combination of several alts and channels into a system. The definition of each system will include two integer values, numAlts and numChannels, giving the number of alts and CSO channels, respectively. Given these, we can define the identities of alts and channels: A l t I d = { 1 . . numAlts } −− IDs o f A l t s ChannelId = { 1 . . numChannels} −− IDs o f channels

We can further define a datatype of ports, and a datatype of responses: datatype P o r t = I n P o r t . ChannelId | OutPort . ChannelId datatype Resp = YES | NO

We can now declare the CSP channels used in the model. The register, commit and deregister channels, and response channels for the former two, are declared as follows2 . channel channel channel channel channel

r e g i s t e r : A l t I d . Port r e g i s t e r R e s p : P o r t . A l t I d . Resp commit : P o r t . A l t I d commitResp : A l t I d . P o r t . Resp deregister : A l t I d . Port

We also include a CSP channel on which each alt can signal that it thinks that it is executing a branch corresponding to a particular CSO channel; this will be used for specification purposes. channel s i g n a l : A l t I d . ChannelId

The process Alt(me, ps) represents an alt with identity me with branches corresponding to the ports ps. It starts by registering with each of its ports. Below, reged is the set of ports with which it has registered, and toReg is the set of ports with which it still needs to register. It chooses (nondeterministically, at this level of abstraction) a port with which to register, and receives back a response; this is repeated until either it receives a positive response, or has registered with all the ports. A l t (me, ps ) = AltReg (me, ps , { } , ps ) AltReg (me, ps , reged , toReg ) = i f toReg =={} then A l t W a i t (me, ps , reged ) else  p : toReg • r e g i s t e r .me. p → r e g i s t e r R e s p ?p ’ ! me? resp → A s s e r t ( p ’ = = p ) ( i f resp ==YES then A l t D e r e g (me, ps , remove ( reged , p ) , p ) else AltReg (me, ps , add ( reged , p ) , remove ( toReg , p ) ) )

Here we use two helper functions, to remove an element from a set, and to add an element to a set:3 remove ( xs , x ) = d i f f ( xs , { x } ) add ( xs , x ) = union ( xs , { x } ) 2 3

deregister does not return a result, and can be treated as atomic, so we do not need a response channel diff and union are the machine-readable CSP functions for set difference and union.

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

9

If the alt registers unsuccessfully with each of its ports, then it waits to receive a commit message from a port, which it accepts. A l t W a i t (me, ps , reged ) = commit?p : reged !me → commitResp .me. p ! YES → A l t D e r e g (me, ps , remove ( reged , p ) , p )

Once an alt has committed to a particular port, p, it deregisters with each of the other ports, and then signals, before returning to its initial state. During the same time, if the alt receives a commit event, it responds negatively. A l t D e r e g (me, ps , toDereg , p ) = i f toDereg =={} then s i g n a l .me. chanOf ( p ) → A l t (me, ps ) else ( (  p1 : toDereg • d e r e g i s t e r .me. p1 → A l t D e r e g (me, ps , remove ( toDereg , p1 ) , p ) ) 2 commit?p1 : a p o r t s (me ) ! me → commitResp .me. p1 !NO → A l t D e r e g (me, ps , toDereg , p ) )

Here chanOf returns the channel corresponding to a port: chanOf ( I n P o r t . c ) = c chanOf ( OutPort . c ) = c

We now consider the definition of a channel. The process Channel(me, reged) represents a channel with identity me, where reged is a set of (port, alt) pairs, showing which alts have registered at its two ports. Channel (me, reged ) = r e g i s t e r ?a? p o r t : p o r t s (me) → ( l e t t o T r y = { ( p , a1 ) | ( p , a1 ) ← reged , p== otherP ( p o r t ) } w i t h i n ChannelCommit (me, a , p o r t , reged , t o T r y ) ) 2 d e r e g i s t e r ?a?p : p o r t s (me) → Channel (me, remove ( reged , ( p , a ) ) )

Here, ports(me) gives the ports corresponding to this channel: p o r t s (me) = { I n P o r t . me, OutPort .me}

The set toTry, above, represents all the previous registrations with which this new registration might be matched; otherP(port) returns this channel’s other port. otherP ( I n P o r t .me) = OutPort .me otherP ( OutPort .me) = I n P o r t .me

The channel now tries to find a previous registration with which this new one can be paired. The parameter toTry represents those previous registrations with which the channel still needs to check. The channel chooses (nondeterministically) a previous registration to try, and sends a commit message. It repeats until either (a) it receives back a positive response, in which case it sends a positive response to the registering alt a, or (b) it has exhausted all possibilities, in which case it sends back a negative response.4 4 The notation pa’ @@(port’,a’) : toTry binds the identifier pa’ to an element of toTry, and also binds the identifiers port’ and a’ to the two components of pa’.

10

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

ChannelCommit (me, a , p o r t , reged , t o T r y ) = i f t o T r y =={} then −− None can commit r e g i s t e r R e s p . p o r t . a !NO → Channel (me, add ( reged , ( p o r t , a ) ) ) else (  pa ’ @@ ( p o r t ’ , a ’ ) : t o T r y • commit . p o r t ’ . a ’ → commitResp . a ’ . p o r t ’ ? resp → i f resp ==YES then r e g i s t e r R e s p . p o r t . a ! YES → Channel (me, remove ( reged , pa ’ ) ) else ChannelCommit (me, a , p o r t , remove ( reged , pa ’ ) , remove ( t o T r y , pa ’ ) ) )

1.2. Analysing the Design @ Channel(1) AA AA Alt(1) ^>>> >> >> >

AA AA A } Alt(2) }} } } }} ~} Channel(2) }

Figure 2. A simple configuration

We consider a simple configuration of two alts and two channels, as in Figure 2 (where the arrows indicate the direction of dataflow, so Alt(1) accesses Channel(1)’s inport and Channel(2)’s outport, for example). This system can be defined as follows. numAlts = 2 numChannels = 2 Channels =

|||

me : ChannelId • Channel (me, { } )

a p o r t s ( 1 ) = { I n P o r t . 1 , OutPort . 2 } a p o r t s ( 2 ) = { I n P o r t . 2 , OutPort . 1 } Procs =

|||

me : A l t I d • A l t (me, a p o r t s (me ) )

System = l e t i n t e r n a l s = {| r e g i s t e r , r e g i s t e r R e s p , commit , commitResp , d e r e g i s t e r |} w i t h i n ( Channels [| i n t e r n a l s |] Procs ) \ i n t e r n a l s

The two processes should agree upon which channel to communicate; that is, they should (repeatedly) signal success on the same channel. Further, no error events should occur. This requirement is captured by the following CSP specification. Spec =  c : ChannelId • s i g n a l . 1 . c → s i g n a l . 2 . c → Spec 2 s i g n a l . 2 . c → s i g n a l . 1 . c → Spec

When we use FDR to test if System refines Spec in the traces model, the test succeeds. However, when we do the corresponding test in the stable failures model, the test fails, because System deadlocks. Using the FDR debugger shows that the deadlock occurs after the system (without the hiding) has performed

11

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt < r e g i s t e r . 2 . I n P o r t . 2 , r e g i s t e r . 1 . I n P o r t . 1 , r e g i s t e r R e s p . I n P o r t . 2 . 2 . NO, r e g i s t e r R e s p . I n P o r t . 1 . 1 . NO, r e g i s t e r . 1 . OutPort . 2 , r e g i s t e r . 2 . OutPort .1>

This is illustrated in Figure 3. Each alt has registered with one channel, and is trying to Alt(1)

Channel(1) register

o

Channel(2)

/

o

NO

o o

register NO

/

commit

/

/

register commit

Alt(2)

register

Figure 3. The behaviour leading to deadlock

register with its other channel. In the deadlocked state, Channel(1) is trying to send a commit message to Alt(1), but Alt(1) refuses this because it is waiting for a response to its last register event; Channel(2) and Alt(2) are behaving similarly. The following section investigates how to overcome this problem. 2. Improved Design The counterexample in the previous section shows that alts should be able to accept commit messages while waiting for a response to a register. But how should an alt deal with such a commit? It would be wrong to respond with YES, for then it would be unable to deal with a response of YES to the register message (recall that an alt must respect a response of YES to a register message). It would also be wrong to respond NO to the commit, for then the chance to communicate on this channel would be missed. Further, a little thought shows that delaying replying to the commit until after a response to the register has been received would also be wrong: in the example of the last section, this would again lead to a deadlock. Our solution is to introduce a different response, MAYBE, that an alt can send in response to a commit; informally, the response of MAYBE means “I’m busy right now; please call back later”. The sequence diagram in Figure 4 illustrates the idea. Alt1 receives a commit from Chan1 while waiting for a response to a register. It sends back a response of MAYBE, which gets passed back to the initiating Alt2. Alt2 pauses for a short while (to give Alt1 a chance to finish what it’s doing), before again trying to register with Chan1. Note that it is the alt’s responsibility to retry, rather than the channel’s, because we are aiming for an implementation where the alt is thread-like, but the channel is object-like. 2.1. CSP Model We now adapt the CSP model from the previous section to capture this idea. First, we expand the type of responses to include MAYBE: datatype Resp = YES | NO | MAYBE

When a channel pauses before retrying, it will signal on the channel pause; we will later use this for specification purposes. channel pause : A l t I d

12

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

Chan2

Alt1

Chan1

/

register

o

o

NO

o

commit

o

register

register

/

MAYBE NO

Alt2

/

/

MAYBE

e

wait

o

commit YES

o

e

register

pause

/

o deregister

YES

/

Figure 4. Using MAYBE

An alt again starts by registering with each of its channels. It may now receive a response of MAYBE; the parameter maybes below stores those ports for which it has received such a response. Further, it is willing to receive a commit message during this period, in which case it responds with MAYBE. A l t (me, ps ) = AltReg (me, ps , { } , ps , { } ) AltReg (me, ps , reged , toReg , maybes ) = i f toReg =={} then i f maybes=={} then A l t W a i t (me, ps , reged ) else pause .me → AltPause (me, ps , reged , maybes ) 2 commit?p : a p o r t s (me ) ! me → commitResp .me. p !MAYBE → AltReg (me, ps , reged , toReg , maybes ) else (  p : toReg • r e g i s t e r .me. p → AltReg ’ ( me, ps , reged , toReg , maybes , p ) ) 2 commit?p : a p o r t s (me ) ! me → commitResp .me. p !MAYBE → AltReg (me, ps , reged , toReg , maybes ) −− W a i t i n g f o r response from p AltReg ’ ( me, ps , reged , toReg , maybes , p ) = r e g i s t e r R e s p ?p ’ ! me? resp → A s s e r t ( p ’ = = p ) ( i f resp ==YES then A l t D e r e g (me, ps , remove ( reged , p ) , p ) else i f resp ==NO then AltReg (me, ps , add ( reged , p ) , remove ( toReg , p ) , maybes ) else −− resp ==MAYBE AltReg (me, ps , reged , remove ( toReg , p ) , add ( maybes , p ) ) ) 2 commit?p1 : a p o r t s (me ) ! me → commitResp .me. p1 !MAYBE → AltReg ’ ( me, ps , reged , toReg , maybes , p )

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

13

If an alt receives no positive response, and at least one MAYBE, it pauses for a short while before retrying. However, it accepts any commit request it receives in the mean time.5 AltPause (me, ps , reged , maybes ) = ( STOP  AltReg (me, ps , reged , maybes , { } ) ) 2 commit?p : a p o r t s (me ) ! me → commitResp .me. p ! YES → A l t D e r e g (me, ps , remove ( reged , p ) , p )

If an alt receives only negative responses to its register messages, it again waits. A l t W a i t (me, ps , reged ) = commit?p : a p o r t s (me ) ! me → commitResp .me. p ! YES → A l t D e r e g (me, ps , remove ( reged , p ) , p )

Once the alt has committed, it deregisters the other ports, and signals, as in the previous model. A l t D e r e g (me, ps , toDereg , p ) = i f toDereg =={} then s i g n a l .me. chanOf ( p ) → A l t (me, ps ) else ( (  p1 : toDereg • d e r e g i s t e r .me. p1 → A l t D e r e g (me, ps , remove ( toDereg , p1 ) , p ) ) 2 commit?p1 : a p o r t s (me ) ! me → commitResp .me. p1 !NO → A l t D e r e g (me, ps , toDereg , p ) )

The definition of a channel is a fairly straightforward adaptation from the previous model. In the second process below, the parameter maybeFlag is true if any alt has responded MAYBE. The port is registered at the channel only if each register message received a response of NO. Channel (me, reged ) = r e g i s t e r ?a? p o r t : p o r t s (me) → ( l e t t o T r y = { ( p , a1 ) | ( p , a1 ) ← reged , p== otherP ( p o r t ) } w i t h i n ChannelCommit (me, a , p o r t , reged , t o T r y , f a l s e ) ) 2 d e r e g i s t e r ?a . p → Channel (me, remove ( reged , ( p , a ) ) ) ChannelCommit (me, a , p o r t , reged , t o T r y , maybeFlag ) = i f t o T r y =={} then −− None can commit i f maybeFlag then r e g i s t e r R e s p . p o r t . a !MAYBE → Channel (me, reged ) else r e g i s t e r R e s p . p o r t . a !NO → Channel (me, add ( reged , ( p o r t , a ) ) ) else (  pa ’ @@ ( p o r t ’ , a ’ ) : t o T r y • commit . p o r t ’ . a ’ → commitResp . a ’ . p o r t ’ ? resp → i f resp ==YES then r e g i s t e r R e s p . p o r t . a ! YES → Channel (me, remove ( reged , pa ’ ) ) else i f resp ==MAYBE then ChannelCommit (me, a , p o r t , reged , remove ( t o T r y , pa ’ ) , t r u e ) else −− resp ==NO 5 CSP-cognoscenti may point out that the “STOP  ” does not affect the behaviour of the process; we include it merely to illustrate the desired behaviour of our later Scala implementation.

14

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt ChannelCommit (me, a , p o r t , remove ( reged , pa ’ ) , remove ( t o T r y , pa ’ ) , maybeFlag ) )

2.2. Analysing the Design We can again combine these alts and channels into various configurations. First, we consider the configuration in Figure 2; this is defined as earlier, but also hiding the pause events. FDR can then be used to verify that this system refines the specification Spec, in both the traces and the stable failures model. Alt(1)

Channel(1)

/

o

register

o

o

*⎪

/

commit

/

register

commit MAYBE

NO

/

register

o

Alt(2) register

NO

⎧ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎨ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎩

Channel(2)

/

o

MAYBE

MAYBE

o

/

e

MAYBE pause

e

pause

Figure 5. Behaviour causing divergence

However, the refinement does not hold in the failures-divergences model, since the system can diverge. The divergence can happen in a number of different ways; one possibility is shown in Figure 56 . Initially, each alt registers with one channel. When each alt tries to register with the other channel, a commit message is sent to the other alt, receiving a response of MAYBE; each alt then pauses. These attempts to register (marked “∗” in the diagram) can be repeated arbitrarily many times, causing a divergence. The problem is that the two alts are behaving symmetrically, each sending its register events at about the same time: if one alt were to send its register while the other is pausing, it would receive back a response of YES, and the symmetry would be broken. In the implementation, the pause will be of a random amount of time, to ensure the symmetry is eventually broken (with probability 1). We can check that the only way that the system can diverge is through repeated pauses and retries. We can show that the system without the pause events hidden refines the following specification: each alt keeps on pausing until both signal. SpecR = (  p : ChannelId • s i g n a l . 1 . p → SpecR 1 ( p ) 2 s i g n a l . 2 . p → SpecR 2 ( p ) )  pause . 1 → SpecR  pause . 2 → SpecR SpecR 1 ( p ) = s i g n a l . 2 . p → SpecR  pause . 1 → SpecR 1 ( p ) SpecR 2 ( p ) = s i g n a l . 1 . p → SpecR  pause . 2 → SpecR 2 ( p )

We have built other configurations, including those in Figure 6. For each, we have used 6 In fact, FDR finds a slightly simpler divergence, where only one alt repeatedly tries to register; in the implementation, this would correspond to the other alt being starved of the processor; we consider the example in the figure to be more realistic.

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt > A  Channel(1) >>> >>   >>   >  / Channel(2) ;; A Alt(1)  ;;  Alt(3) ;;  ;;  ;;  ; / Alt(2) ;; Channel(3) @ Alt(4) ;; ;; ;; ; Channel(4)

15

/@ Alt(3) Alt(1) > >> >  >  > >>  >>   >>   >  / Channel(2) /@ Alt(2) Alt(1) ::: :: :: ::  Channel(3) Figure 6. Three test configurations

FDR to check that it refines a suitable specification that ensures that suitable signal events are available, in particular that if an alt signals at one port of a channel then another signals at the other port. We omit the details in the interests of brevity. But as the alts and channels are components, we would really like to analyse all systems built from them: this seems a particularly difficult case of the parameterised model checking problem, beyond the capability of existing techniques. 3. Compound Alts The model in the previous section captures the desired behaviour of an alt. However, it does not seem possible to implement this behaviour using a single monitor. We would like to implement the main execution of the alt as a procedure apply, and to implement the commit and commitResp events as a procedure commit and its return. However, these two procedures will need to be able to run concurrently, so cannot be implemented in a single monitor. Instead we implement the alt using two monitors. • The MainAlt will implement the apply procedure, to register with the channels, deregister at the end, execute the appropriate branch of the alt, and generally control the execution. • The Facet will provide the commit procedure, responding appropriately; it will receive messages from the MainAlt, informing it of its progress; if the Facet receives a call to commit while the MainAlt is waiting, the Facet will wake up the MainAlt. The definition of a channel remains the same as in the previous section. Figure 7 illustrates a typical scenario, illustrating how the two components cooperate together to achieve the behaviour of Alt1 from Figure 1. The MainAlt starts by initialising the Facet, and then registers with Chan1. When the Facet receives a commit message from Chan1, it replies with MAYBE, since it knows the MainAlt is still registering with channels. When the MainAlt finishes registering, it informs the Facet, and then waits. When the Facet subsequently receives another commit message, it wakes up the MainAlt, passing the identity of Chan1, and returns YES to Chan1. The MainAlt deregisters the other channels, and informs the Facet. In addition, if the Facet had received another commit message after sending YES to Chan1, it would have replied with NO.

16

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

MainAlt

Chan2

Facet

Chan1

/

INIT

/

register

o o

NO

o

register

commit

/

NO

/

MAYBE

/

WAIT

e

wait

o

commit

o wakeUp.Chan1 o

deregister

/

YES

/

DONE

Figure 7. Expanding the alt

As noted earlier, if the MainAlt receives any reply of MAYBE when trying to register with channels, it pauses for a short while, before retrying; Figures 8 and 9 illustrate this for the compound alt (starting from the point where the alt tries to register with Chan2). Before pausing, the MainAlt informs the Facet. If the Facet receives a commit in the meantime, it replies YES (and would reply NO to subsequent commits). When the MainAlt finishes pausing, it checks back with the Facet to find out if any commit was received, getting a positive answer in Figure 8, and a negative one in Figure 9. Chan2

o

MainAlt

Facet

Chan1

register MAYBE

/ /

PAUSE

e

o

pause

commit YES

/

getToRun.Chan1 o

o

deregister DONE

/

Figure 8. A commit received while pausing

3.1. CSP Model We now describe a CSP model that captures the behaviour described informally above. We define a datatype and channel by which the MainAlt informs the Facet of changes of status. datatype S t a t u s = I n i t | Pause | Wait | Dereg | Done channel changeStatus : S t a t u s

17

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

MainAlt

Chan2

o

Facet

Chan1

register

/

MAYBE

PAUSE

/

e

pause

o getToRunNo o

register NO

/

Figure 9. Pausing before retrying

When the Facet wakes up the MainAlt, it sends the identity of the port whose branch should be run, on channel wakeUp. channel wakeUp : P o r t

When the MainAlt finishes pausing, it either receives from the Facet on channel getToRun the identity of a port from whom a commit has been received, or receives a signal getToRunNo that indicates that no commit has been received. channel getToRun : P o r t channel getToRunNo

The alt is constructed from the two components, synchronising on and hiding the internal communications: A l t (me, ps ) = l e t A = {| wakeUp , changeStatus , getToRun , getToRunNo |} w i t h i n ( M a i n A l t (me, ps ) [| A |] Facet (me ) ) \ A

The definition of the MainAlt is mostly similar to the definition of the alt in Section 2, so we just outline the differences here. The MainAlt does not receive the commit messages, but instead receives notifications from the Facet. When it finishes pausing (state MainAltPause below), it either receives from the Facet the identity of the branch to run on channel getToRun, or receives on channel getToRunNo an indication that no commit event has been received. When it is waiting (state MainAltWait), it waits until it receives a message from the Facet on channel wakeUp, including the identity of the process to run. M a i n A l t (me, ps ) = changeStatus ! I n i t → MainAltReg (me, ps , { } , ps , { } ) MainAltReg (me, ps , reged , toReg , maybes ) = i f toReg =={} then i f maybes=={} then M a i n A l t W a i t (me, ps , reged ) else pause .me → changeStatus ! Pause → MainAltPause (me, ps , reged , maybes ) else  p : toReg • r e g i s t e r .me. p → r e g i s t e r R e s p ?p ’ ! me? resp → A s s e r t ( p ’ = = p ) ( i f resp ==YES then

18

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt changeStatus ! Dereg → MainAltDereg (me, ps , remove ( reged , p ) , p ) else i f resp ==NO then MainAltReg (me, ps , add ( reged , p ) , remove ( toReg , p ) , maybes ) else −− resp ==MAYBE MainAltReg (me, ps , reged , remove ( toReg , p ) , add ( maybes , p ) ) )

MainAltPause (me, ps , reged , maybes ) = STOP  ( getToRunNo → MainAltReg (me, ps , reged , maybes , { } ) 2 getToRun?p → MainAltDereg (me, ps , remove ( reged , p ) , p ) ) M a i n A l t W a i t (me, ps , reged ) = changeStatus ! Wait → wakeUp?p : reged → MainAltDereg (me, ps , remove ( reged , p ) , p ) MainAltDereg (me, ps , toDereg , p ) = i f toDereg =={} then changeStatus ! Done → s i g n a l .me. chanOf ( p ) → M a i n A l t (me, ps ) else  p1 : toDereg • d e r e g i s t e r .me. p1 → MainAltDereg (me, ps , remove ( toDereg , p1 ) , p )

The Facet tracks the state of the MainAlt; below we use similar names for the states of the Facet as for the corresponding states of MainAlt. When the MainAlt is pausing, the Facet responds YES to the first commit it receives (state FacetPause), and NO to subsequent ones (state FacetPause’); it passes on this information on getToRun or getToRunNo. When the MainAlt is waiting, if the Facet receives a commit message, it wakes up the MainAlt (state FacetWait). Facet (me) = changeStatus . I n i t → FacetReg (me) FacetReg (me) = commit?p : a p o r t s (me ) ! me → commitResp .me. p !MAYBE → FacetReg (me) 2 changeStatus ?s → i f s==Wait then FacetWait (me) else i f s==Dereg then FacetDereg (me) else A s s e r t ( s==Pause ) ( FacetPause (me ) ) FacetPause (me) = commit?p : a p o r t s (me ) ! me → commitResp .me. p ! YES → FacetPause ’ ( me, p ) 2 getToRunNo → FacetReg (me) FacetPause ’ ( me, p ) = commit?p1 : a p o r t s (me ) ! me → commitResp .me. p1 !NO → FacetPause ’ ( me, p ) 2 getToRun ! p → FacetDereg (me) FacetWait (me) = commit?p : a p o r t s (me ) ! me → wakeUp ! p → commitResp .me. p ! YES → FacetDereg (me) FacetDereg (me) = commit?p : a p o r t s (me ) ! me → commitResp .me. p !NO → FacetDereg (me) 2 changeStatus ?s → A s s e r t ( s==Done ) ( Facet (me ) )

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

19

3.2. Analysing the Design We have built configurations, using this compound alt, as in Figures 2 and 6. We have again used FDR to check that each refines a suitable specification. In fact, the compound alt defined in this section is not equivalent to, or even a refinement of, the sequential alt defined in the previous section. The compound alt has a number of behaviours that the sequential alt does not, caused by the fact that it takes some time for information to propagate through the former. For example, the compound alt can register with each of its ports, receiving NO in each case, and then return MAYBE in response to a commit message (whereas the sequential alt would return YES), because the (internal) changeStatus.Wait event has not yet happened. We see the progression from the sequential to the compound alt as being a step of development rather than formal refinement: such (typically small) changes in behaviour are common in software development. 4. Adding Timeouts and Closing of Channels We now extend our compound model from the previous section to capture two additional features of alts, namely timeouts and the closing of channels. We describe these features separately from the main operation of alts, since they are rather orthogonal. Further, this follows the way we developed the implementation, and how we would recommend similar developments are carried out: get the main functionality right, then add the bells and whistles. We describe the treatment of timeouts first. If the alt has a timeout branch, then the waiting stage from the previous design is replaced by a timed wait. If the Facet receives a commit during the wait, it can wake up the MainAlt, much as in Figure 7. Alternatively, if the timeout time is reached, the alt can run the timeout branch. However, there is a complication: the Facet may receive a commit at almost exactly the same time as the timeout is reached — a race condition. In order to resolve this race, we introduce a third component into the compound alt: the Arbitrator will arbitrate in the event of such a race, so that the Facet and MainAlt proceed in a consistent way. Figure 10 corresponds to the earlier Figure 7. The WAIT message informs the Facet that the MainAlt is performing a wait with a timeout. When the Facet subsequently receives a commit message, it checks with the Arbitrator that this commit has not been preempted by a timeout. In the figure, it receives a returned value of true, indicating that there was no race, and so the commit request can be accepted. Figure 11 considers the case where the timeout is reached without a commit message being received in the meantime. The MainAlt checks with the Arbitrator that indeed no commit message has been received, and then deregisters all channels before running the timeout branch. Figures 12 and 13 consider cases where the timeout happens at about the same time as a commit is received. The MainAlt and the Facet both contact the Arbitrator; whichever does so first “wins” the race, so the action it is dealing with is the one whose branch will be executed. If the Facet wins, then the MainAlt waits for the Facet to wake it up (Figure 12). If the MainAlt wins, then the Facet replies NO to the commit, and waits for the MainAlt to finish deregistering channels (Figure 13). We now consider the treatment of channels closing. Recall that if there is no timeout branch and all the channels close, then the alt should run its orelse branch, if there is one, or throw an Abort exception. However, if there is a timeout branch, then it doesn’t matter if all the branches are closed: the timeout branch will eventually be selected. When a channel closes, it sends a chanClosed message to each alt that is registered with it; this message is received by the Facet, which keeps track of the number of channels that have

20

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

MainAlt

Chan2

Arbitrator

Facet

Chan1

/

INIT

/

INIT

/

register

o o

NO

o

register NO

/

/

MAYBE

/

WAIT-TO

e

wait

o o o

commit

COMMIT

/

true

o

commit

wakeUp.Chan1

deregister

/

YES

/

DONE

Figure 10. Expanding the alt Chan2

MainAlt

Arbitrator

Facet

/

WAIT-TO wait, timeout

e

TIMEDOUT

o

/

true

/

DEREG

o

Chan1

deregister

/

deregister DONE

/

Figure 11. After a timeout

closed. If an alt subsequently tries to register with the closed channel, it returns a response of CLOSED. When the MainAlt is about to do a non-timed wait, it sends the Facet a setReged message (replacing the WAIT message in Figure 7), including a count of the number of channels with which it has registered. The Facet returns a boolean that indicates whether all the channels have closed. If so, the MainAlt runs its orelse branch or throws an Abort exception. Otherwise, if subsequently the Facet receives sufficient chanClosed messages such that all channels are closed, it wakes up the MainAlt by sending it an allClosed message; again, the MainAlt either runs its orelse branch or throws an Abort exception.

21

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

Chan2

MainAlt

Arbitrator

Facet

/

WAIT-TO wait, timeout

e

o o

commit

COMMIT

/

true

/

TIMEDOUT

o

Chan1

false

e

wait

o

wakeUp.chan1

/

YES

Figure 12. A commit beating a timeout in a race Chan2

MainAlt

Arbitrator

Facet

Chan1

/

WAIT-TO

e

wait, timeout TIMEDOUT

o

/

o

commit

true

o

COMMIT

/

false

NO DEREG

/

/

Figure 13. A timeout beating a commit in a race

4.1. CSP Model We now describe a CSP model that capture the behaviour described informally above. We extend the types of ports, responses and status values appropriately. datatype P o r t = I n P o r t . ChannelId datatype Resp = YES | NO | MAYBE datatype S t a t u s = I n i t | Pause | Dereg | Commit

| OutPort . ChannelId | TIMEOUT | ORELSE | CLOSED WaitTO | Done | | Timedout

We extend the type of signals to include timeouts and orelse. We also include events to indicate that a process has aborted, and (to help interpret debugging traces) that a process has timed out. TIMEOUTSIG = 0 ORELSESIG = −1

22

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

channel s i g n a l : A l t I d . union ( ChannelId , { TIMEOUTSIG , ORELSESIG} ) channel a b o r t : A l t I d channel t i m e o u t : A l t I d

Finally we add channels for a (CSO) channel to inform an alt that it has closed, and for communications with the Arbitrator (for simplicity, the latter channel captures communications in both directions using a single event). channel chanClosed : P o r t . A l t I d channel checkRace : S t a t u s . Bool

The alt is constructed from the three components, synchronising on and hiding the internal communications: A l t (me, ps ) = l e t A = {| wakeUp , changeStatus , getToRun , getToRunNo |} w i t h i n ( ( M a i n A l t (me, ps ) [| A |] Facet (me ) ) [| {|checkRace|} |] A r b i t r a t o r ( I n i t ) ) \ union ( A , {|checkRace|} )

The definition of the MainAlt is mostly similar to as in Section 3, so we just describe the main differences here. It starts by initialising the other two components, before registering with channels as earlier. M a i n A l t (me, ps ) = changeStatus ! I n i t → checkRace . I n i t ?b → MainAltReg (me, ps , { } , ps , { } ) MainAltReg (me, ps , reged , toReg , maybes ) = i f toReg =={} then i f maybes=={} then i f member ( TIMEOUT, ps ) then MainAltWaitTimeout (me, ps , reged ) else M a i n A l t W a i t (me, ps , reged ) else r e t r y .me → changeStatus ! Pause → MainAltPause (me, ps , reged , maybes ) else  p : toReg • i f p==TIMEOUT o r p==ORELSE then MainAltReg (me, ps , reged , remove ( toReg , p ) , maybes ) else r e g i s t e r .me. p → r e g i s t e r R e s p ?p ’ ! me? resp → A s s e r t ( p ’ = = p ) ( i f resp ==YES then changeStatus ! Dereg → MainAltDereg (me, ps , remove ( reged , p ) , p ) else i f resp ==NO then MainAltReg (me, ps , add ( reged , p ) , remove ( toReg , p ) , maybes ) else −− resp ==MAYBE MainAltReg (me, ps , reged , remove ( toReg , p ) , add ( maybes , p ) ) ) MainAltPause (me, ps , reged , maybes ) = STOP  ( getToRunNo → MainAltReg (me, ps , reged , maybes , { } ) 2 getToRun?p → MainAltDereg (me, ps , remove ( reged , p ) , p ) )

Before doing an untimed wait, the MainAlt sends a message to the Facet on setReged, giving the number of registered channels, and receiving back a boolean indicating whether all branches are closed. If so (state MainAltAllClosed) it runs the orelse branch if there is one, or aborts. If not all branches are closed, it waits to receive either a wakeUp or allClosed message.

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

23

M a i n A l t W a i t (me, ps , reged ) = setReged ! card ( reged ) ? a l l B r a n c h e s C l o s e d → i f a l l B r a n c h e s C l o s e d then M a i n A l t A l l C l o s e d (me, ps , reged ) else −− w a i t f o r s i g n a l from Facet wakeUp?p : reged → MainAltDereg (me, ps , remove ( reged , p ) , p ) 2 a l l C l o s e d → M a i n A l t A l l C l o s e d (me, ps , reged ) M a i n A l t A l l C l o s e d (me, ps , reged ) = i f member (ORELSE, ps ) then changeStatus ! Dereg → MainAltDereg (me, ps , reged , ORELSE) else a b o r t .me → STOP

The state MainAltWaitTimeout describes the behaviour of waiting with the possibility of selecting a timeout branch. The MainAlt can again be woken up by a wakeUp event; we also model the possibility of an allClosed event, but signal an error if one occurs (subsequent analysis with FDR verifies that they can’t occur). We signal a timeout on the timeout channel. The MainAlt then checks with the Arbitrator whether it has lost a race with a commit; if not (then branch) it runs the timeout branch; otherwise (else branch) it waits to be woken by the Facet. MainAltWaitTimeout (me, ps , reged ) = changeStatus ! WaitTO → ( ( wakeUp?p : reged → MainAltDereg (me, ps , remove ( reged , p ) , p ) 2 a l l C l o s e d → e r r o r → STOP )  t i m e o u t .me → checkRace . Timedout? resp → i f resp then changeStatus ! Dereg → MainAltDereg (me, ps , reged , TIMEOUT) else wakeUp?p : reged → MainAltDereg (me, ps , remove ( reged , p ) , p ) ) MainAltDereg (me, ps , toDereg , p ) = i f toDereg =={} then changeStatus ! Done → s i g n a l .me. chanOf ( p ) → M a i n A l t (me, ps ) else  p1 : toDereg • d e r e g i s t e r .me. p1 → MainAltDereg (me, ps , remove ( toDereg , p1 ) , p )

The model of the Facet is a fairly straightforward extension of that in Section 3, dealing with the closing of channels and communications with the Arbitrator as described above. Facet (me) = changeStatus ?s → A s s e r t ( s== I n i t ) ( FacetReg (me, 0 ) ) FacetReg (me, c l o s e d ) = commit?p : a p o r t s (me ) ! me → commitResp .me. p !MAYBE → FacetReg (me, c l o s e d ) 2 changeStatus ?s → ( i f s==WaitTO then FacetWaitTimeout (me, c l o s e d ) else i f s==Dereg then FacetDereg (me) else A s s e r t ( s==Pause ) ( FacetPause (me, c l o s e d ) ) ) 2 chanClosed?p : a p o r t s (me ) ! me → A s s e r t ( closed ... // code for P1 ... case n => ... // code for Pn }

and by providing procedures of the following form, for k = 1,...,n (corresponding to events of the form ek !arg in the other process). def ek (arg : Tk ) = synchronized{ assert(waiting ); wakeUpType = k; xk = arg; // pass data waiting = false ; notify (); // wake up waiting process }

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

31

Here waiting, wakeUpType and xk (k = 1,...,n) are private variables of the monitor. In order for this to work, we need to ensure that other processes try to perform one of e1 ,. . . ,en only when this process is in this waiting state. Further, we need to be sure that no other process calls one of the main procedures f1 ,. . . ,fn while this process is in this state. We can test for both of these requirements within our CSP models. The restrictions in the previous paragraph prevent many processes from being directly implemented as monitors. In such cases we believe that we can often follow the pattern corresponding to the use of the Facet: having one monitor that performs most of the functionality, and a second monitor (like the Facet) that keeps track of the state of the main monitor, receives procedure calls, and passes data on to the main monitor where appropriate. In some such cases, it will also be necessary to follow the pattern corresponding to the use of the Arbitrator, to arbitrate in the case of race conditions. We leave further investigation of the relationship between CSP and monitors for future work. 6.2. Priorities An interesting question concerns the behaviour of a system built as the parallel composition of prialts with differing priorities, such as P || Q where: def P = proc{ prialt ( c1 −!−> { c1!1; } | c2 −!−> { c2!2; } ) } def Q = proc{ prialt ( c2 −?−> { println(c2?); } | c1 −?−> { println(c1?); } ) }

It is clear to us that such a system should be able to communicate on either c1 or c2, since both components are; but we should be happy whichever way the choice between the channels is resolved. Consider the implementation in this paper. Suppose that P runs first, and registers with both of its channels before Q runs; then when Q tries to register with c2, it will receive a response of YES, so that branch will run: in other words, Q’s priority will be followed. Similarly, if Q runs first, then P’s priority will be followed. If both run at the same time, so they both receive a response of MAYBE to their second registration attempt, then they will both pause; which channel is chosen depends upon the relative length of their pauses. 6.3. Future Plans Finally, we have plans for developing the implementation of alts further. We would like to change the semantics of alt, so that the alt operator is responsible for performing the read or write of the branch it selects. This will remove the first restriction discussed at the end of Section 5. (This would also remove a possible source of bugs, where the programmer forgets to read or write the channel in question.) This would not change the basic protocol described in this paper. A barrier synchronisation [10] allows n processes to synchronise together, for arbitrary n. It would be useful to extend alts to allow branches to be guarded by barrier synchronisations, as is allowed in JCSP [17]. Acknowledgements We would like to thank Bernard Sufrin for implementing CSO and so interesting us in the subject, and also for numerous discussions involving the intended semantics for alts. We would also like to thank the anonymous referees for a number of useful comments and suggestions.

32

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt

References [1] Neil Brown. Communicating Haskell Processes: Composable explicit concurrency using monads. In Communicating Process Architectures (CPA 2008), pages 67–83, 2008. [2] Neil Brown. Choice over events using STM. http://chplib.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/ choice-over-events-using-stm/, 2010. [3] Neil Brown. Conjoined events. In Proceedings of the Advances in Message Passing Workshop, 2010. http://twistedsquare.com/Conjoined.pdf. [4] N. Carriero, D. Gelernter, and J. Leichter. Distributed data structures in Linda. In Proc. Thirteenth ACM Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages, pages 236–242, 1986. [5] Formal Systems (Europe) Ltd. Failures-Divergence Refinement—FDR 2 User Manual, 1997. Available via URL http://www.formal.demon.co.uk/FDR2.html. [6] Tim Harris, Simon Marlow, Simon Peyton Jones, and Maurice Herlihy. Composable memory transactions. In PPoPP ’05, pages 48–60, 2005. [7] C. A. R. Hoare. Communicating Sequential Processes. Prentice Hall, 1985. [8] IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group website, http://www.ieee802.org/3/. [9] INMOS Ltd. The occam Programming Language. Prentice Hall, 1984. [10] H. F. Jordan. A special purpose architecture for finite element analysis. In Proc. 1978 Int. Conf. on Parallel Processing, pages 263–6, 1978. [11] Alistair A. McEwan. Concurrent Program Development. DPhil, Oxford University, 2006. [12] Martin Odersky, Lex Spoon, and Bill Venners. Programming in Scala. Artima Press, 2008. [13] A. W. Roscoe. The Theory and Practice of Concurrency. Prentice Hall, 1997. [14] Bernard Sufrin. Communicating Scala Objects. In Proceedings of Communicating Process Architectures (CPA 2008), 2008. [15] Bernard Sufrin. CSO API documentation. http://users.comlab.ox.ac.uk/bernard.sufrin/CSO/ doc/, 2010. [16] Andrew S. Tanenbaum. Computer Networks. Prentice Hall, 1996. [17] Peter Welch, Neil Brown, James Moores, Kevin Chalmers, and Bernhard Sputh. Integrating and extending JCSP. In Communicating Process Architectures (CPA 2007), 2007. [18] Peter Welch, Neil Brown, James Moores, Kevin Chalmers, and Bernhard Sputh. Alting barriers: synchronisation with choice in Java using CSP. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, 22:1049–1062, 2010.

A. Code Listing We give here the code for the MainAlt. private object MainAlt extends Pausable{ private var waiting = false ; // flag to indicate the alt is waiting private var toRun = −1; // branch that should be run private var allBranchesClosed = false; // are all branches closed? private var n = 0; // index of current event /∗ Execute the alt ∗/ def apply (): Unit = synchronized { Facet.changeStatus(INIT); Arbitrator .checkRace(INIT); var enabled = new Array[Boolean](eventCount); // values of guards var reged = new Array[Boolean](eventCount); // is event registered ? var nReged = 0; // number of registered events var done = false; // Have we registered all ports or found a match? var success = false; // Have we found a match? var maybes = false; // have we received a MAYBE? var timeoutMS : Long = 0; // delay for timeout var timeoutBranch = −1; // index of timeout branch var orElseBranch = −1; // index of orelse branch if ( priAlt ) n=0; toRun = −1; allBranchesClosed = false;

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt // Evaluate guards; this must happen before registering with channels for( i =0 || orElseBranch>=0) throw new RuntimeException(”Multiple timeout/orelse branches in alt”); else{ timeoutMS = tf(); timeoutBranch = n; reged(n) = true; } case Alt.OrElseEvent( , ) => if (timeoutBranch>=0 || orElseBranch>=0) throw new RuntimeException(”Multiple timeout/orelse branches in alt”); else{ orElseBranch = n; reged(n) = true; } case => { // InPortEvent or OutPortEvent event. register ( theAlt ,n) match{ case YES => { Facet.changeStatus(DEREG); toRun = n; done=true; success=true; } case NO => { reged(n) = true; nReged += 1; } case MAYBE => maybes = true; case CLOSED => enabled(n) = false; // channel has just closed } // end of event . register ( theAlt ,n) match } // end of case } // end of event match } // end of if (enabled(n)) } // end of if (! reged(n)) n = (n+1)%eventCount; count += 1; } // end of inner while if (! done) // All registered , without finding a match if (maybes){ // Random length pause to break symmetry Facet.changeStatus(PAUSE); pause; // see if a commit has come in toRun = Facet.getToRun; if (toRun=0) toRun = orElseBranch else throw new Abort; // Need to wait for a channel to become ready waiting=true; allBranchesClosed = Facet.setReged(nReged); if (! allBranchesClosed) while(waiting) wait(); // wait to be awoken } else{ // with timeout Facet.changeStatus(WAITTO); waiting=true; wait(timeoutMS); // wait to be awoken or for timeout if (waiting){ // assume timeout was reached ( this could be a spurious wakeup) if ( Arbitrator .checkRace(TIMEDOUT)){ waiting = false; toRun = timeoutBranch; } else // A commit was received just before the timeout . while(waiting) wait() // Wait to be woken

33

34

G. Lowe / Implementing Generalised Alt } // end of if ( waiting ) } // end of else (with timeout ) } // end of if (! success ) // Can now run branch toRun, unless allBranchesClosed if (allBranchesClosed) if (orElseBranch>=0) toRun = orElseBranch else throw new Abort; // Deregister events Facet.changeStatus(DEREG); for(n p r i n t f ( ”A i s t r u e , B i s unknown ” ) ; : : ( B == t r u e ) −> p r i n t f ( ”B i s t r u e , A i s unknown ” ) ; : : e l s e −> p r i n t f ( ”A and B a r e f a l s e ” ) ; fi do : : ( s k i p )−> p r i n t f ( ” I f A i s a l w a y s t r u e , t h e n t h i s may n e v e r p r i n t e d . ” ) ; break ; / * b r e a k s t h e do l o o p * / : : (A == t r u e ) −> p r i n t f ( ”A i s t r u e ” ) ; i = i + 1; od

If the SPIN model checker performs an automatic verification of the above code, then it will visit every possible state until it aborts with the error: “max search depth too small”. The reason is that, there is no deterministic set of values for i , thus the system state space can never be completely explored. It is crucial that all control flows have a valid end-state otherwise SPIN can not verify the model. The SPIN model checker can verify models written in Promela. In 1986, Vardi and Wolper [3] published the foundation for SPIN, an automata-theoretic approach to automatic program verification. SPIN [4] can verify a model for correctness by generating a C program that performs an exhaustive verification of the system state space. During simulation and verification SPIN checks for the absence of deadlocks, livelocks, race conditions, unspecified receptions and unexecutable code. The model checker can also be used to show the correctness of system invariants, find non-progress execution cycles and linear time temporal constraints, though we have not used any of those features for the model checking in this paper. 1. Related Work Various possibilities for synchronous communication can be found in most network libraries, but we focus exclusively on network-enabled communication libraries that support Hoare’s CSP algebra [5,6]. Several projects have investigated how to do CSP in a distributed environment. JCSP [7], Pony/occam-π [8] and C++CSP [9] provide network-enabled channels. Common to all three is that they use a specific naming for the channels, such that channels are reserved for one-to-one, one-to-any, network-enabled and so on. JCSP and C++CSP2 have the limitation that they can only do external choice (alt) on some channel types. Pony enables transparent network support for occam-π. Schweigler and Sampson [8] write: “As long as the interface between components (i.e. processes) is clearly defined, the programmer should not need to distinguish whether the process on the other side of the interface is located on the same computer or on the other end of the globe”. Unfortunately the pony implementation in occam-π is difficult to use as basis for a CSP library in languages like C++, Java or Python, as it relies heavily on the internal workings of occam-π. Pony/occam-π does

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model

39

not currently have support for networked buffered channels. The communication overhead in Python is quite high, thus we are especially interested in fast one-to-one buffered networked channels, because they have the potential to hide the latency of the network. This would, for large parallel computations, make it possible to overlap computation with communication. 2. The Dynamic Channel We present the basis for a dynamic channel type that combines multiple channel synchronisation mechanisms. The interface of the dynamic channel resembles a single channel type. When the channel is first created, it may be an any-to-any specialised for co-routines. The channel is then upgraded on request, depending on whether it participates in an alt and on the number of channel-ends connected. The next synchronisation level for the channel may be an optimised network-enabled one-to-one with no support for alt. Every upgrade stalls the communication on the channel momentarily while all active requests for a read or write are transformed to a higher synchronisation level. The upgrades continue, until the lowest common denominator (a network-enabled any-to-any with alt support) is reached. This paper presents three models that are crucial parts in the dynamic channel design. These are: a local channel synchronisation model for shared memory, a distributed synchronisation model and the model for on-the-fly switching between synchronisation levels. We have excluded the following features to avoid state-explosion during automatic verification: mobility of channel ends, termination handling, buffered channels, skip / timeout guards and a discovery service for channel homes. Basically, we have simplified a larger model as much as possible and left out important parts, to focus on the synchronisation model handling the communication. The different models are written in Promela to verify the design using the SPIN model checker. The verification phase is presented in section 3 where the three models are modelchecked successfully. The full model-checked models are available at the PyCSP repository [10]. After the following overview, the models are described in detail: • the local synchronisation model is built around the two-phase locking protocol. It provides a single CSP channel type supporting any-to-any communication with basic read / write and external choice (alt). • the distributed synchronisation model is developed from the local model, providing the same set of constructs. The remote communication is similar to asynchronous sockets. • the transition model enables the combination of a local (and faster) synchronisation model with more advanced distributed models. Channels are able to change synchronisation mechanisms, for example based on the location of channel ends, making it a dynamic channel. For all models presented we do not handle operating system errors that cause threads to terminate or lose channel messages. We assume that all models are implemented on top of systems that provide reliable threads and message protocols. 2.1. Channel Synchronisation with Two-Phase Locking The channel model presented here is similar to the PyCSP implementation (threads and processes) from 2009 [11] and will work as a verification of the method used in [11,12]. It is a single CSP channel type supporting any-to-any communication with basic read / write and external choice (alt). In figure 1 we show an example of how the matching of channel operations comes about. Four processes are shown communicating on two channels using the presented design for negotiating read, write and external choice. Three requests have been posted to channel A

40

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model

and two requests to channel B. During an external choice, a request is posted on multiple channels. Process 2 has posted its request to multiple channels and has been been matched. Process 1 is waiting for a successful match. Process 3 has been matched and is going to remove its request. Process 4 is waiting for a successful match. In the future, process 1 and process 4 are going to be matched. The matching is initiated by both, but only one process marks the match as successful. Channel A

Read queue READY

Write queue SUCCESS(B)

Requests 1

Process 1 Read value from channel A

READY 2 4 3 Channel B

Read queue SUCCESS(B)

Process 2 External choice (alt) on the channel operations: ▪ Read from B ▪ Write value to A

Write queue SUCCESS

Process 3 Write value to channel B

Process 4 Write value to channel A

Figure 1. Example of four processes matching channel operations on two channels.

Listing 3. Simple model of a mutex lock with a condition variable. This is the minimum functionality, which can be expected from any multi-threading library. typedef processtype { mtype s t a t e ; bit lock ; b i t waitX ; }; p r o c e s s t y p e p r o c [THREADS ] ; inline acquire ( lock id ) { a t o m i c { ( p r o c [ l o c k i d ] . l o c k == 0 ) ; p r o c [ l o c k i d ] . l o c k = 1 ; } } inline release ( lock id ) { proc [ l o c k i d ] . lock = 0; } inline wait ( lock id ) { a s s e r t ( p r o c [ l o c k i d ] . l o c k == 1 ) ; / * l o c k m u s t be a c q u i r e d * / atomic { release ( lock id ); p r o c [ l o c k i d ] . waitX = 0 ; /* r e s e t wait condition */ } ( p r o c [ l o c k i d ] . waitX == 1 ) ; / * w a i t * / acquire ( lock id ); } inline notify ( lock id ) { a s s e r t ( p r o c [ l o c k i d ] . l o c k == 1 ) ; / * l o c k m u s t be a c q u i r e d * / p r o c [ l o c k i d ] . waitX = 1 ; / * wake up w a i t i n g p r o c e s s * / }

We use the two-phase locking protocol for channel synchronisation. When two processes are requesting to communicate on a channel, we accept the communication by first acquiring

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model

41

the two locks, then checking the state of the two requests and if successful, updating and finally the two locks are released. This method requires many lock requests resulting in a large overhead, but it has the advantage that it never has to roll-back from trying to update a shared resource. To perform the local synchronisation between threads, we implement the simple lock model shown in listing 3. This is straight-forward to model in Promela, as every statement in Promela must be executable and will block the executing thread until it becomes executable. The implemented lock model is restricted to single processes calling wait . If multiple processes called wait , then the second could erase a recent notify . For the models in the paper, we never have more than one waiting process on each lock. Now that we can synchronise processes, the process state proc[ id ]. state can be protected on read and update. When blocked, we wait on a condition lock instead of wasting cycles using busy waiting, but the condition lock adds a little overhead. To avoid deadlocks, the process lock must be acquired before a process initiates a wait on a condition lock and before another process notifies the condition lock. The process calls wait in write (Listing 4) and is blocked until notified by offer (Listing 6). The offer function is called by the matching algorithm, which is initiated when a request is posted. To provide an overview, figure 2 shows a pseudo call graph of the model with all inline functions and the call relationship. A process can call read, write or alt to communicate on channels. These then posts the necessary requests to the involved channels and the matching algorithm calls offer for all matching pairs. Eventually a matching pair arrives at a success and the waiting process is notified. Communicating process

Channel.read

Alt

Remove request from all involved channels

Channel.remove_write

Channel.remove_read

Channel.write

Initialise request and then post the request to all involved channels

Channel.post_write

Channel.offer - Test matched requests for possible success Request.state: SUCCESS

Lock.notify - Wake up sleeping process

Request.state: READY

Channel.post_read

Channel.match Read and write requests

ditio con ked led c o l b b a Set to en

Lock.wait - Sleep if no match could be made

n

Figure 2. Pseudo call graph for the local channel synchronisation.

In write (Listing 4), a write request is posted to the write queue of the channel and again removed after a successful match with a write request. The corresponding functions read , post read and remove read are not shown since they are similar, except that remove read returns the read value.

42

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model

Listing 4. The write construct and the functions for posting and removing write requests. The process index pid contains the Promela thread id. i n l i n e w r i t e ( c h i d , msg ) { p r o c [ p i d ] . s t a t e = READY; p o s t w r i t e ( c h i d , msg ) ; / * i f no s u c c e s s , t h e n w a i t f o r s u c c e s s * / acquire ( pid ); if : : ( p r o c [ p i d ] . s t a t e == READY) −> w a i t ( p i d ) ; : : e l s e skip ; fi ; release ( pid ); a s s e r t ( p r o c [ p i d ] . s t a t e == SUCCESS ) ; remove write ( ch id ) } i n l i n e p o s t w r i t e ( ch id , msg to write ) { /* acquire channel lock */ a t o m i c { ( ch [ c h i d ] . l o c k == 0 ) −> ch [ c h i d ] . l o c k = 1 ; }

match ( c h i d ) ; ch [ c h i d ] . l o c k = 0 ; / * r e l e a s e c h a n n e l l o c k * /

} inline remove write ( ch id ) { /* acquire channel lock */ a t o m i c { ( ch [ c h i d ] . l o c k == 0 ) −> ch [ c h i d ] . l o c k = 1 ; }

}

ch [ c h i d ] . l o c k = 0 ; / * r e l e a s e c h a n n e l l o c k * /

When matching read and write requests on a channel we use the two-phase locking protocol where the locks of both involved processes are acquired before the system state is changed. To handle specific cases where multiple processes have posted multiple read and write requests, a global ordering of the locks (Roscoe’s deadlock rule 7 [13]) must be used to make sure they are always acquired in the same order. In this local thread system we order the locks based on their memory address. This is both quick and ensures that the ordering never changes during execution. An alternative index for a distributed system would be to generate an index as a combination of the node address and the memory address. Listing 5. Matching pairs of read and write requests for the two-phase locking. i n l i n e match ( c h i d ) { w = 0; r = 0; do / * Matching a l l reads t o a l l w r i t e s * / : : ( r w = 0; do : : (w o f f e r ( ch id , r , w) ; w = w+ 1 ; : : e l s e break ; od ; r = r +1; : : e l s e break ; od ; }

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model

43

The two-phase locking in offer (Listing 6) is executed for every possible pair of read and write requests found by match (Listing 5). The first phase acquires locks and the second phase releases locks. Between the two phases, updates can be made. Eventually when a matching is successful, three things are updated: the condition lock of both processes is notified, the message is transferred from the writer to the reader and proc[ id ]. state is updated. One disadvantage of the two-phase locking is that we may have to acquire the locks of many read and write requests that are not in a ready state. The impact of this problem can easily be reduced by testing the state variable before acquiring the lock. Normally, this behaviour results in a race condition. However, the request can never change back to the ready state once it has been committed and remains posted on the channel. Because of this, the state can be tested before acquiring the lock, in order to find out whether time should be spent acquiring the lock. When the lock is acquired, the state must be checked again to ensure the request is still in the ready state. PyCSP [10] uses this approach in a similar offer method to reduce the number of acquired locks. Listing 6. The offer function offering a possible successful match between two requests. i n l i n e o f f e r ( c h i d , r , w) { r p i d = ch [ c h i d ] . r q u e u e [ r ] . i d ; w p i d = ch [ c h i d ] . wqueue [w ] . i d ; i f /* acquire locks using global ordering */ : : ( r p i d < w p i d ) −> a c q u i r e ( r p i d ) ; a c q u i r e ( w pid ) ; : : e l s e s k i p −> a c q u i r e ( w pid ) ; a c q u i r e ( r p i d ) ; fi ; i f / * Does t h e two p r o c e s s e s match ? * / : : ( p r o c [ r p i d ] . s t a t e == READY && p r o c [ w p i d ] . s t a t e == READY) −> p r o c [ r p i d ] . s t a t e = SUCCESS ; p r o c [ w p i d ] . s t a t e = SUCCESS ; / * T r a n s f e r message * / ch [ c h i d ] . r q u e u e [ r ] . msg ch [ c h i d ] . wqueue [w ] . msg proc [ r p i d ] . r e s u l t c h = proc [ w pid ] . r e s u l t c h =

= ch [ c h i d ] . wqueue [w ] . msg ; = NULL ; ch id ; ch id ;

notify ( r pid ); n o t i f y ( w pid ) ; / * b r e a k match l o o p by u p d a t i n g w and r * / w = LEN ; r = LEN ; : : e l s e skip ; fi ; i f /* release locks using reverse global ordering */ : : ( r p i d < w p i d ) −> r e l e a s e ( w pid ) ; r e l e a s e ( r p i d ) ; : : e l s e s k i p −> r e l e a s e ( r p i d ) ; r e l e a s e ( w pid ) ; fi ; }

The alt construct shown in listing 7 is basically the same as a read or write, except that the same process state is posted to multiple channels, thus ensuring that only one will be matched. The alt construct should scale linearly with the number of guards. For the verification of the model we simplify alt to only accept two guards. If the model is model-checked success-

44

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model

fully with two guards we expect an extended model to model-check successfully with more than two guards. Adding more guards to the alt construct in listing 7 is a very simple task, but it enlarges the system state-space and is unnecessary for the results presented in this paper. Listing 7. The alt construct. i n l i n e a l t ( c h i d 1 , op1 , msg1 , c h i d 2 , op2 , msg2 , r e s u l t c h a n , r e s u l t ) { p r o c [ p i d ] . s t a t e = READY; r e s u l t = NULL ; if : : ( op1 == READ) −> p o s t r e a d ( c h i d 1 ) ; :: else p o s t w r i t e ( c h i d 1 , msg1 ) ; fi ; if : : ( op2 == READ) −> p o s t r e a d ( c h i d 2 ) ; :: else p o s t w r i t e ( c h i d 2 , msg2 ) ; fi ; acquire ( pid ); / * i f no s u c c e s s , t h e n w a i t f o r s u c c e s s * / if : : ( p r o c [ p i d ] . s t a t e == READY) −> w a i t ( p i d ) ; : : e l s e skip ; fi ; release ( pid ); a s s e r t ( p r o c [ p i d ] . s t a t e == SUCCESS ) ; if : : ( op1 == READ) −> r e m o v e r e a d ( c h i d 1 , r e s u l t ) ; :: else remove write ( ch id1 ) ; fi ; if : : ( op2 == READ) −> r e m o v e r e a d ( c h i d 2 , r e s u l t ) ; :: else remove write ( ch id2 ) ; fi ; r e s u l t c h a n = proc [ pid ] . r e s u l t c h ; }

2.2. Distributed Channel Synchronisation The local channel synchronisation described in the previous section has a process waiting until a match has been made. The matching protocol performs a continuous two-phase locking for all pairs, thus the waiting process is constantly being tried even though it is passive. This method is not possible in a distributed model with no shared memory, instead an extra process is created to function as a remote lock, protecting updates of the posted channel requests. Similar to the local channel synchronisation, we must lock both processes in the offer function and retrieve the current process state from the process. Finally, when a match is found, both processes are notified and their process states are updated. In figure 3, an overview of the distributed model is shown. The communicating process can call read, write or alt to communicate on channels. These then post the necessary requests to the involved channels through a Promela message channel. The channel home (channelThread) receives the request and initiates the matching algorithm to search for a successful offer amongst all matching pairs. During an offer, the channel home communicates with the lock processes (lockThread) to ensure that no other channel home conflicts. Finally, a matching pair arrives at a success and the lock process can notify the waiting process. In listing 8 all Promela channels are created with a buffer size of 10 to model an asynchronous connection. We have chosen a buffer size of 10, as this is large enough to never get filled during verification in section 3. Every process communicating on a channel is required to have a lock process (Listing 9) associated, to handle the socket communication going in on proc * chan types.

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model

Communicating process

Node running communicating process and lockThread

Channel.read

Request.state: READY

Alt

Initialise request and then post the request to all involved channels

Channel.write

Remove request from all involved channels

Lock.wait - Sleep if no success yet

ch_cmd_chan ! POST_WRITE

ch_cmd_chan ! POST_READ

ch_cmd_chan ! REMOVE_WRITE

ch_cmd_chan ! REMOVE_READ

network traffic Node running channelThread

Set blocked condition to enabled

channelThread

proc_release_lock_chan ! RELEASE_LOCK

Channel.match Read and write requests

proc_acquire_lock_chan ! ACQUIRE_LOCK

Channel.offer - Test matched requests for possible success

proc_cmd_chan ! REMOVE_ACK

proc_release_lock_chan ! NOTIFY_SUCCESS

network traffic pr Node running communicating process and lockThread Lock.notify - Wake up sleeping process

Request.state: SUCCESS

lockThread

ch_accept_lock_chan ! ACCEPT_LOCK

Figure 3. Pseudo call graph for the distributed channel synchronisation.

Listing 8. Modeling asynchronous sockets. / * D i r e c t i o n : c o m m u n i c a t i n g p r o c e s s −> c h a n n e l T h r e a d * / chan c h c m d c h a n [ C ] = [ 1 0 ] o f { byte , byte , b y t e } ; / * cmd , p i d , msg * / # d e f i n e POST WRITE 1 # d e f i n e POST READ 2 # d e f i n e REMOVE WRITE 3 # d e f i n e REMOVE READ 4 / * D i r e c t i o n : c h a n n e l T h r e a d −> c o m m u n i c a t i n g p r o c e s s * / chan p r o c c m d c h a n [ P ] = [ 1 0 ] o f { byte , byte , b y t e } ; / * cmd , ch , msg * / # d e f i n e REMOVE ACK 9 / * D i r e c t i o n : c h a n n e l T h r e a d −> l o c k T h r e a d * / chan p r o c a c q u i r e l o c k c h a n [ P ] = [ 1 0 ] o f { b y t e } ; / * ch * / / * D i r e c t i o n : l o c k T h r e a d −> c h a n n e l T h r e a d * / chan c h a c c e p t l o c k c h a n [ C ] = [ 1 0 ] o f { byte , b y t e } ; / * p i d , p r o c s t a t e * / / * D i r e c t i o n : c h a n n e l T h r e a d −> l o c k T h r e a d * / chan p r o c r e l e a s e l o c k c h a n [ P ] = [ 1 0 ] o f { byte , byte , b y t e } / * cmd , ch , msg * / # d e f i n e RELEASE LOCK 7 # d e f i n e NOTIFY SUCCESS 8

45

46

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model

The lockThread in listing 9 handles the remote locks for reading and updating the process state from the channel home thread. The two functions remote acquire and remote release are called from the channel home process during the offer procedure. The lockThread and the communicating process use the mutex lock operations from listing 3 for synchronisation. Listing 9. The lock process for a communicating process. proctype lockThread ( byte id ) { b y t e c h i d , cmd , msg ; byte ch id2 ; bit locked ; do : : p r o c a c q u i r e l o c k c h a n [ i d ] ? c h i d −> c h a c c e p t l o c k c h a n [ c h i d ] ! id , proc [ i d ] . s t a t e ; locked = 1; do : : p r o c r e l e a s e l o c k c h a n [ i d ] ? cmd , c h i d 2 , msg ; −> if : : cmd == RELEASE LOCK −> a s s e r t ( c h i d == c h i d 2 ) ; break ; : : cmd == NOTIFY SUCCESS −> a s s e r t ( c h i d == c h i d 2 ) ; acquire ( id ) ; / * m u t e x l o c k op * / p r o c [ i d ] . s t a t e = SUCCESS ; proc [ id ] . r e s u l t c h = ch id2 ; p r o c [ i d ] . r e s u l t m s g = msg ; notify ( id ) ; / * m u t e x l o c k op * / release ( id ) ; / * m u t e x l o c k op * / fi ; od ; locked = 0; : : p r o c c m d c h a n [ i d ] ? cmd , c h i d , msg −> if : : cmd == REMOVE ACK −> p r o c [ i d ] . w a i t i n g r e m o v e s −−; fi ; : : t i m e o u t −> a s s e r t ( l o c k e d == 0 ) ; a s s e r t ( p r o c [ i d ] . w a i t i n g r e m o v e s == 0 ) ; break ; od ; } i n l i n e remote acquire ( ch id , lock pid , g e t s t a t e ) { proc acquire lock chan [ lock pid ]! ch id ; c h a c c e p t l o c k c h a n [ c h i d ] ? id , g e t s t a t e ; a s s e r t ( l o c k p i d == i d ) ; } i n l i n e remote release ( ch id , lock pid ) { p r o c r e l e a s e l o c k c h a n [ l o c k p i d ] ! RELEASE LOCK , c h i d , NULL ; }

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model

47

The offer function in listing 10 performs a distributed version of the function in listing 6. In this model we exchange the message from the write request to the read request, update the process state to SUCCESS, notifies the condition lock and release the lock process, all in one transmission to the Promela channel proc release lock chan . We may still have to acquire the locks of many read and write requests that are not in ready state. Acquiring the locks are now more expensive than for the local channel model and it would happen more often, due to the latency of getting old requests removed. If an extra flag is added to a request the offer function can update the flag on success. If the flag is set, we know that the request has already been accepted and we avoid the extra remote lock operations. If the flag is not set, the request may still be old and not ready, as it might have been accepted by another process. Listing 10. The offer function for distributed channel communication. i n l i n e o f f e r ( c h i d , r , w) { r p i d = ch [ c h i d ] . r q u e u e [ r ] . i d ; w p i d = ch [ c h i d ] . wqueue [w ] . i d ; i f /* acquire locks using global ordering */ : : ( r p i d < w p i d ) −> remote acquire ( ch id , r pid , r s t a t e ) ; r e m o t e a c q u i r e ( c h i d , w pid , w s t a t e ) ; : : e l s e s k i p −> r e m o t e a c q u i r e ( c h i d , w pid , w s t a t e ) ; remote acquire ( ch id , r pid , r s t a t e ) ; fi ; i f / * Does t h e two p r o c e s s e s match ? * / : : ( r s t a t e == READY && w s t a t e == READY) −> proc release lock chan [ r pid ]! NOTIFY SUCCESS , c h i d , ch [ c h i d ] . wqueue [w ] . msg ; p r o c r e l e a s e l o c k c h a n [ w pid ] ! NOTIFY SUCCESS , c h i d , NULL ; w = LEN ; r = LEN ; / * b r e a k match l o o p * / : : e l s e skip ; fi ; i f /* release locks using reverse global ordering */ : : ( r p i d < w p i d ) −> r e m o t e r e l e a s e ( ch id , w pid ) ; remote release ( ch id , r p i d ) ; : : e l s e s k i p −> remote release ( ch id , r p i d ) ; r e m o t e r e l e a s e ( ch id , w pid ) ; fi ; }

Every channel must have a channel home, where the read and write requests for communication are held and the offers are made. The channel home invokes the matching algorithm for every posted request, as the post * functions did in the local channel model. In this model every channel home is a process (Listing 11). In another implementation there might only be one process per node maintaining multiple channel homes through a simple channel dictionary.

48

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model Listing 11. The channel home process.

proctype channelThread ( byte c h i d ) { DECLARE LOCAL CHANNEL VARS do : : c h c m d c h a n [ c h i d ] ? cmd , i d , msg −> if : : cmd == POST WRITE −>

match ( c h i d ) ; : : cmd == POST READ −>

match ( c h i d ) ; : : cmd == REMOVE WRITE −>

p r o c c m d c h a n [ i d ] ! REMOVE ACK, c h i d , NULL ; : : cmd == REMOVE READ −>

p r o c c m d c h a n [ i d ] ! REMOVE ACK, c h i d , NULL ; fi ; : : t i m e o u t −> / * c o n t r o l l e d s h u t d o w n * / / * r e a d and w r i t e q u e u e s m u s t be e m p t y * / a s s e r t ( ch [ c h i d ] . r l e n == 0 && ch [ c h i d ] . wlen == 0 ) ; break ; od ; }

The functions read , write and alt are for the distributed channel model identical to the local channel model. We can now transfer a message locally using the local channel model or between nodes using the distributed channel model. 2.3. Dynamic Synchronisation Layer The following model will allow channels to change the synchronisation mechanism on-thefly. This means that a local channel can be upgraded to become a distributed channel. Activation of the upgrade may be caused by a remote process requesting to connect to the local channel. The model presented in this section can not detect which synchronisation mechanism to use, it must be set explicitly. If channel-ends were part of the implementation, a channel could keep track of the location of all channel-ends and thus it would know what mechanism to use. A feature of the dynamic synchronisation mechanism is that specialised channels can be used, such as a low-latency one-to-one channel resulting in improved communication time and lower latency. The specialised channels may not support constructs like external-choice (alt), but if an external-choice occurs the channel is upgraded. The upgrade procedure adds an overhead, but since channels are often used more than once this is an acceptable overhead. Figure 4 shows an overview of the transition model. In the figure, the communicating process calls read or write to communicate on channels. These then call the functions enter , wait and leave functions. The enter function posts the request to the channel. The wait function ensures that the post is posted at the correct synchronisation level, otherwise it calls the transcend function. The leave function is called, when the request has been matched successfully. The model includes a thread that at any time activates a switch in synchronisation level and thus may force a call to the transcend function.

49

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model

Communicating process

Channel.read

Ch.wait_read

Ch.enter_read

Channel.write

Ch.leave_read

Ch.enter_write

Ch.leave_write

Ch.wait_write Request.state: READY

Request.state: READY transcend_read remove using old sync_level and post with new

Channel.post_read

Initialise request and then post the request to all involved channels

Channel.remove_read

Remove request from all involved channels

Channel.post_write

transcend_write remove using old sync_level and post with new

Channel.remove_write

Lock.wait - Sleep if no match could be made Channel.match Read and write requests

Lock.notify - Wake up sleeping process

Request.state: SUCCESS R

Lock.notify - Wake up sleeping process

Channel.offer - Test matched requests for possible success

Request.state: READY

Thread

Channel.switch_sync_level

Figure 4. Pseudo call graph for the dynamic synchronisation layer.

To model the transition between two levels (layers) we set up two groups of channel request queues and a synchronisation level variable per channel. Every access to a channel variable includes the channel id and the new synchronisation level variable sync level . Every communicating process is viewed as a single channel-end and is provided with a proc sync level . This way the communicating process will know the synchronisation level that it is currently at, even though the sync level variable for the channel changes. The synchronisation level of a channel may change at any time using the switch sync level function in listing 12. The match and offer functions from section 2.1 have been extended with a sync level parameter used to access the channel container. The post * functions update the proc sync level variable to the channel synchronisation level before posting a request, while the remove * functions read the proc sync level variable and uses the methods of that level to remove the request. Other than that, the functions match, offer , post * and remove * are similar to the ones from the local channel model. The switching of synchronisation level in listing 12 works by notifying all processes with a request for communication posted to the channel. The channel sync level variable is changed before notifying processes. In listing 14 when a process either tries to enter wait or is awoken by the notification, it will check that the proc sync level variable of the posted request still matches the sync level variable of the channel. If these do not match, we activate the transcend (Listing 13) function. During a transition, the proc state variable is temporarily changed to SYNC, so that the request is not matched by another process between release and leave read . The leave read function calls remove read which uses the proc sync level variable to remove the request and enter read calls post read which uses the updated channel sync level variable.

50

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model Listing 12. Switching the synchronisation level of a channel.

i n l i n e s w i t c h s y n c l e v e l ( ch id , t o l e v e l ) { b y t e SL ; b y t e r , w, r p i d , w p i d ; SL = ch [ c h i d ] . s y n c l e v e l ; atomic { ( ch [ c h i d ] . l v l [ SL ] . l o c k == 0 ) −> ch [ c h i d ] . l v l [ SL ] . l o c k = 1 ; } / * a c q u i r e * / ch [ c h i d ] . s y n c l e v e l = t o l e v e l ;

}

/* Notify connected processes */ r = 0; do : : ( r r p i d = ch [ c h i d ] . l v l [ SL ] . r q u e u e [ r ] ; acquire ( r pid ); if : : p r o c s t a t e [ r p i d ] == READY −> notify ( r pid ) ; /* Notify process to transcend */ : : e l s e −> s k i p ; fi ; release ( r pid ); r = r +1; : : e l s e break ; od ; w = 0; do : : (w w p i d = ch [ c h i d ] . l v l [ SL ] . wqueue [w ] ; a c q u i r e ( w pid ) ; if : : p r o c s t a t e [ w p i d ] == READY −> n o t i f y ( w pid ) ; / * N o t i f y p r o c e s s t o t r a n s c e n d * / : : e l s e −> s k i p ; fi ; r e l e a s e ( w pid ) ; w = w+ 1 ; : : e l s e break ; od ; ch [ c h i d ] . l v l [ SL ] . l o c k = 0 ; / * r e l e a s e * /

Listing 13. The transition mechanism for upgrading posted requests. inline transcend read ( ch id ) { p r o c s t a t e [ p i d ] = SYNC ; release ( pid ); leave read ( ch id ); enter read ( ch id ); acquire ( pid ); }

In listing 14 the read function from the local channel model (Section 2.1) is split into an enter, wait and leave part. To upgrade blocking processes we use the transition mechanism in listing 13 which can only be used between an enter and a leave part. We require that all synchronisation levels must have an enter part, a wait / notify state and a leave part.

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model

51

Listing 14. The read function is split into an enter, wait and leave part. inline enter read ( ch id ) { p r o c s t a t e [ p i d ] = READY; post read ( ch id ); } inline wait read ( ch id ) { / * i f no s u c c e s s , t h e n w a i t f o r s u c c e s s * / acquire ( pid ); do : : ( p r o c s y n c l e v e l [ p i d ] == ch [ c h i d ] . s y n c l e v e l ) && ( p r o c s t a t e [ p i d ] == READY) −> wait ( pid ) ; : : ( p r o c s y n c l e v e l [ p i d ] ! = ch [ c h i d ] . s y n c l e v e l ) && ( p r o c s t a t e [ p i d ] == READY) −> transcend read ( ch id ); : : e l s e break ; od ; release ( pid ); } i n l i n e l e a v e r e a d ( ch id ){ a s s e r t ( p r o c s t a t e [ p i d ] == SUCCESS | | p r o c s t a t e [ p i d ] == SYNC ) ; remove read ( ch id ) ; } inline read ( ch id ) { enter read ( ch id ); wait read ( ch id ); leave read ( ch id ); }

The three models presented can be used separately for new projects or they can be combined to the following: a CSP library for a high-level programming language where channelends are mobile and can be sent to remote locations. The channel is automatically upgraded, which means that the communicating processes can exist as co-routines, threads and nodes. Specialised channel implementations can be used without the awareness of the communicating processes. Any channel implementation working at a synchronisation level in the dynamic channel, must provide six functions to the dynamic synchronisation layer: enter read , wait read , leave read , enter write , wait write and leave write . 3. Verification Using SPIN The commands in listing 15 verify the state-space system of a SPIN model written in Promela. The verification process checks for the absence of deadlocks, livelocks, race conditions, unspecified receptions, unexecutable code and user-specified assertions. One of these userspecified assertions checks that the message is correctly transferred for a channel communication. All verifications were run in a single thread on an Intel Xeon E5520 with 24 Gb DDR3 memory with ECC. Listing 15. The commands for running an automatic verification of the models. s p i n −a model . p g c c −o pan −O2 −DVECTORSZ=4196 −DMEMLIM=24000 −DSAFETY \\ −DCOLLAPSE −DMA=1112 pan . c . / pan

52

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model

The local and the distributed channel models are verified for six process configurations and the transition model is verified for three process configurations. The results from running the SPIN model checker to verify models is listed in table 1. The automatic verification of the models found no errors. The “threads in model” column shows the threads needed for running the configuration in the specific model. The number of transitions in table 1 does not relate to how a real implementation of the model performs, but is the total amount of different transitions between states. If the number of transitions is high, then the model allows a large number of statements to happen in parallel. The SPIN model checker tries every transition possible, and if all transitions are legal the model is verified successfully for a process configuration. This means that for the verified configuration, the model has no deadlocks, no livelocks, no starvation, no race-conditions and do not fail with a wrong end-state. The longest running verification which completed was the distributed model for the configuration in figure 5(f). This configuration completed after verifying the full state-space in 9 days. This means that adding an extra process to the model would multiply the total number of states to a level where we would not be able to complete a verification of the full statespace. The DiVinE model checker [14] is a parallel LTL model checker that should be able to handle larger models than SPIN, by performing a distributed verification. DiVinE has not been used with the models presented in this paper. Table 1. The results from using the SPIN model checker to verify models. Model Local Local Local Local Local Local Distributed Distributed Distributed Distributed Distributed Distributed Transition sync layer Transition sync layer Transition sync layer

Configuration Fig. 5(a) Fig. 5(b) Fig. 5(c) Fig. 5(d) Fig. 5(e) Fig. 5(f) Fig. 5(a) Fig. 5(b) Fig. 5(c) Fig. 5(d) Fig. 5(e) Fig. 5(f) Fig. 5(a) Fig. 5(c) Fig. 5(d)

Threads in model 2 2 3 4 3 3 5 6 7 9 8 8 3 4 5

Depth 91 163 227 261 267 336 151 245 326 446 406 532 162 346 467

Transitions 1217 10828 149774 2820315 420946 2056700 90260 28042640 18901677 1.1157292e+09 6.771875e+08 1.2102407e+10 43277 18567457 3.9206391e+09

The process configurations in figure 5 cover a wide variety of possible transitions for the local and distributed models. None of the configurations check a construct with more than two processes, but we expect the configurations to be correct for more than two processes. The synchronisation mechanisms are the same for a reading process and a writing process in the presented models. Based on this, we can expect that all the configurations in figure 5 can be mirrored and model-checked successfully. The local one-to-one communication is handled by the configuration in figure 5(a). Configurations in figure 5(c) and figure 5(d) cover the one-to-any and any-to-any cases, and we expect any-to-one to also be correct since it is a mirrored version of a one-to-any. The alt construct supports both input and output guards, thus figure 5(b) presents an obvious configuration to verify. In CSP networks this configuration does not make sense, but the verification of the configuration in figure 5(b) shows that two competing alts configured with the worst-case priority do not cause any livelocks. We must also model-check when alt communicates with reads or writes (Figure 5(e)).

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model

53

read write write write

read

alt

(a) write

read

alt

(b) read

(c) read

write

write

alt

alt alt write

read

(d)

(e)

alt alt

(f)

Figure 5. Process configurations used for verification.

Finally, the configuration in figure 5(f) verify when alts are communicating on one-to-any and any-to-one. These configurations cover most situations for up to two processes.

4. Conclusions We have presented three building blocks for a dynamic channel capable of transforming the internal synchronisation mechanisms during execution. The change in synchronisation mechanism is a basic part of the channel and can come about at any time. In the worst case, the communicating processes will see a delay caused by having to repost a communication request to the channel. Three models have been presented and model-checked: the shared memory channel synchronisation model, the distributed channel synchronisation model and the dynamic synchronisation layer. The SPIN model checker has been used to perform an automatic verification of these models separately. During the verification it was checked that the communicated messages were transferred correctly using assertions. All models were found to verify with no errors for a variety of configurations with communicating sequential processes. The full model of the dynamic channel has not been verified, since the large state-space may make it unsuited for exhaustive verification using a model checker. With the results from this paper, we can also conclude that the synchronisation mechanism in the current PyCSP [11,12] can be model-checked succesfully by SPIN. The current PyCSP uses the two-phase locking approach with total ordering of locks, which has now been shown to work correctly for both the shared memory model and the distributed model. 4.1. Future Work The equivalence between the dynamic channel presented in this paper and CSP channels, as defined in the CSP algebra, needs to be shown. Through equivalence, it can also be shown that networks of dynamic channels function correctly. The models presented in this paper will be the basis for a new PyCSP channel, that can start out as a simple pipe and evolve into a distributed channel spanning multiple nodes. This channel will support mobility of channel ends, termination handling, buffering, scheduling of lightweight processes, skip and timeout guards and a discovery service for channel homes.

54

R.M. Friborg and B. Vinter / Verification of a Dynamic Channel Model

5. Acknowledgements The authors would like to extend their gratitude for the rigorous review of this paper, including numerous constructive proposals from the reviewers. References [1] David Beazly. Understanding the Python GIL. http://dabeaz.com/python/UnderstandingGIL.pdf. Presented at PyCon 2010. [2] Rune M. Friborg and Brian Vinter. Rapid Development of Scalable Scientific Software Using a Process Oriented Approach. Journal of Computational Science, page 11, March 2011. [3] Moshe Y. Vardi and Pierre Wolper. An Automata-Theoretic Approach to Automatic Program Verification. Proc. First IEEE Symp. on Logic in Computer Science, pages 322–331, 1986. [4] Gerard J. Holzman. The Model Checker Spin. IEEE Trans. on Software Engineering, pages 279–295, May 1997. [5] C.A.R. Hoare. Communicating Sequential Processes. Communications of the ACM, pages 666–676, August 1978. [6] C.A.R. Hoare. Communicating Sequential Processes. Prentice-Hall, 1985. [7] Peter H. Welch, Neil Brown, James Moores, Kevin Chalmers, and Bernhard Sputh. Integrating and Extending JCSP. In A.A.McEwan, S.Schneider, W.Ifill, and P.Welch, editors, Communicating Process Architectures 2007, Jul 2007. [8] M. Schweigler and A. Sampson. p0ny - the occam-π Network Environment. Communicating Process Architectures 2006, pages 77–108, Jan 2006. [9] Neil C. Brown. C++CSP Networked. In Ian R. East, David Duce, Mark Green, Jeremy M. R. Martin, and Peter H. Welch, editors, Communicating Process Architectures 2004, pages 185–200, sep 2004. [10] Pycsp distribution. http://code.google.com/p/pycsp. [11] Rune M. Friborg, John Markus Bjørndalen, and Brian Vinter. Three Unique Implementations of Processes for PyCSP. In Communicating Process Architectures 2009, pages 277–292, 2009. [12] Brian Vinter, John Markus Bjørndalen, and Rune M. Friborg. PyCSP Revisited. In Communicating Process Architectures 2009, pages 263–276, 2009. [13] A. W. Roscoe. The Theory and Practice of Concurrency. Prentice-Hall International Series in Computer Science, 2005. ˇ ska, and P. Roˇckai. DiVinE: Parallel Distributed Model Checker. In Parallel and [14] J. Barnat, L. Brim, M. Ceˇ Distributed Methods in Verification 2010, pages 4–7, 2010.

Communicating Process Architectures 2011 P.H. Welch et al. (Eds.) IOS Press, 2011 © 2011 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved. doi:10.3233/978-1-60750-774-1-55

55

Programming the CELL-BE using CSP Kenneth SKOVHEDE a,* Morten N. LARSEN a and Brian VINTER a a eScience Center, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen Abstract. The current trend in processor design seems to focus on using multiple cores, similar to a cluster-on-a-chip model. These processors are generally fast and power efficient, but due to their highly parallel nature, they are notoriously difficult to program for most scientists. One such processor is the CELL broadband engine (CELL-BE) which is known for its high performance, but also for a complex programming model which makes it difficult to exploit the architecture to its full potential. To address this difficulty, this paper proposes to change the programming model to use the principles of CSP design, thus making it simpler to program the CELL-BE and avoid livelocks, deadlocks and race conditions. The CSP model described here comprises a thread library for the synergistic processing elements (SPEs) and a simple channel based communication interface. To examine the scalability of the implementation, experiments are performed with both scientific computational cores and synthetic workloads. The implemented CSP model has a simple API and is shown to scale well for problems with significant computational requirements. Keywords. CELL-BE, CSP, Programming

Introduction The CELL-BE processor is an innovative architecture that attempts to tackle the problems, that prevent processors from achieving higher performance [1,2,3]. The limitations in traditional processors are primarily problems relating to heat, clock frequency and memory speed. Instead of using the traditional chip design, the CELL-BE consists of multiple units, effectively making it a cluster-on-a-chip processor with high interconnect speed. The CELL-BE processor consists of a single PowerPC (PPC) based processor connected to eight SPEs1 through a 204.8 GB/s EIB2 [4]. The computing power of a CELL-BE chip is well investigated [5,6], and a single CELL blade with two CELL-BE processors can yield as much as 460 GFLOPS [7] at one GFLOPS per Watt [7]. Unfortunately, the computing power comes at the price of a very complex programming model. As there is no cache coherent shared memory in the CELL-BE, the processes must explicitly transfer data between the units using a DMA model which resembles a form of memory mapped IO [8,4]. Furthermore to fully utilize the CELL-BE, the application must use task-, memory-, data- and instruction-level (SIMD3 ) parallelization [5]. A number of papers discuss various computational problems on the CELL-BE, illustrating that achieving good performance is possible, but the process is complex [5,9,10]. In this paper we focus on the communication patterns and disregard instruction-level and data parallelization methods because they depend on application specific computations and cannot be easily generalized. C.A.R. Hoare introduced the CSP model in 1978, along with the concept of explicit communication through well-defined channels. Using only channel based communication, each Author: E-mail:   . Synergistic Processing Elements, a RISC based processor. 2 Element Interconnect Bus. 3 Single Instruction Multiple Data.

* Corresponding 1

56

K. Skovhede et al. / Programming the CELL-BE using CSP

participating process becomes a sequential program [11,12]. It is possible to prove that a CSP based program is free from deadlocks and livelocks [11] using CSP algebra. Furthermore, CSP based programs are easy to understand, because the processes consist of sequential code and channels which handle communication between the processes. This normally means that the individual processes have very little code, but the total number of processes are very high. This work uses the CSP design rules and not the CSP algebra itself. By using a CSP like interface, we can hide the underlying complexity from the programmer giving the illusion that all transfers are simply channel communications. We believe that this abstraction greatly simplifies the otherwise complex CELL-BE programming model. By adhering to the CSP model, the implementation automatically obtains properties from CSP, such as being free of race-conditions and having detectable deadlocks. Since the library does not use the CSP algebra, the programmer does not have to learn a new language but can still achieve many of the CSP benefits. 1. Related Work A large number of programming models for the CELL-BE are available [13,14,15,16] illustrating the need for a simpler interface to the complex machine. Most general purpose libraries cannot be directly used on the CELL-BE, because the SPEs use a different instruction set than the PPC. Furthermore, the limited amount of memory available on the SPEs makes it difficult to load a general purpose library onto them. 1.1. Programming Libraries for the CELL-BE The ALF [13] system allows the programmer to build a set of dependent tasks which are then scheduled and distributed automatically according to their dependencies. The OpenMP [14] and CellSs [15] systems provide automatic parallelization in otherwise sequential code through the use of code annotation. As previously published [16], the Distributed Shared Memory for the CELL-BE (DSMCBE), is a distributed shared memory system that gives the programmer the “illusion” that the memory in a cluster of CELL-BE machines is shared. The channel based communication system described in this paper uses the communication system from DSMCBE, but does not use any DSM functionality. It is possible to use both communication models at the same time, however this is outside the scope of this paper. The CellCSP [17] library shares the goals of the channel based system described in this paper but by scheduling independent processes with a focus on processes, rather than communication. 1.2. CSP Implementations The Transterpreter [18] is a virtual machine that can run occam-π programs. By modifying the Transterpreter to run on the SPEs [19], it becomes possible to execute occam-π on the CELL-BE processor and also utilize the SPEs. The Transterpreter implementation that runs on the CELL-BE [19] has been extended to allow programs running in the virtual machine to access some of the SPE hardware. A similar project, trancell [20], allows a subset of occamπ to run on the SPU, by translating Extended Transputer Code to SPU binary code. Using occam-π requires that the programmer learns and understands the occam-π programming language and model, and also requires that the programs are re-written in occamπ. The Transterpreter fro CELL-BE has an extension that allows callbacks to native code [19], which can mitigate this issue to some extent. A number of other CSP implementations are available, such as C++CSP [21], JCSP [22] and PyCSP [23]. Although these may work on the CELL-BE processor they can currently

K. Skovhede et al. / Programming the CELL-BE using CSP

57

only utilize the PPC and not the high performing SPEs. We have used the simplified channel interface in the newest version of PyCSP [24] as a basis for developing the channel communication interface. Since DSMCBE [16] is written in C, we have produced a flattened and non-object oriented interface. 2. Implementation This section gives a short introduction to DSMCBE and describes some design and implementation details of the CSP library. For a more detailed description and evaluation of the DSMCBE system see previous work [16]. 2.1. Distributed Shared Memory for the CELL-BE (DSMCBE) As mentioned in the introduction, the basis for the implementation is the DSMCBE system. The main purpose of DSMCBE is to provide the user with a simple API that establishes a distributed shared memory system on the CELL-BE architecture. Apart from its main purpose, the underlying framework can also be adjusted to serve as a more generic platform for communication between the Power PC element (PPE) and the Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs). Figure 1 shows the DSMCBE model along with the components involved. The DSMCBE system consists of four elements which we describe below:

Figure 1. DSMCBE Internal Structure.

The DSMCBE PPE/SPE modules contains the DSMCBE functions which the programmer will call from the user code. To manipulate objects in the system, the programmer will use the functions from the modules to create, acquire and release objects. In addition the two modules are responsible for communicating with the main DSMCBE modules which are located on the PPC. The PPE handler is responsible for handling communication between the PPC user code and the request coordinator (see below). Like the PPE handler, the SPE handler is responsible for handling communication between user code on the SPEs and the request coordinator (see below). However the SPE handler also manages allocation and deallocation of Local Store (LS) memory, which enables the SPE handler to perform memory management without interrupting the SPEs.

58

K. Skovhede et al. / Programming the CELL-BE using CSP

The DSMCBE library uses a single processing thread, called the request coordinator, which is responsible for servicing requests from the other modules. Components can then communicate with the request coordinator by supplying a target for the answer. Using this single thread approach makes it simpler to execute atomic operations and reduces the number of locks to a pair per participating component. Each PPC thread and SPE unit functions as a single component, which results in the request coordinator being unable to determine if the participant is a PPC thread or a SPE. As most requests must pass through the request coordinator, an obvious drawback to this method is that it easily becomes a bottleneck. With this communication framework it is easier to implement channel based communication, as the Request Coordinator can simply be extended to handle channel requests. 2.2. Extending DSMCBE with Channel Based Communication for CELL-BE This section will describe how we propose to extend the DSMCBE model with channel based communication. We have used the DSMCBE system as a framework to ensure atomicity and enable memory transfers within the CELL-BE processor. The implementation does not use any DSM methods and consists of a separate set of function calls. We have intentionally made the programming model very simple; it consists of only six functions: • • • • • •

   

                

All functions return a status code which describes the outcome of the call. 2.2.1. Channel Communication The basic idea in the communication model is to use channels to communicate. There are two operations defined for this:     and     . As in other CSP implementations, the read and write operations block until a matching request arrives, making the operations a synchronized atomic event. When writing to a channel, the calling process must supply a pointer to the data area. The result of a read operation is a pointer to a data area, as well as the size of the data area. After receiving a pointer the caller is free to read and write the contents of the area. As the area is exclusively owned by the process there is no possibility of a race condition. As it is possible to write arbitrary memory locations, when using C, it is the programmers responsibility not to use the data area after a call to write. Logically, the caller can consider the     operation as transferring the data and ownership of the area to the recipient. After receiving a pointer from a read operation, and possibly modifying data area, the process may forward the pointer again using    . As the reading process has exclusive ownership of the data area, it is also responsible for freeing the data area, if it is no longer needed. The operation results in the same output regardless of which CELL-BE processor the call originates from. If both processes are in the same memory space the data is not copied ensuring maximal speed. If the data requires a transfer, the library will attempt to do so in the most efficient manner. 2.2.2. Transferable Items The CELL-BE processor requires that data is aligned and have certain block sizes, a constraint that is not normally encountered by a programmer. We have chosen to expose a sim-

K. Skovhede et al. / Programming the CELL-BE using CSP

59

ple pair of functions that mimic the well-known  and  functions called       and      , respectively. A process wishing to communicate can allocate a block of memory by calling the       function and get a standard pointer to the allocated data area. The process is then free to write data into the allocated area. After a process has used a memory block, it can either forward the block to another channel, or release the resources held by calling      . 2.2.3. Channel Creation When the programmer wants to use a channel it is necessary to create it by calling the       method. To distinguish channels, the create function must be called with a unique number, similar to a channel name or channel object in other CSP systems. This channel number is used to uniquely identify the channel in all subsequent communication operations. The create function allows the caller to set a buffer size on the channel, thus allowing the channel writers to write data into the channel without awaiting a matching reader. A buffer in the CSP model works by generating a sequence of processes where each process simply reads and writes an element. The number of processes in the chain determines the size of the buffer. The semantics of the implemented buffer are the same as a chain of processes, but the implementation uses a more efficient method with a queue. The channel type specifies the expected use of the channel, with the following options: one-to-one, one-to-any, any-to-one, any-to-any and one-to-one-simple. Using the channel type it is possible to verify that the communication patterns correspond to the intended use. In situations where the participating processes do not change it is possible to enable "low overhead" communication by using the channel type one-to-one-simple. Section 2.2.8 describes this optimization in more detail. A special convention borrowed from the DSMCBE model is that read or write operations on non-existing channels will cause the caller to block if the channel is not yet created. Since a program must call the create function exactly once for each channel, some start-up situations are difficult to handle without this convention. Once a process has created the channel, it processes all the pending operations as if they occurred after the channel creation. 2.2.4. Channel Poison As all calls are blocking they can complicate the shutdown phase of a CSP network. The current CSP implementations support a channel poison state, which causes all pending and following operations on that channel to return the poison. To poison a channel, a process calls        with the id of an existing channel. When using poison, it is important to check the return value of the read and write operations, as they may return the poison status. A macro named    can be used to check the return value and exit the current function when encountered. However the programmer is still fully responsible for making the program handle and distribute poison correctly. 2.2.5. External Choice As a read operation is blocking, it is not possible to wait for data on more than one channel, nor is it possible to probe a channel for its content. If a process could see whether or not a channel has content, a race condition could be introduced. Thereby a second process could read the item right after the probe, resulting in a blocking read. To solve this issue, CSP uses the concept of external choice where a process can request data from multiple channels and then gets a response once a channel is ready. To use external choice, the process must call a variation of the       function named

60

K. Skovhede et al. / Programming the CELL-BE using CSP

     , where  is short for “alternation”, the term used in C.A.R. Hoare’s original paper [25]. Using this function, the process can block for a read operation on multiple channels. When one of the channels has data, the data is returned, as with the normal read operation, along with the channel id of the originating channel. This way of dealing with reads ensures that race conditions cannot occur. With the channel selection done externally, the calling process has no way of controlling which channel to read, should there be multiple available choices. To remedy this, the calling process must also specify what strategy to use if multiple channels are ready. The JCSP library offers three strategies: arbitrary, priority and fair. Arbitrary picks a channel at random whereas priority chooses the first available channel, prioritized by the order in which the channels are given. Fair selection keeps count of the number of times each channel has been selected and attempts to even out the usage of channels. The current implementation of CSP channels for CELL-BE only supports priority select, but the programmer can emulate the two other modes. Similar to the read function, a function called      allows a process to write to the first available channel. This function also supports a selection strategy and returns the id of the channel written to. There is currently no mechanism to support the simultaneous selection of channel readers and writers, though there are other ways of engineering this. 2.2.6. Guards To prevent a call from blocking, the calling function can supply a guard which is invoked when no data is available. The implementation defines a reserved channel number, called  which can be given as a channel id when requesting read or write from multiple channels. If the operation would otherwise block, the function returns a  pointer and  as the channel value. Other CSP implementations also offer a time-out guard, which performs a skip, but only if the call blocks for a certain period. This functionality is not available in the current implementation, but could be added without much complication. 2.2.7. Processes for CELL-BE The hardware in the CELL-BE is limited to a relatively low number of physical SPEs, which prevents the generation of a large number of CSP processes. To remedy this situation the implementation also supports running multiple processes on each SPE. Since the SPEs have little support for timed interrupts, the implementation is purely based on cooperative switching. To allow multiple processes on the SPE, we have used an approach similar to CELLMT [26], basically implementing a user-mode thread library, but based on the standard C functions  and  . The CSP threading library implements the   function, and allocates ABI compliant stacks for each of the processes when started. After setting up the multithreading environment, the scheduler is activated which transfers control to the first processes. Since the   function is implemented by the library, the user code must instead implement the    function, which is activated for each process in turn. This means that all processes running on a single SPE must use the same   function, but each process can call the function   !

  and thus obtain a unique id, which can be used to determine what code the process will execute. When a process is executing it can cooperatively yield control by calling  

" , which will save the process state and transfer control to the next available process. Whenever a process is waiting for an API response, the library will automatically call a similar function called   "   ". This function will yield if another process is ready to execute, meaning that it is not currently awaiting an API response. The

K. Skovhede et al. / Programming the CELL-BE using CSP

61

effect of this is that each API call appears to be blocking, allowing the programmer to write a fully sequential program and transparently run multiple processes. As there is no preemptive scheduling of threads, it is possible for a single process to prevent other processes from executing. This is a common trade-off between allowing the SPE to execute code at full speed, and ensuring progress in all processes. This can be remedied by inserting calls to       inside computationally heavy code, which allows the programmer to balance the single process execution and overall system progress in a fine grained manner. The scheduler is a simple round-robin scheduler using a ready queue and a waiting queue. The number of threads possible is limited primarily by the amount of available LS memory, which is shared among program code, stack and data. The running time of the scheduler is O(N ) which we deem sufficient, given that all processes share the limited LS, making more than 8 processes per SPE unrealistic. 2.2.8. SPE-to-SPE Communication Since the PPC is rarely a part of the actual problem solving, the memory blocks can often be transferred directly from SPE to SPE without transferring it into main memory. If a SPE is writing to a buffered channel, the data may not be read immediately after the write. Thus, the SPE may run out of memory since the data is kept on the SPE in anticipation of a SPE-to-SPE transfer. To remedy this, the library will flush data to main memory if an allocation would fail. This is in effect a caching system, and as such it is subject to the regular benefits and drawbacks of a cache. One noticeable drawback is that due to the limited available memory, the SPEs are especially prone to memory fragmentation, which happens more often when using a cache, as the memory stays fully populated for longer periods. If the channel is created with the type one-to-one-simple, the first communication will be used to determine the most efficient communication pattern, and thus remove some of the internal synchronization required. If two separate SPEs are communicating, this means that the communication will be handled locally in the SPE Handler shown in Figure 1, and thus eliminate the need to pass messages through the Request Coordinator. A similar optimization is employed if two processes on the same SPE communicate. In this case the data is kept on the SPE, and all communication is handled locally on the SPE in the DSMCBE SPE module shown in Figure 1. Due to the limited amount of memory available on the SPE, data may be flushed out if the channel has large buffers or otherwise exhaust the available memory. These optimizations can only work if the communication is done in a one-to-one fashion where the participating processes never change. Should the user code attempt to use such a channel in an unsupported manner, an error code will be returned. 2.2.9. Examples To illustrate the usage of the channel-based communication Listing 1 shows four simple CSP processes. Listing 2 presents a simple example that uses the alternation method to read two channels and writes the sum to an output channel. 3. Experiments When evaluating system performance, we focus mainly on the scalability aspect. If the system scales well, further optimizations may be made specific to the application, utilizing the SIMD capabilities of the SPEs. The source code for the experiments are available from    .

62

K. Skovhede et al. / Programming the CELL-BE using CSP

1 # i n c l u d e < d smcbe_csp . h> 3 i n t d e l t a 1 ( GUID i n , GUID o u t ) { void∗ value ; 5 while (1) { 7 CSP_SAFE_CALL( " r e a d " , d s m c b e _ c s p _ c h a n n e l _ r e a d ( i n , NULL, &v a l u e ) ) ; CSP_SAFE_CALL( " w r i t e " , d s m c b e _ c s p _ c h a n n e l _ w r i t e ( o u t , v a l u e ) ) ; 9 } } 11 i n t d e l t a 2 ( GUID i n , GUID outA , GUID outB ) { 13 void ∗ inValue , outValue ; size_t size ; 15 while (1) { 17 CSP_SAFE_CALL( " r e a d " , d s m c b e _ c s p _ c h a n n e l _ r e a d ( i n , &s i z e , &i n V a l u e ) ) ; CSP_SAFE_CALL( " a l l o c a t e " , d s m c b e _ c s p _ i t e m _ c r e a t e (& o u t V a l u e , s i z e ) ) ; 19 memcpy ( o u t V a l u e , i n V a l u e , s i z e ) ; / / Copy c o n t e n t s a s we n eed two c o p i e s 21 CSP_SAFE_CALL( " w r i t e A" , d s m c b e _ c s p _ c h a n n e l _ w r i t e ( outA , i n V a l u e ) ) ; 23 CSP_SAFE_CALL( " w r i t e B" , d s m c b e _ c s p _ c h a n n e l _ w r i t e ( outB , o u t V a l u e ) ) ; } 25 } 27 29

i n t p r e f i x ( GUID i n , GUID o u t , v o i d ∗ d a t a ) { CSP_SAFE_CALL( " w r i t e " , d s m c b e _ c s p _ c h a n n e l _ w r i t e ( o u t , d a t a ) ) ;

31

r e t u r n d e l t a 1 ( in , out ) ; }

33 35

i n t t a i l ( GUID i n , GUID o u t ) { v o i d ∗ tmp ;

37

CSP_SAFE_CALL( " r e a d " , d s m c b e _ c s p _ c h a n n e l _ r e a d ( i n , NULL, &tmp ) ) ; CSP_SAFE_CALL( " f r e e " , d s m c b e _ c s p _ i t e m _ f r e e ( tmp ) ) ;

39 r e t u r n d e l t a 1 ( in , out ) ; 41 }

Listing 1. Four simple CSP processes. 1 i n t add ( GUID inA , GUID inB , GUID o u t ) { 3 void ∗ data1 , ∗ data2 ; 5 7

GUID c h a n n e l L i s t [ 2 ] ; c h a n n e l L i s t [ 0 ] = inA ; c h a n n e l L i s t [ 1 ] = inB ;

9

GUID ch an ;

11 13

while (1) { d s m c b e _ c s p _ c h a n n e l _ r e a d _ a l t ( CSP_ALT_MODE_PRIORITY , c h a n n e l L i s t , 2 , &chan , NULL, &d a t a 1 ) ; d s m c b e _ c s p _ c h a n n e l _ r e a d ( ch an == inA ? inB : inA , NULL, &d a t a 2 ) ;

15

∗( i n t ∗) data1 = ∗(( i n t ∗) data1 ) + ∗(( i n t ∗) data2 ) ;

17 dsmcbe_csp_item_free ( data2 ) ; dsmcbe_csp_channel_write ( out , d at a1 ) ;

19 } 21 }

Listing 2. Reading from two channels with alternation read and external choice. To better fit the layout of the article the   macro is omitted.

K. Skovhede et al. / Programming the CELL-BE using CSP

63

All experiments were performed on an IBM QS22 blade, which contains 2 connected CELL-BE processors, giving access to 4 PPE cores and 16 SPEs. 3.1. CommsTime A common benchmark for any CSP implementation is the CommsTime application which sets up a ring of processes that simply forwards a single message. The conceptual setup is shown in Figure 2. This benchmark measures the communication overhead of the channel operations since there is almost no computation required in the processes. To better measure the scalability of the system, we have deviated slightly from the normal CommsTime implementation, by inserting extra successor processes as needed. This means that each extra participating process will add an extra channel, and thus and thus produce a longer communication ring. Figure 3 shows the CommsTime when communicating among SPE processes. The PPE records the time between each received message, thus measuring the time it takes for the message to traverse the ring. The time shown is an average over 10 runs of 10.000 iterations. As can be seen, the times seems to stabilize around 80 μseconds when using one thread per SPE. When using two or more threads the times stabilizes around 38 μseconds, 27 μseconds, and 20 μseconds respectively. When using multiple threads, the communication is performed internally on the SPEs, which results in a minimal communication overhead causing the average communication overhead to decrease.

 









 





Figure 2. Conceptual setup for the CommsTime experiment with 4 SPEs.

We have executed the CommsTime sample from the JCSP library v.1.1rc4 on the PPE. The JCSP sample uses four processes in a setup similar to Figure 2 but with all processes placed on the PPE. Each communication took on average 63 μseconds which is slightly faster than our implementation, which runs at 145 μseconds on the PPE. Even though JCSP is faster, it does not utilize the SPEs, and cannot utilize the full potential of the CELL-BE. 3.2. Prototein Folding Prototeins are a simplified 2D model of a protein, with only two amino acids and only 90 degree folds [27]. Folding a prototein is computationally simpler than folding a full protein, but exhibit the same computational characteristics. Prototein folding can be implemented with a bag-of-tasks type solution, illustrated in Figure 4, where partially folded prototeins are placed in the bag. The partially folded prototeins have no interdependencies, but may differ in required number of combinations and thus required computational time. As seen in Figure 5 the problem scales very close to linearly with the number of SPEs, which is to be expected for this type of problem. This indicates that the communication latency is not a limiting factor, which also explains why the number of SPE threads have very little effect on the scalability.

64

K. Skovhede et al. / Programming the CELL-BE using CSP CommsTime 140 1 threads 2 threads 3 threads 4 threads

120

Time(μs)

100 80 60 40 20 0 2

3

4

5

6

7

8 9 10 11 Number of SPEs

12

13

14

15

16

Figure 3. CommsTime using 2-16 SPEs with 1-4 threads per SPE.















 





Figure 4. Conceptual setup for Prototein folding with 3 SPEs. Prototein 16 14

Speedup

12 10 8 1 threads 2 threads 3 threads 4 threads

6 4 2 1

2

3

4

5

6

7 8 9 10 Number of SPEs

11

12

13

14

15

16

Figure 5. Speedup of prototein folding using 1-16 SPEs.

3.3. k Nearest Neighbors (kNN) The kNN application is a port of a similar application written for PyCSP [28]. Where the PyCSP model is capable of handling an extreme number of concurrent processes, the library is limited by the number of available SPEs and the amount of threads each SPE can accommodate. Due to this, the source code for the two applications are hard to compare, but the

65

K. Skovhede et al. / Programming the CELL-BE using CSP

overall approach and communication patterns are the same. Figure 6 shows a conceptual ring based setup for finding the kNN. 

 





 

 







Figure 6. Conceptual setup for the kNN experiment with 4 SPEs, each running 2 threads.

This ring-based approach means that each process communicates only with its neighbor. To support arbitrary size problems, one of the channels are buffered. The underlying system will attempt to keep data on the SPE, in anticipation of a transfer, but as the SPE runs out of memory, the data will be swapped to main memory. This happens completely transparent to the process, but adds an unpredictable overhead to the communication. This construction allows us to run the same problem size on one to 16 SPEs. KNN 16 14

Speedup

12 10 8 6 4 1 thread 2 threads

2 1

2

3

4

5

6

7 8 9 10 Number of SPEs

11

12

13

14

15

16

Figure 7. Speedup of the k Nearest Neighbors problem using 1-16 SPEs to search for 10 nearest neighbors in a set with 50k elements with 72 dimensions.

As seen in Figure 7 this does not scale linearly, but given the interdependencies we consider this to be a fairly good result. Figure 7 also shows that using threads to run multiple solver processes on each SPE offers a performance gain, even though the processes compete for the limited LS memory. This happens because the threads implement an implicit form of double buffering, allowing each SPE to mask communication delays with computation. The achieved speedup indicates that there is a good balance between the communication and computation performed in the experiment. The speedup for both graphs is calculated based on the measured time for running the same problem size on a single SPE with a single solver thread.

66

K. Skovhede et al. / Programming the CELL-BE using CSP

3.4. Communication to Computation Ratio The ring based communication model used in the kNN experiment is quite common for problems that use a n2 approach. However, the scalability of such a setup is highly dependent on the amount of work required in each subtask. To quantify the communication to computation ratio required for a well-scaling system, we have developed a simple ring-based program that allows us to adjust the number of floating point operations performed between communications. The computation performed is adjustable and does not depend on the size of the transmitted data, allowing us to freely experiment with the computational workload. The setup for this communication system is shown in Figure 8. The setup is identical to the one used in the kNN experiment, but instead of having two communicating processes on the same SPE, the processes are spread out. This change cause the setup to loose the possibility for the very fast internal SPE communication channels, which causes more load on the PPE and thus gives a more realistic measurement for the communication delays. 





  



 







Figure 8. Conceptual setup for non-structured ring based communication.

As seen in Figure 9, the implementation scales well if computation performed in each ring iteration is around 100MFLOPS. Comparing the two graphs in Figure 9, shows that increasing the number of threads on the SPEs, results in a decrease in performance. This happens because the extra processes introduce more communication. This increase in communication causes a bigger strain on the PPE, which results in more latency than the processes hide. In other words, the threads cause more latency than they can hide in this setup. The speedup for both graphs in Figure 9 are calculated based on measurements from a run with the same data size on a single SPE with a single thread. Comparing the Communication to Computation experiment with the kNN experiment reveals that the use of optimized channels reduces the latency of requests to a level where the threads are unable to hide the remaining latency. In other words, the latency becomes so low, that the thread switching overhead is larger than the latency it attempts to hide. This is consistent with the results from the CommsTime experiment, which reveals that the communication time is very low when performing inter-SPE communication. This does not mean that the latency is as low as it can be, but it means that the extra communication generated by the threads increases the amount of latency that must be hidden. 4. Future Work The main problem with any communication system is the overhead introduced by the communication. As the experiments show, this overhead exists but can be hidden because the CELL-BE and library are capable of performing the communication and computation simultaneously. But this hiding only works if the computational part of a program has a sufficient size. To remedy this, the communication overhead should be reduced significantly.

67

K. Skovhede et al. / Programming the CELL-BE using CSP

CommToComp − 1 thread 20

Speedup

15

10

5

0 2

3

4

5

6

7

8 9 10 Number of SPEs

11

12

13

14

15

16

12

13

14

15

16

CommToComp − 2 threads 20

Speedup

15

10

5

0 2 0.2 Mflop

3

4

5

2 Mflop

6

7

10 Mflop

8 9 10 Number of SPEs 20 Mflop

11

100 Mflop

200 Mflop

400 Mflop

Figure 9. Communication To Computation ratio, 16 bytes of data.

The decision to use the request coordinator to handle the synchronization simplifies the implementation, but also introduces two performance problems. One problem is that if the system becomes overwhelmed with requests, the execution will be sequential, as the processes will only progress as fast as the request coordinator responds to messages. The other problem is that the requests pass through both the SPU handler and the request coordinator, which adds load to the system and latency to each communication operation. 4.1. Reduce Request Latency Since the SPEs are the main workhorse of the CELL-BE, it makes sense to move much of the decision logic into the SPU handler rather than handle it in the request coordinator. The request coordinator is a legacy item from the DSM system, but there is nothing that prevents participating PPE processes from communicating directly with the SPU handler. 4.2. Increase Parallelism Even if the request coordinator is removed completely, the PPE can still be overwhelmed with requests, which will make everything run sequentially rather than in parallel. It is not possible to completely remove a single synchronization point, but many communication operations involve exactly two processes. In the common case where these two processes reside on separate SPEs, it is possible to perform direct SPE-to-SPE communication through the use of signals and DMA transfers. If this is implemented, it will greatly reduce the load on the PPE for all the presented experiments.

68

K. Skovhede et al. / Programming the CELL-BE using CSP

4.3. Improve Performance of the SPU Handler The current implementation uses a shared spinning thread that constantly checks for SPE and request coordinator messages. It is quite possible that this can be improved by using a thread for each SPE which uses the SPE events rather than spinning. Experiments performed for the DSMCBE [16] system show that improving the SPU handler can improve the overall system performance. 4.4. Improve Memory Exhaustion Handling When the communication is handled by the SPEs internally, it is likely that they will run out of memory. If the SPU handler is involved, such situations are detected and handled gracefully. Since this is essentially a cache system, a cache policy can greatly improve the performance of the system, by selectively choosing which elements to remove from the LS and when such an operation is initiated. 4.5. Process Migration The processes are currently bound to the SPE that started them, but it may turn out that the setup is ineffective and can be improved by moving communicating processes closer together, i.e. to the same SPE. There is limited support for this in the CELL-BE architecture itself, but the process state can be encapsulated to involve only the current thread stack and active objects. However, it may prove to be impossible to move a process, as data may occupy the same LS area. Since the C language uses pointers, the data locations cannot be changed during a switch from one SPE to another. One solution to this could be to allocate processes in slots, such as those used in CELL CSP [17]. 4.6. Multiple Machines The DSMCBE system already supports multiple machines, using standard TCP-IP communication. It would be desirable to also support multiple machines for CSP. The main challenge with multiple machines is to implement a well-scaling version of the alternation operations, because the involved channels can span multiple machines. This could use the cross-bar approach used in JCSP [29].

5. Conclusion In this paper we have described a CSP inspired communication model and a thread library, that can help programmers handle the complex programming model on the CELL-BE. We have shown that even though the presented models introduce some overhead, it is possible to get good speedup for most problems. On the other hand Figure 9 shows, that if the computation to communication ratio is too low - meaning too little computation per communication, it is very hard to scale the problems to utilize all 16 SPEs. However we believe that for most programmers solving reasonable sized problems, the tools provided can significantly simplify the writing of programs for the CELL-BE architecture. We have also shown that threads can be used to mask some latency, but at the same time they generate some latency, which limits their usefulness to certain problems. DSMCBE and the communication model described in this paper is open source software under the LGPL license, and are available from      .

K. Skovhede et al. / Programming the CELL-BE using CSP

69

Acknowledgements The authors acknowledge the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation (grant number 09-067060) and the innovation consortium (grant number 09-052139) for supporting this research project. Furthermore the authors acknowledge Georgia Institute of Technology, its Sony-Toshiba-IBM Center of Competence, and the National Science Foundation, for the use of Cell Broadband Engine resources that have contributed to this research.

References [1] Wm. A. Wulf and Sally A. Mckee. Hitting the Memory Wall: Implications of the Obvious. Computer Architecture News, 23:20–24, 1995. [2] J. A. Kahle, M. N. Day, H. P. Hofstee, C. R. Johns, T. R. Maeurer, and D. Shippy. Introduction to the Cell multiprocessor. IBM J. Res. Dev., 49(4/5):589–604, 2005. [3] Gordon E. Moore. Readings in computer architecture. chapter Cramming more components onto integrated circuits, pages 56–59. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc., San Francisco, CA, USA, 2000. [4] Thomas Chen. Cell Broadband Engine Architecture and its first implementation - A Performance View, 2005.         . Accessed 26 July 2010. [5] Martin Rehr. Application Porting and Tuning on the Cell-BE Processor, 2008.             . Accessed 26 July 2010. [6] Mohammed Jowkar. Exploring the Potential of the Cell Processor for High Performance Computing, 2007.       

    . Accessed 26 July 2010. [7] IBM. IBM Doubles Down on Cell Blade, 2007.     !!!"#. Accessed 26 July 2010. $  [8] IBM. Cell BE Programming Handbook Including PowerXCell 8i, 2008.       $%&$'"('")*&+, !"%&**)-*#-. ',/01'2 $$$$!3#  . Accessed 26 July 2010. [9] Jakub Kurzak, Alfredo Buttari, and Jack Dongarra. Solving Systems of Linear Equations on the CELL Processor Using Cholesky Factorization. IEEE Trans. Parallel Distrib. Syst., 19(9):1175–1186, 2008. [10] Asim Munawar, Mohamed Wahib, Masaharu Munetomo, and Kiyoshi Akama. Solving Large Instances of Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem over Cell BE. In HPCC ’08: Proceedings of the 2008 10th IEEE International Conference on High Performance Computing and Communications, pages 131–138, Washington, DC, USA, 2008. IEEE Computer Society. [11] C.A.R. Hoare. Communicating Sequential Processes. Prentice-Hall, London, 1985. ISBN: 0-131-532715. [12] A.W. Roscoe, C.A.R. Hoare, and R. Bird. The theory and practice of concurrency, volume 216. Citeseer, 1998. [13] IBM. Accelerated Library Framework Programmer’s Guide and API Reference, 2009.   

     45)0 6 407 $ . Accessed 26 July 2010. [14] Kevin O’Brien, Kathryn O’Brien, Zehra Sura, Tong Chen, and Tao Zhang. Supporting OpenMP on Cell. In IWOMP ’07: Proceedings of the 3rd international workshop on OpenMP, pages 65–76, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2008. Springer-Verlag. [15] Pieter Bellens, Josep M. Perez, Rosa M. Badia, and Jesus Labarta. CellSs: a Programming Model for the Cell BE Architecture. In ACM/IEEE CONFERENCE ON SUPERCOMPUTING, page 86. ACM, 2006. [16] Morten N. Larsen, Kenneth Skovhede, and Brian Vinter. Distributed Shared Memory for the Cell Broadband Engine (DSMCBE). In ISPDC ’09: Proceedings of the 2009 Eighth International Symposium on Parallel and Distributed Computing, pages 121–124, Washington, DC, USA, 2009. IEEE Computer Society. [17] Mads Alhof Kristiansen. CELL CSP Sourcecode, 2009.      . Accessed 26 July 2010. [18] Christian L. Jacobsen and Matthew C. Jadud. The Transterpreter: A Transputer Interpreter. In Ian R. East, David Duce, Mark Green, Jeremy M. R. Martin, and Peter H. Welch, editors, Communicating Process Architectures 2004, volume 62 of Concurrent Systems Engineering Series, pages 99–106, Amsterdam, September 2004. IOS Press.

70

K. Skovhede et al. / Programming the CELL-BE using CSP

[19] Damian J. Dimmich, Christian L. Jacobsen, and Matthew C. Jadud. A Cell Transterpreter. In Peter Welch, Jon Kerridge, and Fred Barnes, editors, Communicating Process Architectures 2006, volume 29 of Concurrent Systems Engineering Series, pages 215–224, Amsterdam, September 2006. IOS Press. [20] Ulrik Schou Jørgensen and Espen Suenson. trancell - an Experimental ETC to Cell BE Translator. In Alistair A. McEwan, Wilson Ifill, and Peter H. Welch, editors, Communicating Process Architectures 2007, pages 287–298, jul 2007. [21] Alistair A. Mcewan, Steve Schneider, Wilson Ifill, Peter Welch, and Neil Brown. C++CSP2: A Many-toMany Threading Model for Multicore Architectures, 2007. [22] P. H. Welch, A. W. P. Bakkers (eds, and Nan C. Schaller. Using Java for Parallel Computing - JCSP versus CTJ. In Communicating Process Architectures 2000, pages 205–226, 2000. [23] Otto J. Anshus, John Markus Bjørndalen, and Brian Vinter. PyCSP - Communicating Sequential Processes for Python. In Alistair A. McEwan, Wilson Ifill, and Peter H. Welch, editors, Communicating Process Architectures 2007, pages 229–248, jul 2007. [24] Brian Vinter, John Markus Bjørndaln, and Rune Møllegaard Friborg. PyCSP Revisited, 2009.         . Accessed 26 July 2010. [25] C. A. R. Hoare. Communicating sequential processes. Commun. ACM, 21(8):666–677, 1978. [26] Vicenç Beltran, David Carrera, Jordi Torres, and Eduard Ayguadé. CellMT: A cooperative multithreading library for the Cell/B.E. In HiPC, pages 245–253, 2009. [27] Brian Hayes. Prototeins. American Scientist, 86(3):216–, 1998. [28] Rune Møllegaard Friborg. PyCSP kNN implementation, 2010.           . Accessed 26 July 2010. [29] P.H. Welch and B. Vinter. Cluster Computing and JCSP Networking. Communicating Process Architectures 2002, 60:203–222, 2002.

Communicating Process Architectures 2011 P.H. Welch et al. (Eds.) IOS Press, 2011 © 2011 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved. doi:10.3233/978-1-60750-774-1-71

71

Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes with Polymorphic Interfaces Jan Bækgaard PEDERSEN 1 , Matthew SOWDERS School of Computer Science, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Abstract. In this paper we consider a refinement of the concept of mobile processes in a process oriented language. More specifically, we investigate the possibility of allowing resumption of suspended mobile processes with different interfaces. This is a refinement of the approach taken currently in languages like occam-π. The goal of this research is to implement varying resumption interfaces in ProcessJ, a process oriented language being developed at UNLV. Keywords. ProcessJ, process oriented programming, mobile processes, static name resolution

Introduction In this paper we redefine static scoping rules for mobile processes with polymorphic (multiple possible varying) suspend/resume interfaces, and develop an algorithm to perform correct name resolution. One of the core ideas behind mobile processes is the ability to suspend execution (almost) anywhere in the code and return control to the caller, who can then treat the suspended process as a piece of data, that can be transmitted to a different (physical) location, and at a later point in time, resumed and continue executing from where it left off. We shall use the word start the first time a mobile procedure is executed/invoked, and resume for all subsequent executions/invocations. Let us illustrate the problem with an example from occam-π. In occam-π [16], mobile processes are all initially started and subsequently resumed with the original (procedure) interface; that is, every resumption requires the same parameter list, even if some of these parameters have no meaning for the code that is to be executed. An example from [17] is shown in Figure 1. The reindelf process only uses the initialise channel (line 1) in the in station compound (initialise local state) code block (line 7). For each subsequent resumption (lines 11, 13, and 15) of this process, a ’dummy’ channel-end must be passed as the first parameter. The channel end represents a channel on which no communication is ever going to happen. Not only does that make the code harder to read, but also opens the possibility of incorrect code should the channel be used for communication in the subsequent code blocks. Similarly, should subsequent resumptions of the process require different channels, the initial call must provide ’dummy’ values for these the first time the process is called. 1 Corresponding Author: Jan Bækgaard Pedersen, University of Nevada Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV, 89154, United States of America. Tel.: +1 702 895 2557; Fax: +1 702 895 2639; E-mail: [email protected]

72

J.B. Pedersen and M. Sowders / Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16:

MOBILE PROC reindelf (CHAN AGENT.INITIALIZE initialize?, SHARED CHAN AGENT.MESSAGE report!, SHARED CHAN INT santa.a!, santa.b!) IMPLEMENTS AGENT ... local state declarations SEQ ... in station compound (initialise local state) WHILE TRUE SEQ ... in station compound SUSPEND -- move to gathering place ... in the gathering place SUSPEND -- move to santa’s grotto ... in santa’s grotto SUSPEND -- move to compound : Figure 1. occam-π example.

For ProcessJ [13], a process oriented language being developed at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, we propose a different approach to mobile process resumption. When a process explicitly suspends, it defines with which interface it should be resumed. This of course means that parameters from the previous resumption are no longer valid. Static scoping analysis as we know it no longer suffices to perform name resolution. In this paper we present a new approach to name resolution for mobile processes with polymorphic interfaces. In ProcessJ, a suspend point is represented by the three keywords suspend resume with followed by a parameter list in parentheses (like a formal parameter list for a procedure as found in most languages). A suspended mobile process is resumed by a simple invocation using the name of the variable holding the reference to it, followed by a list of actual parameters (like a regular procedure call). For example, if a suspended mobile is held in a variable f , and the interface defines one integer parameter, then f (42) is a valid resumption. Let us start with a small example without any channels or local variables: 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9:

mobile void foo(int x, int y) { B1 while (B2 ) { B3 suspend resume with (int z); B4 } B5 } Figure 2. Simple ProcessJ example.

The first (and only) time B1 is executed, it has access to the parameters x and y from the original interface (line 1). The first time B2 is executed will be immediately after the execution of B1 . That is, following the execution of B1 , which had access to the parameters x and y. B2 cannot access x or y, as we will see shortly. If B2 evaluates to true the first time it is reached, the process will execute B3 and suspend itself. B4 will be executed when the process is resumed though the interface that declares the parameter z (line 5). The previous parameters x and y are now no longer valid. To realize why these parameters should no longer be valid, imagine they held channels to the previous local environment (the caller’s

J.B. Pedersen and M. Sowders / Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes

73

environment) in which the process was executed, but in which it no longer resides; these channels can no longer be used, so it is imperative that the parameters holding references to them not be used again. Therefore, B4 can only reference the z parameter, and not x and y. But what happens now when B2 is reached a second time? x and y are no longer valid, but what about z? Naturally z cannot be referenced by B2 either as the first time B2 was reached, the process was started through the original interface and there was no z in that interface. Furthermore, if we look closely at the code, we also realize that the first time the code in block B3 is reached, just like B2 , the parameters from the latest process resumption (which here is also the first) would be x and y. The second time the code block B3 is executed will be during the second execution of the body of the while loop. This means, that foo has been suspended and resumed once, and since the interface of the suspend statement has just one parameter, namely z, and not x and y, neither can be referenced. So in general, we cannot guarantee that x and y can be referenced anywhere except block B1 . The same argument holds for z in block B4 . We can illustrate this by creating a table with a trace of the program and by listing with which parameters the most recent resumption of the process happened. Table 1 shows a trace of the process where B2 is evaluated three times, the first two times to true, and the last time to false. By inspecting Table 1, we see that both B2 and B3 can be reached with disjoint sets of parameters; therefore disallowing referenced to both x and y as well as z. B5 could have appeared with the parameters x and y had B2 evaluated to false the first time it was evaluated, thus we can draw the same conclusion for B5 as we did for B2 and B3 . Table 1. Trace of sample execution. Started/resumed interface f oo(x, y)

f oo(z)

f oo(z)

Block — B1 B2 B3 — B4 B2 B3 — B4 B2 B5

Parameters from latest resumption — {x, y} {x, y} {x, y} — {z} {z} {z} — {z} {z} {z}

Remarks foo(int x, int y) B2 = true suspend resume with (int z); B2 = true suspend resume with (int z); B2 = f alse

Table 2 shows in which blocks (Bi ) the three interface parameters can be referenced. Later on we shall add local variables to the code and redo the analysis. Table 2. Parameters that can be referenced in various blocks. Parameter x y z

Blocks that may reference it B1 B1 B4

If we had changed z to x (and retained their shared type int), all of a sudden, x would now also be a valid reference in the blocks B2 , B3 , and B5 ; that is, everywhere in the body of the procedure.

74

J.B. Pedersen and M. Sowders / Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes

We start by examining the parameters of the interfaces, and later return to incorporate the local variables (for which regular static scoping rules apply) into a single name resolution pass containing both parameters and local variables. In the next section we look at related work, and then proceed in section 2 to present a method for constructing a control flow graph (CFG) based on the ProcessJ source code. In section 3 we define sets of declarations to be used in the computation of valid reference, and in section 4 we illustrate how to compute these sets, and finally in section 5 we present the new name resolution algorithm for mobile processes with polymorphic interfaces. Finally we wrap up with a result section and some thoughts about future work. 1. Related Work The idea of code mobility has been around for a long time. In 1969 Jeff Rulifson introduced a language called the Decode-Encode-Language (DEL) [15]. One could download a DEL program from a remote machine, and the program would control communication and efficiently use limited bandwidth between the local and remote hosts [4]. Though not exactly similar to how a ProcessJ process can be sent to different computational environments, DEL could be considered the beginning of mobile agents. Resumable processes are similar to mobile agents. In [5], Chess et al. provides a classification of Mobile Code Languages. In a Mobile Code Language, a process can move from one computational environment to another. A computational environment is container of components, not necessarily a host. For example, two Java Virtual Machines running on the same host would be considered two different computational environments. The term Strong Mobility [5] is used when the process code, state, and control state are saved before passing them to another process to resume at the same control state and with the same variable state in a potentially different computational environment. The term Weak Mobility in contrast does not preserve control state. Providing mobility transparently means the programmer will not need to save the state before sending the process. All that is needed is to define the positions where the process can return control using a suspend statement or a suspend resume statement. The process scheduling is also transparent to the end programmer because mobile processes are scheduled the same as normal processes. 1.1. The Join Calculus and Chords The Join Calculus [9] is a process algebra that extends Milner’s π-calculus [12] and that models distributed and mobile programming. Mobility is treated slightly different in the Join Calculus. The Join Calculus has the concept of Locality, or the computational environment [5] where the process is executed. Locality is inherent to the system and a process can define its locality rather than the suspend-send-resume approach used in occam-π. Cω [3] is a language implementation of the Join Calculus and an extension of the C# programming language. Cω uses chords, a method with multiple interfaces that can be invoked in any order. The body of the method will not execute until every interface has been invoked at least once. ProcessJ does not treat multiple interfaces this way; only one interface is correct at a time, and the process can only be resumed with that exact interface. Therefore, we are forced to either implement run-time errors, or allow querying the suspended mobile about which interface it is ready to accept. 1.2. The Actor Model ProcessJ also differs from Hewitts’ actor model [2,10,11] in the same way; In the actor model, any valid interface can be invoked, and the associated code will execute; again, for ProcessJ, only the interface that the suspended process is ready to accept can be invoked.

J.B. Pedersen and M. Sowders / Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes

75

A modern example of the Actor Model is Erlang actors. Erlang uses pattern matching and receive to respond to messages sent. Figure 3 is a basic actor that takes several differing message types and acts according to each message sent. It is possible to specify a wild card ’ ’ message that will match all other messages so there is a defined default behavior. Erlang also has the ability to dynamically load code on all nodes in a cluster using the nl command [1], or send a message to a process running on another node. A combination of these features could be used to implement a type of weak mobility in Erlang; this is illustrated in Figure 3. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16:

loop () → receive % If I receive a string ”a” print ”a” to standard out "a" → io:format("a"), loop(); % If I receive a process id and a string ”b” % write ”echo” to the given process id {Pid, "b"} → Pid ! "echo", loop(); % handle any other message I might receive → io:format("do not know what to do."), loop(); end. Figure 3. Erlang Actors can respond to multiple message interfaces.

1.3. Delimited Continuations and Swarm In 2009, Ian Clarke created a project called Swarm [6]. Swarm is a framework for transparent scaling of distributed applications utilizing delimited continuations in Scala through the use of a Scala compiler plug-in. A delimited continuation, also known as a functional continuation [8], is a functional representation of the control state of a process. The goal of Swarm is to deploy an application to an environment with distributed data and move the computations to where the data resides instead of moving the data to the where the process resides. This approach is similar to that used in MapReduce [7] though it is more broadly applicable because not every application can map to the MapReduce paradigm. 1.4. occam-π Versus ProcessJ Mobiles The occam-π language has built in support for mobile processes [16]. The method adopted by occam-π allows processes to suspend rather than always needing to complete. A suspended process can then be communicated on a channel and resumed from the same state it was suspended, providing strong mobility. In occam-π, a mobile process must implement a mobile process type [16]; this is to assure that the process receiving the (suspended) mobile will have the correct set of resources to re-animate the mobile. Mobile processes in ProcessJ with polymorphic interfaces cannot make use of such a technique, as there is no way of guaranteeing that the receiving process will resume the mobile with the correct interface. Naturally, this can be rather detrimental to the further execution of the code; a runtime error would be generated if the mobile is not in a state to accept the interface with which is is resumed. The runtime check added by the

76

J.B. Pedersen and M. Sowders / Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes

compiler is inexpensive and is similar in use to an ArrayOutOfBoundsException in Java. In ProcessJ we approach this problem (though not the scope of this paper, but worth mentioning) in the following way: It is possible to query a mobile process about its next interface (the one waiting to be invoked); this can be done as illustrated in Figure 4. If a process is not in a 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8:

MobileProc p = c.read(); // Receive a mobile on channel c if (p.accepts(chan.read)) { // is p’s interface (chan.read) ? chan intChan; par { p(intChan.read); // Resume p with a reading channel end c.write(42); } } Figure 4. Runtime check to determine if a process accepts a specific interface.

state, in which it is capable of accepting a resumption with a certain interface, the check will evaluate to false, and no such resumption is performed. This kind of check is necessarily a runtime check. 2. Control Flow Graphs and Rewriting Rules The key idea to determine which parameters can be referred in a block, is to consider all paths from interfaces leading into that block. If all paths to a block include a definition from an interface of a parameter with the same name and type, then this parameter can be referenced in that block. This can be achieved by computing the intersection of all the parameters declared in interfaces that can flow into a block (directly or indirectly through other nodes.) We will develop this technique through the example code in Figure 2. The first step is to generate a source code-based control flow graph (CFG), which can be achieved using a number of simple graph construction rules for control diverting statements (these are if-, while-, do-, for-, switch-, and alt-statements as well as break and continue). Theses rules are illustrated in Figure 5. For the sake of completeness, it should be noted, that the depiction of the switch statement in Figure 5 is based on each statement case having a break statement at its end; that is, there are no fall though cases. If for example B1 could fall through to B2 the graph would have an arc from e to B1 , from e to B2 , and to represent the fall through case, an arc from B1 to B2 . continue statements in loops add an extra arc to the boolean expression controlling the loop, and a break in an if statement would skip the rest of the nodes from it to the end of the statement by adding an arc directly to the next node in the graph. If we apply the CFG construction rules from Figure 5 in which we treat procedure calls and suspend/resume statements as non-control-diverting statements (The original process interface can be thought of as resume point and will thus be the first ’statement’ in the first block in the CFG.), we get the control flow graph shown in Figure 6. Note, the I0 before B1 represents the original procedure interface, and the I1 between B3 and B4 represents the suspend/resume interface. Having the initial interface and the suspend/resume statements mixed with the regular block commands will not work for the analysis to come, so we need to separate those out. This can be done using a simple graph rewriting rule; each interface gets its own node. This rewriting rule is illustrated in Figure 7.

J.B. Pedersen and M. Sowders / Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes

.. . if (b) S1 else S2 .. .

.. . if (b) S .. .

b

S1

S2

if-then-else statement

77

b

S

if-then statement

.. . do

.. . while (b) S .. .

S while (b) .. .

b

S

while statement

.. . for (i; e; u) S .. .

.. . alt { g1 :

b

S

} .. .

u

S1 .. . gn : Sn

for statement

g1

...

gn

S1

...

Sn

alt statement

e

B1

b

do statement

i

.. . switch (e) { case c1 : B1 .. . case cn : Bn } .. .

S

...

Bn

switch statement Figure 5. CFG construction rules.

78

J.B. Pedersen and M. Sowders / Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes

I 0 B1

B2

B 3 I 1 B4

B5

Figure 6. CFG for the example code in Figure 2.

We will refer to the nodes representing interfaces as interface nodes and all others (with code) as code nodes. With an interface node we associate a set of name/type/interface triples (ni ti Ii ), namely the name (ni ) of the parameter, its type (ti ) and the interface (Ii ) in which it was declared. In addition, we introduce a comparison operator = ˆ between triples defined ˆ (nj tj Ij ) ⇔ (ni = nj ∧ ti = tj ). The corresponding set in the following way: (ni ti Ii ) = ˆ . We introduce interface nodes for suspend/resume points intersection operator is denoted ∩ into the graph in the following manner: if a code block Bi has m suspend/resume statements, then split Bi into m + 1 new code blocks Bi1 , . . . , Bim+1 interspersed with interface nodes Ii1 , . . . , Iim . Bi1 and/or Bim+1 might be empty code nodes (Technically, so might all the

I im

Bim+1

...

...

I i1

...

...

...

Bi 1

Bi

Figure 7. CFG rewriting rule.

other code nodes, but that would be a little strange, as that would signify 2 or more suspend statements following each other without any code in between). Also, since the parameters of the procedure interface technically also make up an interface, we need to add an interface node for these as well. This is also covered by the rewriting rule in Figure 7, and in this case Bi1 will be empty and Ii2 will be I0 . Rewriting the CFG from Figure 6 results in the graph depicted in Figure 8. We now have a CFG with code and interface nodes. Each interface node has information about the parameters it declares, as well as their types. This CFG is a directed graph (VCF G , ECF G ), where the vertices in V are either interface nodes (Ii ) or code nodes (Bi ). An edge in ECF G is a pair of nodes (N, M ) representing a directed edge in the CFG from N to M ; that is, if (N, M ) ∈ ECF G , then the control flows from the code represented by vertex N to the code represented by the vertex M in the program. 3. In and Out Sets For the nodes representing an interface, Ii , we are not interested in the incoming arcs. Since a suspend/resume point represented by an interface node re-defines which parameters can be accessed, they will overwrite any existing parameters. We can now define, for each node in the CFG, sets representing incoming and outgoing parameters. We define two sets for each node N (N is either a code node (Bi ) or an interface node (Ii )) in the CFG, namely the in set (Ik (N )) and the out set (Ok (N ))). Each of these sets

J.B. Pedersen and M. Sowders / Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes

I0

79

{(x int I 0 ),(y int I 0 )}

B1

B4

B2

I1

B3

B5

{(z int I1)} Figure 8. The altered CFG of the example in Figure 6.

are subscripted with a k denoting a generation. Generations of in and out set are dependent on the previous generations. The in set of a code block ultimately represent the parameters that can be referenced in that block. The out set for a code block is a copy of the in set; while technically not necessary, they make the algorithm that we will present later look nicer. For interface nodes, in sets are ignored (there is no code in an interface node). We can now define the following generation 0 sets for an interface node Ii (representing an interface (ti,1 ni,1 , . . . , ti,ki ni,ki )) and a code node Bi : I0 (Ii ) O0 (Ii ) I0 (Bi ) O0 (Bi )

:= := := :=

{} {(ni,1 ti,1 Ii ), . . . , (ni,ki ti,ki Ii )} {} {}

Since an interface node introduces a new set of parameters, we only define its out set. The (k + 1)th generation of in and out sets can easily be computed based on the k th generation. Recall that a parameter (of a certain name and type) can only be referenced in a code block Bi if all interfaces Ij that have a path to Bi define it (both name and type must be the same!); this leads us to the following definition of the k + 1th generation for in and out sets: Ik+1 (Ii ) Ok+1 (Ii ) Ik+1 (Bi ) Ok+1 (Bi )

:= := := :=

{} Ok (Ii )  ˆ (N,B )∈E Ok (N ) i CF G Ik+1 (Bi )

That is, the k + 1th generation of the in set of block Bi is the intersection of the out sets of all its immediate predecessors at generation k in the CFG. To determine the set of references that are valid within a code block we repeatedly apply the four rules (only the two rules for the code blocks will change any sets after the first iteration) until no sets change. Table 3 shows the results after two generations; the third does not change anything, so the result can be observed in the column labeled I1 . To see that x and y or z cannot be referenced in block B2 , consider the set I1 (B2 ): ˆ O0 (B4 ) = {(x int I0 ), (y int I0 )}∩ ˆ {(z int I1 )} = { } I1 (B2 ) := O0 (B1 )∩

80

J.B. Pedersen and M. Sowders / Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes Table 3. Result of in and out sets after 2 generations. I0 B1 B2 B3 I1 B4 B5

I0 {} {} {} {} {} {} {}

O0 {(x int I0 ), (y int I0 )} {} {} {} {(z int I1 )} {} {}

I1 {} {(x int I0 ), (y int}I0 )} {} {} {} {(z int I1 )} {}

O1 {(x int I0 ), (y int I0 )} {(x int I0 ), (y int I0 )} {} {} {(z int I1 )} {(z int I1 )} {}

If two triples have have the same name and type both triples will be represented in the result set (with different interface numbers of course.) We can now formulate the algorithm for computing in and out sets.

4. Algorithm for In and Out Set Computation Input: ProcessJ mobile procedure. Method: 1. Using the CFG construction rules from Figure 5, construct the control flow graph G. 2. For each interface node Ii , and code node Bj in G = (V, E) initialize Ik+1 (Ii ) := { } Ok+1 (Ii ) := Ok (Ii )  Ik+1 (Bj ) := ˆ (N,Bj )∈E Ok (N ) Ok+1 (Bj ) := Ik+1 (Bj ) 3. Execute this code: done = false; while (!done) { done = true; for (B ∈ V ) do { // only for code nodes  B  = ˆ (N,B)∈E O(N ) if (B  = B) done = false; O(B) = I(B) = B  } } Result: Input sets for all code block with valid parameter references. It is worth pointing out that in the algorithm generations of in and out sets are not used. This does not impact the correctness of the computation (because the operator used is the intersection operator.) If anything, it shortens the runtime by allowing sets from generation k + 1 to be used in the computation of other generation k + 1 sets. With this in hand, we can now turn to performing the actual scope resolution. This can be achieved using a regular static scope resolution algorithm with a small twist, as we shall see in the following section.

J.B. Pedersen and M. Sowders / Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes

81

5. Static Name Resolution for Mobile Processes Let us re-introduce the code from Figure 2, but this time with local variables added (lines 2, 5, and 8); this code can be found in Figure 9. Also note, the local variable z in line 8 has the same name as the parameter in the interface in line 7. Naturally, this means that the interface parameter is hidden by the local variable. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12:

mobile void foo(int x, int y) { int a; B1 while (B2 ) { int q; B3 suspend resume with (int z); int w,z; B4 } B5 } Figure 9. Simple ProcessJ example with local variables.

As briefly mentioned in the previous section, the regular static name resolution algorithm works almost as-is. The only differences are that we have to incorporate the in sets computed by the algorithm in the previous section in the resolution pass, and the way scopes are closed will differ slightly. Different languages have different scoping rules, so let us briefly state the static scoping rules for parameters and locals in a procedure in ProcessJ. • Local variables cannot be re-declared in the same scope. • An interface/procedure declaration opens a scope in which only the parameters are held. The scoping rules of interface parameters are what we defined in this paper. • The body of a procedure opens a scope for local variables. (this means, that we can have parameters and locals named the same, but the parameters will be hidden by the local variables.) • A block (a set of { }) opens a new scope (Local variable names can now be reused, though re-declared local variables hide other local variables or parameters in enclosing scopes. The scope of a local variable declared in a block is from the point of declaration to the end of the block. • A for-statement opens a scope (it is legal to declare variables in the initialization part of a for-statement. The scope of such variables is the rest of the for-statement. • A suspend/resume point open a new scope for the new parameters. Since we treat a suspend/resume point’s interface like the original procedure interface, an implicit block ensues immediately after, so a new scope is opened for that as well (If we did not do this, we would break the rule that parameters and local can have shared names, as the in this situation would reside in the same scope.) A symbol table, in this context, is a two dimensional table mapping names to attributes. In addition, a symbol table has a parent (table), and an access list of block numbers that represent which blocks may perform look-ups in them. This access list contains the result of the algorithm that computed which blocks can access an interface’s parameters. If the use of a name in block Bi requires a look-up in a table that does not list i in its access list, the look-up query is passed to the parent recursively, until either the name is successfully resolved, or the end of the chain of tables is reached, resulting in an unsuccessful lookup of that name.

82

J.B. Pedersen and M. Sowders / Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes

Using the example from Figure 2, a total of 5 scopes are opened, two by interfaces (The original procedure’s interface declaring parameters x and y, accessible only by code in block B1 , and the suspend/resume point’s interface declaring parameter w and z, accessible only by code in block B4 ), one by the main body of the procedure (declaring local variable a), one by a block (declaring local variable q), and one following the suspend/resume point (declaring the local variable z, which hides the parameter from the interface of the suspend/resume statement). In Figure 10, the code has been decorated with +Ti to mark where the ith scope is opened, and −Ti to mark where it is closed. Furthermore the implicit scopes opened by the parameter list of an interface, and the body following a suspend/resume statement have been added; these are the underlined brackets in lines 2, 12, 14, 17, 18, and 22. Note the closure of three scopes, −T4 , −T3 , −T2 , at the end of the block making up the body

1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: 22:

mobile void foo {+T0 (int x, int y) {+T1 int a; B1 while (B2 ) {+T2 int q; B3 suspend resume with {+T3 (int z); {+T4 int w,z; B4 }−T4 }−T3 }−T2 B5 }−T1 }+T0 Figure 10. Simple ProcessJ example annotated with scope information.

of the while-loop. Since there are no explicit markers in the code that close down scopes for suspend/resume points (T3 ), and the following scope (T4 ), these get closed automatically when an enclosing scope (T2 ) is closed. This is easily controlled when traversing the code (and not the CFG), as a typical name resolution pass would. Figure 11 illustrates the 5 symbol tables, the symbols they declare, their access lists, and the nodes in the CFG with which they are associated. We summarize in Table 4 which variables (locals and parameters) can be referenced in which blocks. Note, although block 4 appears in the access list in symbol table T3 in Figure 11 (and the parameter z is in O1 (B4 )), the local variable z in table T4 hides the parameter.

J.B. Pedersen and M. Sowders / Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes

83

T0 N V int x int y

I0

int a;

B1

T1 N

{1}

V

int a B2

int q;

B5

B3

T2 N V int q

{1,2,3,4}

{1,2,3,4}

T3 N V int z

I1

int w,z;

B4

T4 N

{4}

V

int z int w {1,2,3,4}

Figure 11. CFG with symbol tables. Table 4. Final list of which variables/parameters can be access in which blocks. Block B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Locals a ∈ T1 a ∈ T1 q ∈ T2 , a ∈ T1 w ∈ T4 , z ∈ T4 , q ∈ T2 , a ∈ T1 a ∈ T1

Parameters x ∈ T0 , y ∈ T0 − − z ∈ T4 −

6. Results and Conclusion We have presented an algorithm that can be applied to create a control flow graph (CFG) at a source code level, and an algorithm to determine which procedure parameters and suspend/resume parameters can be referenced in the code of a mobile procedure. Additionally, we presented a method for performing static scope resolution on a mobile procedure (mobile process) in a process oriented language like ProcessJ. This analysis obeys the standard static scoping rules for local variables and also takes into account the new rules introduced by making a procedure mobile with polymorphic interfaces (and thus resumable in the ’middle of the code’, immediately after the point of exit (suspend point)). 7. Future Work The ProcessJ compiler generates Java code using JCSP to implement CSP primitives like channels, processes and alternations. Additional implementation work is required to integrate

84

J.B. Pedersen and M. Sowders / Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes

the algorithm as well as the JCSP code generation into the ProcessJ compiler. A possible implementation of mobiles using Java/JCSP can follow the approach taken in [14], which unfortunately requires the generated (and compiled) bytecode to be rewritten; this involved reloading the bytecode and inserting new bytecode instructions, something that can be rather cumbersome. However, we do have a new approach, which does not require any bytecode rewriting at all. We expect to be able to report on this in a different paper in the very near future. References [1] Ericsson AB. Erlang STDLIB, 2010. http://www.erlang.org/doc/apps/stdlib/stdlib. pdf. [2] Gul Agha. Actors: a model of concurrent computation in distributed systems. MIT Press, Cambridge, 1986. [3] Nick Benton, Luca Cardelli, and Cedric Fournet. Modern Concurrency Abstractions for C#. In ACM TRANS. PROGRAM. LANG. SYST, pages 415–440. Springer, 2002. [4] Peter Braun and Wilhelm Rossak. Mobile Agents: Basic Concepts, Mobility Models, and the Tracy Toolkit. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc., San Francisco, CA, USA, 2004. [5] David Chess, Colin Harrison, and Aaron Kershenbaum. Mobile agents: Are they a good idea?Mobile Agents: Are they a good idea? In Jan Vitek and Christian Tschudin, editors, Mobile Object Systems Towards the Programmable Internet, volume 1222 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 25–45. Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1997. [6] Ian Clarke. swarm-dpl - A transparent scalable distributed programming language, 2008. http:// code.google.com/p/swarm-dpl/. [7] Jeffrey Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat. Mapreduce: simplified data processing on large clusters. Commun. ACM, 51:107–113, January 2008. [8] Matthias Felleisen. Beyond continuations. Computer Science Dept. Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington IN, 1987. [9] C´edric Fournet and Georges Gonthier. The Join Calculus: A Language for Distributed Mobile Programming. In Gilles Barthe, Peter Dybjer, Lu´ıs Pinto, and Jo˜ao Saraiva, editors, Applied Semantics, volume 2395 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 268–332. Springer Verlag Berlin / Heidelberg, 2000. [10] Carl Hewitt. Viewing control structures as patterns of passing messages. Artificial Intelligence, 8(3):323364, June 1977. [11] Carl Hewitt, Peter Bishop, Irene Greif, Brian Smith, Todd Matson, and Richard Steiger. Actor induction and meta-evaluation. In In ACM Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages, pages 153–168, 1973. [12] Robin Milner. Communicating and mobile systems: the pi-calculus. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge[England] ;;New York, 1999. [13] Jan B. Pedersen et al. The ProcessJ homepage, 2011. http://processj.cs.unlv.edu. [14] Jan B. Pedersen and Brian Kauke. Resumable Java Bytecode - Process Mobility for the JVM. In The thirty-second Communicating Process Architectures Conference, CPA 2009, organised under the auspices of WoTUG, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 1-6 November 2009, pages 159–172, 2009. [15] Jeff Rulifson. DEL, 1969. http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc0005.txt. [16] Peter H. Welch and Frederick R.M. Barnes. Communicating Mobile Processes: introducing occam-π. In Ali E. Abdallah, Cliff B. Jones, and Jeff W. Sanders, editors, 25 Years of CSP, volume 3525 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 175–210. Springer Verlag, April 2005. [17] Peter H. Welch and Jan B. Pedersen. Santa Claus - with Mobile Reindeer and Elves. In Fringe Presentation at Communicating Process Architectures conference, September 2008.

J.B. Pedersen and M. Sowders / Static Scoping and Name Resolution for Mobile Processes

85

A. Appendix To illustrate the construction of the CFG in more depth, Figure 13 shows the control flow graph for a for loop with conditional break and continue. The code from which the CFG in Figure 13 was generated is shows in Figure 12. In Figure 13 the body of the for loop is represented by the largest shaded box, the if statement containing the break statement is the box shaded with vertical lines, and the if statement containing the continue statement is the box shaded with horizontal lines. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13:

for ( i ; b1 ; u ) { B1 if (b2 ) { B2 break; } B3 if (b3 ) { B4 continue; } B5 } Figure 12. Example code with conditional break and continue statements.

Figure 13. CFG for the example code shown in Figure 12.

This page intentionally left blank

Communicating Process Architectures 2011 P.H. Welch et al. (Eds.) IOS Press, 2011 © 2011 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved. doi:10.3233/978-1-60750-774-1-87

87

Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation a

Douglas N. WARREN a,1 School of Computing, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

Abstract. Previous algorithms for resolving choice over multiway synchronisations have been incompatible with the notion of priority. This paper discusses some of the problems resulting from this limitation and offers a subtle expansion of the definition of priority to make choice meaningful when multiway events are involved. Presented in this paper is a prototype extension to the JCSP library that enables prioritised choice over multiway synchronisations and which is compatible with existing JCSP Guards. Also discussed are some of the practical applications for this algorithm as well as its comparative performance. Keywords. CSP, JCSP, priority, choice, multiway synchronisation, altable barriers.

Introduction CSP [1,2] has always been capable of expressing external choice over multiway synchronisation: the notion of more than one process being able to exercise choice over a set of shared events, such that all processes making that choice select the same events. For some time, algorithms for resolving such choices at run-time were unavailable and, when such algorithms were proposed, they were non-trivial [3,4]. Conversely priority, a notion not expressed in standard CSP, has been a part of CSP based languages from a very early stage. Priority, loosely, is the notion that a process may reliably select one event over another when both are available. Whilst being compatible with simple events such as channel inputs, algorithms for resolving choice over multiway synchronisation have been incompatible with priority. This paper introduces an algorithm for implementing Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation (PCOMS) in JCSP [5,6] through the use of the AltableBarrier class. This addition to the JCSP library, allows entire process networks to be atomically paused or terminated by alting over such barriers. They also enable the suspension of sub-networks of processes, for the purposes of process mobility, with manageable performance overheads. This paper assumes some knowledge of both JCSP and occam-π [7,8] – the latter being the basis of most pseudo-code throughout the paper. This paper intends to establish that using the AltableBarrier class simplifies certain problems of multiway synchronisation. However, there are no immediately obvious problems which require PCOMS per se. For example, graceful termination of process networks can be achieved using conventional channel communication. However, if such networks have a complicated layout or if consistency is required at the time of termination then graceful termination using channel communication becomes more complicated. This same problem using PCOMS requires only that all affected processes are enrolled on (and regularly ALT over) an AltableBarrier which they prioritise over other events. 1

Corresponding Author: Douglas N. Warren. E-mail: [email protected]

88

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

Introduced in this paper are the background and limitations of existing multiway synchronisation algorithms. In Section 3 the limitations of existing notions of priority and readiness are discussed and proposals for processes to pre-assert their readiness to synchronise on barriers are made. This section also proposes the notion of nested priority, the idea that several events may be considered to be of the same priority but to exist in a wider priority ordering. Section 5 details the interface that JCSP programmers need to use in order to include AltableBarriers in their programs. Section 6 details the inner workings of the algorithm itself. Section 7 details stress tests performed on the algorithm as well as comparative performance tests with the previous (unprioritisable) AltingBarrier algorithm. The results are discussed in Section 8 as well as some proposed patterns for implementing fair alting and for influencing the probability of certain events being selected through partial priority. Section 9 concludes the paper. 1. Background This section considers some of the existing algorithms for resolving choice over multiway synchronisation both where the set of events are limited and where the set of events may be arbitrarily large. Also considered are some of the attempts to model priority in CSP. Some of the earliest algorithms resolving choice over multiway synchronisation are database transaction protocols such as the two phase commit protocol [9]. Here the choice is between selecting a ‘commit’ event or one or more processes choosing to ‘abort’ an attempt to commit changes to the database. Initially such protocols were blocking. After the commit attempt was initiated, a coordinator would ask the enrolled nodes to commit to the transaction. If all nodes commit in this way then the transaction is confirmed by an acknowledgement otherwise the nodes are informed that they should abort the transaction. In either case the network and the nodes themselves were considered to be reliable and responsive to such requests. Later incarnations were non-blocking and tolerated faults by introducing the possibility that transactions could timeout [10], these are sometimes referred to as a 3 phase commit protocol. The first phase asks nodes if they are in a position to synchronise (which the coordinator acknowledges), the second involves the processes actually committing to the synchronisation, this being subject to timeouts, the third ensures that the ‘commit’ or ‘abort’ is consistent for all nodes. The protocols above are limited in that they can be considered to be choosing over two events ‘commit’ and ‘abort’. A more general solution was proposed by McEwan [3] which reduced the choice to state machines connected to a central controller. This was followed by an algorithm which coordinates all multiway synchronisations through a single central Oracle [11] and implemented as a library extension for JCSP [5,4] in the form of the AltingBarrier class. All of the above algorithms are incompatible with user defined priority. The database commit protocols are only compatible with priority to the extent that committing to a transaction is favoured over aborting it. The more general algorithms have no mechanism by which priority can be imposed and in the case of JCSP AltingBarriers this incompatibility is made explicit. There have been many attempts to formalise event priority in CSP. Fidge [12] considers previous approaches which (either statically or dynamically) assign global absolute priority values to specific events, these approaches are considered to be less modular and compo→ − sitional. Fidge instead proposes an asymmetric choice operator ( [] ) which favours the left operand. Such an operator is distinguished from the regular external choice operator in that

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

89

it excludes the traces of the right hand (low priority) operand where both are allowed by the system, i.e. the high priority event is always chosen where possible. While this might be considered ideal, in practice the arbitrary nature of scheduling may allow high priority events to not be ready, even when the system allows it. Therefore low priority events are not excluded in practice in CSP based languages. However the introduction of readiness tests to CSP by Lowe [13] allow for priority to be modelled as implemented in CSP based languages. Using this model priority conflicts (an inevitable possibility with locally defined relative priority structure) are resolved by arbitrary selection, this is the same result as occurs with JCSP AltableBarriers (albeit with higher performance costs). However, Lowe treats readiness as a binary property of events, in Section 3.1 a case is presented for treating readiness as a (possibly false) assertion that all enrolled processes will be in a position to synchronise on an event in the near future. This distinction allows for processes to pre-emptively wait for multiway synchronisations to occur. Section 2.2 establishes this as being necessary to implement meaningful priority. 2. Limitations of Existing External Choice Algorithms Existing algorithms offering choice over multiway synchronisation do not offer any mechanism for expressing priority; they offer only arbitrary selection (which is all that standard CSP describes). Listed in this section are two (not intuitively obvious) ways in which repeated use of these selection algorithms can be profoundly unfair – although it is worth bearing in mind that CSP choice has no requirement for priority and repeated CSP choice has no requirement for fairness. As such, while these aspects of existing choice resolution algorithms are arguably undesirable, they all constitute valid implementations of external choice. 2.1. Arbitration by Barrier Size Pre-existing algorithms for resolving choice over multiway synchronisation have in common an incompatibility with priority [4], this means that event selection is considered to be arbitrary - in other words no guarantees are made about priority, fairness or avoiding starvation. It is therefore the responsibility of programmers to ensure that this limitation has no adverse effects on their code. While the problems of arbitrary selection may be relatively tractable for code involving channel communications, code containing barrier guards pose extra complications. Consider the following occam-π pseudo-code: PROC P1 ( BARRIER a , b ) ALT SYNC a SKIP SYNC b SKIP : PROC P2 ( BARRIER a ) SYNC a : PROC P3 ( BARRIER b ) SYNC b :

Three different types of processes, one enrolled on ‘a’ and ‘b’, the other two enrolled on either one or the other but not both. Consider a process network containing only P1 and P3 processes:

90

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation PROC main ( VAL INT n , m ) BARRIER a , b , c : PAR PAR i = 0 FOR n P1 (a , b ) PAR i = 0 FOR m P3 ( b ) :

In such a network event ‘a’ is favoured. In order for either event to happen all of the processes enrolled on that event must be offering it. Since the set of processes enrolled on ‘a’ is a subset of those enrolled on ‘b’, for ‘b’ to be ready implies that ‘a’ is also ready (although the reverse is not true). It is therefore necessary for all of the P3 processes to offer ‘b’ before all of the P1 processes offer ‘a’ and ‘b’ in order for synchronisation on ‘b’ to be possible (even then the final selection is arbitrary). However as the ratio of P1 to P3 processes increases this necessary (but not sufficient) condition becomes less and less likely. This state of affairs may however be desirable to a programmer. For example another process in the system may be enrolled on ‘a’ but also waiting for user input. Provided that processes P1 and P3 are looped ad infinitum, ‘a’ may represent a high priority, infrequently triggered event while ‘b’ is less important and is only serviced when ‘a’ is unavailable. A naive programmer may consider that this property will always hold true. However consider what happens if P2 processes are dynamically added to the process network. Initially ‘a’ continues to be prioritised over ‘b’ but once the P2 processes outnumber the P3 processes it becomes more and more likely that ‘b’ will be picked over ‘a’, even if ‘a’ would otherwise be ready. For this reason a programmer needs to not only be aware of the overall structure of their program in order to reason about which events are selected but also the numbers of processes enrolled on those events. This becomes even more difficult if these numbers of enrolled processes change dynamically. 2.2. Unselectable Barriers As well as making the selection of events depend (to an extent) on the relative numbers of processes enrolled on competing barriers, existing algorithms for resolving external choice over multiway synchronisation can allow for the selection of certain events to be not only unlikely but (for practical purposes) impossible. Consider the pseudo-code for the following two processes: PROC P1 ( BARRIER a , b ) WHILE TRUE ALT SYNC a SKIP SYNC b SKIP : PROC P2 ( BARRIER a , c ) WHILE TRUE ALT SYNC a SKIP SYNC c SKIP :

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

91

If a process network is constructed exclusively out of P1 and P2 processes then the sets of processes enrolled on ‘a’, ‘b’ and ‘c’ have some interesting properties. The set of processes enrolled on ‘b’ and those enrolled on ‘c’ are both strict sub-sets of those enrolled on ‘a’. Further the intersection of the sets for ‘b’ and ‘c’ is the empty set. Since choice resolution algorithms (like the Oracle algorithm used in JCSP AltingBarriers) always select events as soon as they are ready (i.e. all enrolled processes are in a position to synchronise on the event), this means that for an event to be selected it must become ready either at the same time or before any competing events. However, because ‘a’ is a superset of ‘b’ and ‘c’ it would be necessary for ‘a’, ‘b’ and ‘c’ to become ready at the same time for ‘a’ to be selectable. This is impossible because only one process may make or retract offers at a time and no process offers ‘a’, ‘b’ and ‘c’ simultaneously. It is therefore impossible for ‘a’ to be selected as either ‘b’ or ‘c’ must become ready first. The impossibility of event ‘a’ being selected in the above scenario holds true for AltingBarrier events: each process offers its set of events atomically and the Oracle deals with each offer atomically (i.e. without interruption by other offers). However, this need not happen. If it is possible for processes to have offered event ‘a’ but to have not yet offered event ‘b’ or ‘c’, then ‘a’ may be selected if a sufficient number of processes have offered ‘a’ and are being slow about offering ‘b’ or ‘c’. This gives a clue as to how priority can be introduced into a multiway synchronisation resolution algorithm. 3. Limitations of Existing Priority Models 3.1. Case for Redefining Readiness and Priority As discussed in Section 2.2, selecting events as soon as all enrolled processes have offered to synchronise can cause serious problems for applying priority to choice over multiway synchronisation. As such meaningful priority may be introduced by allowing processes to pre-emptively wait for synchronisations to occur or by suppressing the readiness of other events in favour of higher priority ones. Here to pre-emptively wait on a given event means to offer only that event and to exclude the possibility of synchronising on any others that would otherwise be available in an external choice. Events which are not part of that external choice may be used to stop a process preemptively waiting, for example a timeout elapsing may trigger this. Once a process stops pre-emptively waiting it is once again free to offer any of the events in an external choice. In other words a process waits for the completion of one event over any other in the hope that it will be completed soon, if it is not then the process may consider offering other events. Waiting in this way requires the resolution of two problems. The first is that if processes wait indefinitely for synchronisations to occur, the network to which the process belongs may deadlock. The corollary to this is that where it is known in advance that an event cannot be selected, it should be possible for processes to bypass waiting for that event altogether (so as to avoid unnecessary delays). The second is that, as a consequence of the first problem, when a process does stop waiting for a high priority event and begins waiting for a lower priority one, it is possible that the higher priority event may become ready again. Here, ready again means that the event now merits its set of processes enrolled on it pre-emptively waiting for its completion. Thus it must be possible for a process to switch from pre-emptively waiting for a low priority synchronisation to a higher priority one. While there are almost an infinite number of ways of pre-emptively determining the readiness of any event, it is proposed that PCOMS barriers use flags to pre-emptively assert the readiness of enrolled processes. Each process uses its flags (one each per barrier that it is enrolled on) to assert whether or not it is in a position to synchronise on that event in the near future. It is a necessary condition that all enrolled processes assert their readiness for those

92

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

processes to begin waiting for that synchronisation to take place. If this condition becomes false during such a synchronisation attempt then that attempt is aborted. Conversely if this condition becomes true then this triggers enrolled processes waiting for lower priority events to switch to the newly available event. For the purposes of causing synchronisation attempts to be aborted because of a timeout, such timeouts falsify the assertion of the absent processes that they are in a position to synchronise in the near future. Their flags are changed to reflect this, this in turn causes the synchronisation attempt as a whole to be aborted. In this way high priority events are given every opportunity to be selected over their lower priority counterparts, while the programmer is given every opportunity to avoid wasteful synchronisation attempts where it is known that such a synchronisation is unlikely, 3.2. Case for Nested Priority While there are positive uses for prioritising some multiway synchronisations over others (graceful termination, pausing, etc.) there may be some circumstances where imposing a priority structure on existing arbitrary external choices can be undesireable. Consider the process network for the TUNA project’s one-dimensional blood clotting model [11]. Each SITE process communicates with others through a ‘tock’ event and an array of ‘pass’ events, each process being enrolled on a pass event corresponding to itself as well as the two processes in front of it in a linear pipeline. Although the events offered at any given time depend on the SITE process’ current state, it is a convenient abstraction to consider that the SITE process offers all events at all times, as in the following pseudo-code: PROC site ( VAL INT i ) WHILE TRUE ALT ALT n = 0 FOR 3 SYNC pass [ i + n ] SKIP SYNC tock SKIP :

Here the SITE process makes an arbitrary selection over the events that it is enrolled on. Now suppose that the SITE processes also offer to synchronise on a ‘pause’ barrier. This barrier would need to be of higher priority than the other barriers and would presumably only be triggered occasionally by another process waiting for user interaction. A naive way of implementing this could be the following: PROC site ( VAL INT i ) WHILE TRUE PRI ALT SYNC pause SKIP PRI ALT n = 0 FOR 3 SYNC pass [ i + n ] SKIP SYNC tock SKIP :

Here the SITE process prioritises the ‘pause’ barrier most highly, followed by the ‘pass’ barriers in numerical order, followed by the ‘tock’ barrier. This might not be initially considered a problem as any priority ordering is simply a refinement of an arbitrary selection scheme.

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

93

However when more than one process like this is composed in parallel problems begin to emerge, each individual SITE process identified by the ‘i’ parameter passed to it prefers the ‘pass[i]’ event over other pass events further down the pipeline. In other words SITE2 prefers ‘pass[2]’ over ‘pass[3]’, while SITE3 prefers ‘pass[3]’ over all others and so on. This constitues a priority conflict as there is no event consistently favoured by all processes enrolled on it. To paraphrase, each process wishes to select its own ‘pass’ event and will only consider lower priority events when it is satisfied that its own ‘pass’ event is not going to complete. Since no processes can agree on which event is to be prioritised there is no event which can be selected which is consistent with every process’ priority structure. There are two ways in which this can be resolved. The first is that the system deadlocks. The second is that each process wastes time waiting for its favoured event to complete, comes to the conclusion that the event will not complete and begins offering other events. This second option is effectively an (inefficient) arbitrary selection. The proposed solution to this problem for PCOMS barriers is to allow groups of events in an external choice to have no internal priority but for that group to exist in a wider prioritised context. For the purposes of expressing this as occam-π pseudo-code, a group of guards in an ALT block are considered to have no internal priority structure but if that block is embedded in PRI ALT block then those events all fit into the wider priority context of the PRI ALT block. For example in this code: PROC site ( VAL INT i ) WHILE TRUE PRI ALT SYNC pause SKIP ALT ALT n = 0 FOR 3 SYNC pass [ i + n ] SKIP SYNC tock SKIP :

The ‘pause’ event is considered to be have higher priority than all other events but the ‘pass’ and ‘tock’ events are all considered to have the same priority, thereby eliminating any priority conflict. All processes instead are willing to offer any of the ‘pass’ or ‘tock’ events without wasting time waiting for the completion of any one event over any other. 4. Implementation Nomenclature For the purposes of discussing both the interface and implementation of JCSP PCOMS barriers, it is necessary to describe a number of new and extant JCSP classes as well as some of their internal fields or states. A UML class diagram is shown in Figure 1. PCOMS barrier The generic name for any barrier which is capable of expressing nested priority and which can (when involved in an external choice) optimistically wait for synchronisation to occur (as opposed to requiring absolute readiness). AltableBarrierBase The name of a specific JCSP class representing a PCOMS barrier. An AltableBarrierBase contains references to all enrolled processes through their AltableBarrier front-ends. AltableBarrier A JCSP class representing a process’s front-end for interacting with an AltableBarrierBase. There is exactly one AltableBarrier per process per AltableBarrier-

94

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

Base that it is enrolled on. Henceforth, unless otherwise noted, the term barrier is used as a short hand for an AltableBarrier. Further an AltableBarrier, may in context, refer to the AltableBarrierBase to which it belongs. For example a process which selects an AltableBarrier also selects the AltableBarrierBase to which it belongs. GuardGroup a collection of one or more AltableBarriers which are considered to be of equal priority. BarrierFace A class used to store important information about a process’ current state regarding synchronisation attempts on AltableBarriers. Includes the AltableBarrier (if any) that a process is trying to synchronise on, the local lock which must be claimed in order to wake a waiting process, etc. There is a maximum of one BarrierFace per process. ‘Status’, PREPARED, UNPREPARED and PROBABLY READY Each AltableBarrier has a ‘status’ flag which records whether a process is PREPARED or UNPREPARED to synchronise on that barrier in the near future. An AltableBarrierBase is considered PROBABLY READY iff all enrolled processes are PREPARED. Being PROBABLY READY is a prerequisite for a process to attempt a synchronisation on an AltableBarrier. Alternative An existing JCSP class which is the equivalent of an occam-π ALT. Calling its priSelect() method causes it to make a prioritised external choice over its collection of Guards. altmonitor A unique object stored in an Alternative. If an Alternative (when resolving external choice) checks all of its Guards and finds none of them are ready then the invoking process calls the wait() method on the altmonitor. The process then waits for any of the Guards to become ready before being woken up by a corresponding notify() call on the altmonitor.

    







 

 

  



 

  

  









 



 

Figure 1. UML diagram showing how the relationship between new and existing JCSP classes.

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

95

5. Description of PCOMS Interface This section illustrates the interface programmers use to interact with AltableBarriers. The source code for all of the classes described in this section can be downloaded from a branch in the main JCSP Subversion repository [14]. All of these classes are contained in the org.jcsp.lang package. 5.1. Compatibility with Existing JCSP Implementation The AltableBarrier class, although not directly extending the Guard class, is nevertheless designed to be used in conjunction with the Alternative class in JCSP. A single object shared between all enrolled processes of the class AltableBarrierBase is used to represent the actual PCOMS barrier. Each process then constructs its own AltableBarrier object, passing the AltableBarrierBase object to the constructor. This creates an individual front-end to the barrier for that process and enrols that process on the barrier. The AltableBarrier is included as a Guard in an Alternative by passing an array of AltableBarriers to the constructor of a GuardGroup object. This class extends the Guard class and functions as a collection of one or more AltableBarriers. \\ construct a new barrier Al ta bl eB ar ri er Ba se base = new Al ta bl eB ar ri er Ba se (); \\ enrol a process on a barrier AltableBarrier bar = new AltableBarrier ( base ); \\ create a GuardGroup containing only one barrier GuardGroup group = new GuardGroup ( new AltableBarrier []{ bar });

5.2. Mechanism for Expressing Nested Priority Guards are passed to an Alternative constructor as an array, the order in which the elements are arranged determines the priority ordering. Since the GuardGroup class extends Guard, the relative priority of AltableBarriers is determined by the position of the GuardGroup to which they belong. However a single GuardGroup can contain more than one AltableBarrier, such barriers have no priority ordering within the GuardGroup (the selection process is detailed later but may be considered arbitrary). In this way a group of barrier guards with no internal priority between themselves can be nested within a larger priority structure \\ various AltableBarriers intended to have different priorities . \\ assume these variables have real AltableBarrier \\ objects assigned AltableBarrier highBar , midBar1 , midBar2 , lowBar ; \\ create 3 different GuardGroups , one for each priority level . \\ note that mid has two AltableBarriers which are of \\ equal priority GuardGroup high = new GuardGroup ( new AltableBarrier []{ highBar } ); GuardGroup mid = new GuardGroup ( new AltableBarrier []{ midBar1 , midBar2 } ); GuardGroup low = new GuardGroup ( new AltableBarrier []{ lowBar } ); Guard [] guards = new Guard []{ high , mid , low }; Alternative alt = new Alternative ( guards );

96

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

5.3. Mechanisms for Manipulating Readiness As explained earlier (Section 3.1), the ability to express meaningful priority over multiway synchronisation requires the ability to express a future ability to engage on an event as well as the ability to correct for false positive and negative readiness tests. With regard to the former, a PCOMS barrier is considered ready if all of the enrolled processes have advertised the fact that they are able to synchronise on that barrier in the near future. To this end the all AltableBarrier objects have a flag indicating whether a process is PREPARED or UNPREPARED to synchronise on that barrier. For a synchronisation to be attempted all enrolled process must be PREPARED. These flags do not reflect whether or not a process is actually offering an event at any given moment. Instead it indicates whether or not (in the programmer’s opinion) that process will be in a position to offer that event within a reasonable time frame and that the process network as a whole will not deadlock if other processes act on this information. While a process is evaluating an Alternative’s priSelect() method, the state of this flag is managed automatically. A process becomes PREPARED to synchronise on a given barrier as soon as it is encountered in that Alternative, likewise it is automatically made UNPREPARED if a synchronisation attempt is made but that process fails to engage on that event before a timeout elapses (this state persisting until that process actually is in a position to engage on that event again). At all other times a user defined default state holds for each individual AltableBarrier object. It is however possible for the programmer to override this state temporarily (i.e. until the state is changed automatically) by calling the AltableBarrier’s setStatus() method or more permanently by overriding its default state by calling its setDefaultStatus() method. In general any process which regularly evaluates an Alternative containing a given AltableBarrier such as server processes should set this default to PREPARED. Conversely processes which act as clients or which wait for user or network input (and thus may be significantly delayed before attempting a synchronisation with a barrier) should set this default to UNPREPARED. While changes to the default after construction are left at the programmer’s discretion, such changes should be unnecessary unless a significant change in the behaviour of a process occurs. AltableBarrier bar1 = new AltableBarrier ( base , AltableBarrier . UNPREPARED ); AltableBarrier bar2 = new AltableBarrier ( base , AltableBarrier . PREPARED ); bar1 . setStatus ( AltableBarrier . PREPARED ); bar2 . setDefaultStatus ( AltableBarrier . UNPREPARED );

5.4. Discovery and Acknowledgement of Events After Selection Once an AltableBarrier has been selected by a call to the priSelect() method, the index returned by that method will indicate the GuardGroup object to which that barrier belongs. Calling the lastSynchronised() method on that GuardGroup will reveal the specific AltableBarrier selected. By this point the actual synchronisation on the barrier will have taken place. Therefore, unlike with JCSP channel synchronisations, it is unnecessary for the programmer to do anything else to complete or acknowledge the synchronisation having occurred. To paraphrase, an AltableBarrier is used in the same way as an AltingBarrier with two exceptions. The first being that AltableBarriers need to be enclosed in a GuardGroup to which it belongs. This GuardGroup must be interrogated if the selected barrier is ambiguous. The second is that priority cannot be expressed using AltingBarriers.

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

97

int index = alt . priSelect (); Guard selectedGuard = guards [ index ]; AltableBarrier selected = null ; if ( selectedGuard instanceof GuardGroup ) { GuardGroup group = ( GuardGroup ) selectedGuard ; selected = group . lastSynchronised (); } \\ The synchronisation has already taken place at this point , \\ no further action is required to acknowledge the event .

5.5. Current Limitations JCSP AltableBarriers (via an enclosing GuardGroup object) can be used with any number of existing JCSP Guards in any combination with two restrictions. The first is that no Alternative object may enclose both a GuardGroup and a AltingBarrier (the latter being the name of a class which implements the old Oracle algorithm). Code required to ensure consistency of selection for AltingBarriers can cause inconsistency for the new AltableBarriers. The second restriction is that only the priSelect() method of the Alternative class is considered safe for use with AltableBarriers, behaviour when using the select() or fairSelect() methods is not considered here. It should also be noted that the existing AltableBarrier implementation lacks any mechanism for allowing processes to resign from a barrier. This restriction is not intended to be permanent. In the interim processes wishing to resign from an AltableBarrier should spawn a new process and pass it the unwanted AltableBarrier object, this process should loop infinitely, offering to synchronise on that barrier with each iteration. Finally, AltableBarriers are incompatible with the use of any boolean preconditions.

6. Description of PCOMS Algorithm This section details the inner workings of the PCOMS algorithm as applied to JCSP. The algorithm is inspired in part by the 3 phase commit protocol [10]. Specifically the algorithm can be broken down into 3 distinct phases. The first concerns establishing whether or not an AltableBarrier (or group of AltableBarriers) is in a position for enrolled processes to begin pre-emptively waiting for a synchronisation to occur and selecting such a barrier in a manner consistent with priority ordering. The second phase involves waiting for the synchronisation itself and includes details of mechanisms for ensuring consistency of selection between processes as well as of the mechanisms for aborting synchronisation attempts. The third phase involves ensuring that any synchronisations are consistently reported by all processes. Details are also given for processes which have begun waiting on the ‘altmonitor’, an object unique to each instance of the Alternative class used to wake processes waiting for any (even non barrier) guards to become ready. While the possibility that this algorithm could be simplified should not be ruled out, the relative complexity of this algorithm serves to prevent deadlock. Much of the complexity is required for compatibility with existing Alternative Guards. For example, special provisions must be made for processes waiting on the altmonitor object. This is because such processes may be woken up by either a successful barrier synchronisation or by a conventional JCSP Guard.

98

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

6.1. Phase 1: Readiness Testing Figure 2 outlines the logic. All Guards in a JCSP Alternative have their readiness tested by a call to their enable() method: calling enable() on a GuardGroup initiates readiness tests on all of the AltableBarriers that that GuardGroup contains. A call to the enable() method of a GuardGroup returns true iff an attempt to synchronise on an AltableBarrier has been successful. When enable is called on a GuardGroup, it claims a global lock: this lock is required for all reading and writing operations to all data related to AltableBarrier synchronisations. This lock is not released until either a process begins waiting for a synchronisation to occur or the invoking enable() method has been completed and is ready to return. Once the global lock has been claimed, the process sets the status flag of all of the AltableBarriers contained in the GuardGroup (and all of those contained in higher priority GuardGroups1 ) to PREPARED. The next step is to select a barrier on which to attempt synchronisation. For each GuardGroup encountered in the Alternative so far, in priority order, all of the AltableBarriers in each GuardGroup are examined to see if they are PROBABLY READY. If no AltableBarriers are PROBABLY READY then the next GuardGroup is examined. If no AltableBarriers are ready in all of the GuardGroups under consideration, then the enable() method releases the global lock and returns false. If one or more AltableBarriers are found to be PROBABLY READY, then they are each tested to see if any have been selected by other processes. If some of them have, then those that have not are eliminated from consideration for now. In either case, an AltableBarrier is arbitrarily selected from the list of PROBABLY READY barriers which remain. In this way, an AltableBarrier is selected which is PROBABLY READY, of equal or greater priority to other possible barriers and is, if possible, the same choice of barrier as selected by the process’ peers. 6.2. Phase 2: Awaiting Completion The process holding the global lock now has an AltableBarrier on which it intends to attempt a synchronisation. It is already the case that this barrier is one of (or the) highest priority barriers currently available and that (where applicable) it is also a barrier which has been selected by other processes. However, there may be other processes enrolled on this barrier currently attempting to synchronise on other lower priority barriers. In order for the barrier synchronisation to complete, it is necessary for those processes waiting on other barriers to be stolen (see Section 6.2.1). These processes, where they could be stolen, continue to wait but are now waiting for the ‘stealing’ barrier to complete. See Figure 3. Having ensured maximum consistency between all processes attempting barrier synchronisations, the process holding the global lock checks to see if it is the last process required to complete the barrier synchronisation. If it is, then the waiting processes are informed of the successful synchronisation and woken up (see Section 6.3). If not, then the process will need to begin waiting – either for a successful synchronisation attempt or for the synchronisation to be aborted. If this is the only process currently attempting to synchronise on the barrier, then a timeout process is started (see Section 6.2.2) to ensure that any synchronisation attempt is not continued indefinitely. The BarrierFace is then updated to reflect the currently selected 1 During the time between the evaluation of one GuardGroup and another it is possible for a synchronisation attempt on an AltableBarrier to have timed-out. In such a case the currently running process may have had its status flag (associated with that barrier) set to UNPREPARED. Given that this process is now once again in a position to offer that event, it is necessary for such flags to be reset to PREPARED.

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

99

Figure 2. Flow Chart showing Phase 1.

barrier and an object representing a local lock used to wake the process once it has begun waiting. The object used for this local lock is the enclosing Alternative object itself: this has the virtue of being unique to each process and of being distinct from the Alternative’s altmonitor (this is to avoid the process being woken up by non-barrier guards becoming ready). Then, the process claims its local lock and, afterwards, releases the global lock. It then calls the local lock object’s wait() method, meaning that the process will sleep either until a barrier synchronisation is successful or its synchronisation attempt is aborted. During

100

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

this waiting time a process may be stolen (see Section 6.2.1) any number of times. For the purposes of ensuring deadlock freedom, it is important to note that all processes which wait for synchronisations to complete – as well as processes which wake them up – have always claimed the global lock first, then claim the local lock before releasing the global lock. When waiting processes are woken up, they initially own their local lock and then claim the global lock; this inversion in the order in which locks are claimed can potentially cause deadlock. To counter this, there are two strict conditions imposed on waking processes: 1. A process must first be waiting before another process can attempt to wake it. 2. The BarrierFace of each process has a ‘waking’ flag which is set to true once a process has woken it up. No process will attempt to wake a process with a true ‘waking’ flag. This means that locks are always claimed in the order global-then-local until a process is woken up, after which locks are claimed in the order local-then-global. In summary a process attempting a synchronisation will do one of two things. If it is the last process required to complete a synchronisation, it will do so. Otherwise it will begin waiting for the synchronisation to complete or for the attempt to be aborted. In any case, after this phase has been completed, the process in question will know whether or not it successfully synchronised on a barrier and, if so, which one. If synchronisation was successful, then phase 3 (Section 6.3) ensures that this is consistently reported by all processes involved.

Figure 3. Flow Chart showing Phase 2.

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

101

6.2.1. Stealing Stealing is the way in which processes enrolled on a given barrier but currently waiting for the completion of different barriers are switched from waiting on the latter to the former. For each of the processes enrolled on the stealing barrier the following tests are run, failing any means that the process isn’t stolen: 1. Is the process currently evaluating an Alternative? 2. Is it currently waiting for the completion of another barrier? 3. Does the stealing barrier have and equal or higher priority than the old barrier from the point of view of the process being stolen? 2 4. Is the process’ ‘waking’ flag still false? If these conditions are met then the process is stolen by simply changing the AltableBarrier object recorded in the process’ BarrierFace. 6.2.2. Timeouts A timeout process is created when the first process enrolled on a barrier begins waiting for its completion, its purpose is to abort synchronisation attempts on a barrier which take too long. When created and started in its own Thread a timeout process waits for a time period dependant on the number of processes enrolled on its corresponding barrier. Currently this time period is 500 milliseconds multiplied by the number of enrolled processes. This formula is entirely arbitrary but has proved to be a generous estimation of the time required to complete barrier synchronisations of any size. A more detailed analysis of PCOMS barrier performance would be required to minimise the time spent waiting for false-positive synchronisation attempts. When the timeout period has elapsed the timeout process claims the global lock and examines an internal flag, the state of which depends on whether or not the barrier synchronisation was successful while the timeout process was asleep, if it was then it releases the global lock and terminates. If the synchronisation attempt has yet to complete then the timeout process aborts the synchronisation attempt in the following way. Each process enrolled on that barrier but which is not currently attempting to synchronise on it has its status flag (associated with the timed-out barrier) set to UNPREPARED. In other words, that process’ assertion that it will synchronise on that barrier in the near future has been proven false therefore it is amended to UNPREPARED until such time as that process is in a position to synchronise on the barrier. Changing the status of some processes to UNPREPARED means that the barrier as a whole is no longer PROBABLY READY, such a change is the only way in which synchronisation attempts are aborted. All processes currently waiting on the aborted barrier have their BarrierFace objects amended to reflect that they are no longer waiting for any barrier. Normally, these processes also have their ‘waking’ flags set to true and are then awoken. If any of these processes are waiting on the altmonitor (see Section 6.4), they are not awoken. Currently there is no mechanism for the programmer to set or terminate these timeouts manually nor to change the amount of time that an event takes to timeout. 6.3. Phase 3: Ensuring Consistency Having progressed past phases 1 and 2, a process will have selected a barrier to attempt a synchronisation on and will have either succeeded or failed to synchronise (in the interim it may 2 A process waiting for the completion of a barrier may be stolen by a barrier which the process considers to be of equal priority. This is allowed because the process which initiated the stealing may have a specific priority ordering (where the process being stolen does not) or the stealing process may not be enrolled on the same set of events.

102

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

have been stolen by another barrier). In either case, the result must be acted on such that the process either continues to searching for another guard to select or acknowledges a successful synchronisation and ensures that the acknowledgement is consistent for all processes. At this stage, a process will have access to its BarrierFace which will either contain the AltableBarrier on which the process has synchronised or will contain a null value in its place. If the latter is the case, then the synchronisation attempt was aborted, the process moves back to phase 1 and either attempts a new synchronisation or (if no AltableBarriers are PROBABLY READY) the enable() method terminates returning false. If the process did synchronise, a number of things need to be done to ensure that this is reported correctly. The most important complication is that the enable() method invoked belongs to a specific GuardGroup, which in turn represents one or more AltableBarrier objects contained within. However, because a process may be stolen by a barrier in another GuardGroup, the Guard that the Alternative selects may be different from the GuardGroup whose enable() method has been called. The selected AltableBarrier has a reference to the GuardGroup which contains it: this GuardGroup has a field called ‘lastSynchronised’ and the selected AltableBarrier is assigned to this field. Whether or not the currently executing GuardGroup contains the selected AltableBarrier, the global lock is released and the enable method returns true. Returning true here causes the previously enabled Guards to be disabled in reverse order. The disable() method of a GuardGroup (which also begins by claiming the global lock) changes the status of all the AltableBarriers it contains from PREPARED back to its default value. If the GuardGroup’s ‘lastSynchronised’ field has been set to a non-null value (i.e. the selected AltableBarrier belongs to this GuardGroup), then the executing process releases the global lock and synchronises on a ‘gatekeeper’ barrier (this being a Barrier object with the same set of enrolled processes as its corresponding AltableBarrier). This prevents synchronised processes from proceeding until they have all been woken up and have executed the important parts of their disable() methods. The disable() method returns true iff its ‘lastSynchronised’ field is set to a non null value. The Alternative class has also been subtly altered such that if a GuardGroup’s disable() method ever returns true, then that GuardGroup’s index is returned by the priSelect() method in preference to any non-barrier Guards which may have become ready in the interim. In this way, all processes that have successfully synchronised on a barrier will have stopped their Alternative’s enable sequence and begun disabling all previously enabled Guards. Only the GuardGroup that contains the successful AltableBarrier will return true when its disable() method is called; no process will be able to proceed until all other processes enrolled on that barrier have also woken up (this prevents processes from waking up, acknowledging the successful synchronisation and then immediately selecting the same event again in the same Alternative). The Alternative class itself has been subtly altered to prevent the readiness of non-barrier Guards from taking precedence over a GuardGroup. 6.4. Behaviour when Waiting on the Altmonitor When a process begins waiting for a barrier synchronisation during a call to enable() in a GuardGroup, that process can only be woken by the success or failure of barrier synchronisations. However, when an Alternative has enabled all of its Guards, it begins waiting on its altmonitor; when any of the enabled Guards become ready, the process is woken up (this includes non-barrier Guards). As such, the way in which processes waiting on their altmonitor are dealt with is subtly different. The following is a list of those differences: 1. After the last GuardGroup in the Alternative has its enable() method called, the global lock is not released. It remains claimed until just before the process begins waiting on the altmonitor. This eliminates the possibility that another process may attempt to

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

103

steal it in the interim, since this process is no longer in a position to initiate synchronisation attempts it must always be in a position where it can be stolen. 2. Prior to waiting on the altmonitor, the process’ BarrierFace indicates that the altmonitor is its local lock (for the purposes of waking the process) and that it is currently not attempting to synchronise on any event. 3. While the process is waiting, it is not possible for aborted synchronisation attempts to wake it. Only a successful synchronisation attempt or a non-barrier Guard becoming ready will wake the process. 4. When waking up, the process must immediately claim the global lock in order to check whether or not a barrier synchronisation has occurred. If it has, then the process’s BarrierFace sets its ‘waking’ flag to true. If it has not, then the possibility remains open for any given barrier to be selected until such time as its GuardGroup’s disable() method is called. These changes modify the behaviour associated with waiting for barrier synchronisation to allow for possibility of non-barrier guards being selected, while eliminating risks of inconsistency and / or deadlock. 7. Testing This section outlines some of the tests run to build confidence in the deadlock freedom of AltableBarriers, as well as to compare AltableBarriers with the previous AltingBarrier’s algorithm. The source code for all of these tests is available in a branch of the main JCSP subversion repository [15]. All of these tests are part of the org.jcsp.demos.altableBarriers package. For brevity the pertinent sections of all of the test programs are rendered as occam-π pseudo-code. For the purposes of assessing performance, it should be noted that at the time of writing, the source code for several AltableBarrier related classes contain a significant quantity of debugging statements sent to the standard output. Also no attempts have yet been made to optimise any of the source code. 7.1. Stress Testing Since a formal proof of deadlock has not been attempted, the VisualDemo class exists as a means of stress testing as much of the AltableBarrier’s functionality as possible. It is designed to test the responsiveness of processes to infrequently triggered high priority events, compatibility with existing channel input guards as well as the ability to permit the arbitrary selection of nested low priority events. The process network (Figure 4) centres around processes of following type, connected in a ring via AltableBarriers labelled ‘left’ and ‘right’: PROC node ( BARRIER pause , left , right , CHAN SIGNAL mid ) WHILE TRUE PRI ALT SYNC pause SYNC pause mid ? SIGNAL SKIP ALT SYNC left SKIP SYNC right SKIP :

104

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

  











  

  

Figure 4. Process diagram showing the way in which node processes are connected in the VisualDemo class

As well as all ‘node’ processes, the ‘pause’ barrier is enrolled on by another process which defaults as UNPREPARED. In an infinite loop it waits for 5 seconds before offering only the ‘pause’ barrier. As such, every 5 seconds all node processes synchronise on the ‘pause’ barrier and then wait a further 5 seconds before being unpaused. Each process is also connected via its ‘mid’ channel to another process (one each per node). This process, in an infinite loop, waits for a random timeout between 0 and 10 seconds then sends a signal to its corresponding node process via its ‘mid’ channel. Thus, when not synchronising on the ‘pause’ barrier, a node process may synchronise on an ordinary channel communication at random but relatively regular intervals. When not synchronising on the ‘pause’ or ‘mid’ events, node processes synchronise with either of their neighbouring node processes. The selection is arbitrary however where one of the node’s neighbours has synchronised on its mid channel, the node process selects the other neighbour (no excessive waiting for the other process to synchronise on its event). As the name suggests, the VisualDemo class offers a GUI interface which shows these events happening graphically in real time. Although no timing analysis of this system has been attempted, at high numbers of processes (˜100) the ‘pause’ barrier can take a palpably long time to complete a synchronisation (>1 second after the event first becomes available). This test can be left to run over several days and has yet to deadlock. While this does not eliminate the possibility of deadlock it is the most complete test of the capabilities of AltableBarriers devised at the time of writing. As such the algorithm is considered to be provisionally deadlock free. 7.2. Comparison with Oracle To compare the relative performance of AltingBarriers with AltableBarriers, a process network consisting of node processes connected in a ring is constructed. The number of node processes in the network is determined by a ‘PROCESSES’ field. Each node process is connected to a number of processes ahead of it by barriers, the number of nodes it is connected to is determined by the ‘OVERLAP’ field. Therefore each node is enrolled on ‘OVERLAP’

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

105

number of barriers, this connects itself with (‘OVERLAP’-1) processes ahead of it in the process ring. The pseudo-code for each node is as follows: PROC node ( VAL INT id , [] BARRIER bars ) INITIAL INT count IS 0: INT start . time , end . time : TIMER tim : SEQ tim ? start . time WHILE TRUE SEQ ALT i = 0 FOR OVERLAP SYNC bars [ i ] count := count + 1 IF (( count > ITERATIONS ) AND ( id = 0)) SEQ tim ? end . time out . write (( end . time - start . time ) , out !) KILL -- terminate all procs , test proc has finished TRUE SKIP :

When the process network is started each node makes an arbitrary selection over the barriers that it is enrolled on. It then increments a counter for every iteration of this choice. Once the first node in the network (the node with an ID of 0) has reached a fixed number of iterations the entire network is terminated. The amount of time elapsed between the process network starting and it terminating can be used to compare the performance when the barriers are implemented as AltingBarriers versus when they are implemented as AltableBarriers. The first set of results has a fixed ring of 50 processes, completing 100 iterations. The number of processes to which each node was connected was varied to highlight its effect on speed at which these external choices are resolved. A network using AltingBarriers is tested as is one using AltableBarriers where all processes default to PREPARED, finally a network using AltableBarriers where all processes default to UNPREPARED is also used. Table 1. Time (ms) for 50 processes to complete 100 iterations Overlap 2 3 4

AltingBarrier 250 294 303

PREPARED 12867 13622 14093

UNPREPARED 19939 33652 57939

It is immediately apparent that the existing JCSP AltingBarrier algorithm is approximately two orders of magnitude faster than both versions of the AltableBarrier algorithm. The degree to which this difference is due to inherent algorithm complexity versus debugging statements, spawning of extra processes and a lack of optimisation is unclear. A detailed analysis of the effects of these factors is beyond the scope of this paper. Both the AltingBarrier and ‘PREPARED’ networks show modest increases in their completion times as the set of barriers evaluated increases whereas the ‘UNPREPARED’ network shows a more dramatic increase. This discrepancy may be due to the need of the ‘UNPREPARED’ nodes to examine (and initially reject as unready) all barriers that it encounters until all enrolled processes are in a position to synchronise. Conversely the ‘PREPARED’ nodes will select a barrier to attempt a synchronisation with immediately.

106

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

The next experiment uses the same AltingBarrier, ‘PREPARED’ and ‘UNPREPARED’ set up as the previous one. However the number of barriers each node is enrolled on is limited to two, the number of processes in the ring is instead varied to examine its effect on performance. As before, 100 iterations are required to terminate the process network. Here, Table 2. Time (ms) to complete 100 iteration for processes overlapped by two Num processes 25 50 75 100

AltingBarrier 70 111 330 638

PREPARED 5818 11066 17957 24432

UNPREPARED 13218 28545 34516 44308

the AltingBarrier network shows a steeper (possibly n*n) relationship between the number of processes and completion time. The two AltableBarrier implementations show a steadier (possibly linear) relation to the number of processes. As before the ‘PREPARED’ network outperforms the ‘UNPREPARED’ one. In both experiments the older AltingBarrier algorithm is significantly faster than networks using AltableBarriers. In both experiments nodes which defaulted to being ‘PREPARED’ to synchronise on their barriers outperformed those which were ‘UNPREPARED’. 7.3. Priority Conflict Resolution The pre-existing JCSP AltingBarrier class lacked any mechanism for expressing priority over events. By adding such mechanisms the AltableBarrier class makes it possible for the unwary programmer to introduce priority conflicts. Since the priority of events in an external choice are determined locally, it is possible that these priorities can be defined in such a way as to conflict with eachother. To test the behaviour of AltableBarriers under these conditions and to ensure that such code results in an arbitrary choice, the ConflictTest class creates a network of processes like the following: PROC P1 ( BARRIER a , b ) WHILE TRUE PRI ALT SYNC a SKIP SYNC b SKIP : PROC P2 ( BARRIER a , b ) WHILE TRUE PRI ALT SYNC b SKIP SYNC a SKIP :

Both P1 and P2 are enrolled on barriers ‘a’ and ‘b’. P1 processes prefer to synchronise on ‘a’ over ‘b’, while the opposite is true of P2. In both cases all processes are considered to be PREPARED to synchronise on both barriers. So long as the process network as a whole contains at least one P1 and P2 processes the behaviour of the program is the same. All P1 processes immediately begin to wait pre-emptively for event ‘a’ to complete while all P2 processes wait for ‘b’. Both sets of processes deadlock until one of the barrier

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

107

synchronisation attempts times out, as an example we will presume that ‘a’ times out first. As such all processes not waiting for it to complete (all P2 processes) have their status with regard to ‘a’ set to UNPREPARED, all P1 processes then abort their synchronisation attempt on ‘a’. Since all P1 processes have abandoned waiting for ‘a’, they are now in a position to consider ‘b’. Either all P1 processes will synchronise on ‘b’ before its synchronisation attempt times out or ‘b’ will timeout and there will be a brief interval during which both ‘a’ and ‘b’ will be considered to be not PROBABLY READY. During this period a number of processes will reassert their readiness to synchronise on both barriers and begin waiting on the ‘altmontior’ until either event is ready. Since it will always be the case that there will be at least one process not waiting on the altmonitor, there will always be at least one process capable of arbitrating the conflict. Any further iterations of this choice are likely to be resolved in the same way without the initial delay. Again assuming that ‘b’ was selected over ‘a’, all P2 processes are still considered UNPREPARED to synchronise on ‘a’, since they have have not encountered a guard containing ‘a’ they have no opportunity to reset their status flag to their default of PREPARED. This means that all P2 processes begin waiting on ‘b’ as usual. All P1 processes, seeing that ‘a’ is not PROBABLY READY, skip ‘a’ and immediately synchronise on ‘b’. This means that although priority conflicts can be (and are) resolved as arbitrary selections, there can be significant performance delays associated with making that choice. It is therefore recommended that nested priority be used to avoid delays caused by priority conflicts. If both P1 and P2 consider ‘a’ and ‘b’ to be of the same priority then there are no delays in making a selection. 8. Discussion Given the testing (Section 7) performed so far it is possible to provisionally conclude that process networks using AltableBarriers are robust and that they are not vulnerable to priority conflicts. The comparison tests with the existing AltingBarrier algorithm reveals that AltableBarriers should be avoided for performance reasons where the ability to prioritise barrier events is not required. If priority is required and if performance is not an issue, AltableBarriers are useful and offer trivial or manageable delays for modest process networks. 8.1. Future Work Existing tests have already established that AltableBarriers can be used to atomically pause or terminate process networks and that (using nested priority) this need not affect the existing priority framework or introduce priority conflict. This section details as yet untested patterns for ensuring fairness, avoiding starvation and (possibly) affecting the probability of events being selected. 8.1.1. Fair Alting Where nested priority is used, selection of the barriers within that block is considered to be arbitrary, therefore no guarantees are made about the fairness of that selection in general. Similarly fair alting cannot be achieved in the same way that is achieved using channel guards (imposing a priority ordering on all events with the last selected guard last). This is because imposing a priority ordering on all barriers where those barriers have overlapping sets of enrolled processes leads to priority conflicts. To get around this problem, code of the following type could be used to ensure a degree of fairness:

108

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation PROC fair . alter ([] BARRIER bars ) BARRIER last . selected : WHILE TRUE PRI ALT ALT i = 0 FOR SIZE bars ( NOT ( bars [ i ] = last . selected )) && SYNC bars [ i ] last . selected := bars [ i ] SYNC last . selected SKIP :

Care must be taken to chose an initially consistent ‘last.selected’ for all processes, it is also important to note that preconditions are not currently compatible with AltableBarriers and that the ‘last.selected’ barrier would need to be fully removed from the nested priority block. However this system ensures that all processes consider the last selected barrier event to be of a lower priority than its peers without imposing a conflict prone priority structure on the rest of the barriers. Further because the selection of the low priority barrier is done on the basis of the last selected barrier, this change in the priority ordering is guaranteed to be consistent for all processes enrolled on that barrier, therefore there this does not cause a priority conflict. While this may prevent any one event dominating all others, it may not however guarantee complete fairness. The possibility exists that in sets of overlapping events larger than two, two events may consistently alternate as the last selected barrier. 8.1.2. Partial Priority As well allowing for a general priority structure while avoiding priority conflicts, nested priority may be useful in affecting the probability of one or more events being selected. This proposed scheme will be known as partial priority from this point onwards. Consider the simplified model of the SITE processes in the TUNA blood clotting model [11] in Section 3.2, no priority ordering is imposed on any of the events. In the case of the old JCSP AltingBarriers this meant that the ‘pass’ events were always selected over the ‘tock’ event. Using AltableBarriers also allows for arbitrary selection of events, in practice (and in the absence of preferences by other processes) the event initially selected by any process is the first one listed in a GuardGroup. As such if the ‘pass’ events are occur before the ‘tock’ event in a GuardGroup, the ‘pass’ events are naturally favoured over the ‘tock’ event. Now consider what happens if one process, selected at random, prioritises ‘tock’ over the ‘pass’ barriers: PROC site ([] BARRIER pass , BARRIER tock ) WHILE TRUE PRI ALT SYNC tock SKIP ALT i = 0 FOR SIZE pass SYNC pass [ i ] SKIP :

Since the behaviour of processes with regards to priority is determined locally and since process scheduling is unpredictable in JCSP, it is reasonable to assume that a number of unprioritised SITE processes will be scheduled before the prioritised one. These processes will initially select ‘pass’ events to synchronise on. Eventually some of these ‘pass’ events will complete. However once the prioritised SITE process is scheduled it immediately selects the ‘tock’ event and steals any other processes waiting for other events. Thus, an unpredictable

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

109

(possibly random) number of processes will complete ‘pass’ events before all processes are made to synchronise on the ‘tock’ event. Using partial priority in this way may be another way in which starvation can be avoided in otherwise priority free external choices. It may or may not be the case that using this approach will have a predictable effect on the probability of certain events being selected. 8.1.3. Modelling in CSP While it is possible to provisionally assert that the AltableBarrier algorithm is deadlock free given the stress tests run on it, it is not possible to guarantee this until the algorithm has been modelled in CSP. At the time of writing no such CSP models have been attempted. Despite this (and the relative complexity of the algorithm) modelling the AltableBarrier algorithm in CSP should not be considered intractable. Two different approaches to modelling the algorithm may be attempted. The first is to model the algorithm in detail, this would almost certainly require modelling individual fields as separate processes. The second is to strip the algorithm down to its barest essentials (more or less a model of the 3 phase commit protocol [10]) and identify the circumstances where such a simple system could deadlock. The rest of the verification process would then consist of proving that such circumstances are impossible (this may or may not be done using CSP). 9. Conclusion The AltableBarriers algorithm presented in this paper, although noticeably slower than using the existing JCSP AltingBarrier class, can be practically applied to the prioritisation of multiway synchronisation. This allows large, infrequently triggered barrier events with large sets of enrolled processes to be consistently selected over smaller barrier events as well as channel communications without any major changes to existing JCSP classes. As such AltableBarriers are applicable in such problems as graceful termination as well as atomically pausing entire process networks. By allowing multiway synchronisations to be prioritised, it is no longer the case that events with small sets of enrolled processes are automatically favoured over events with large sets. Further the ability to create groups of events with no internal priority within larger priority structures allows the programmer to avoid priority conflicts. While as yet untested, there also appears to be no reason not to avoid possible problems of starvation. Partial priority as well as fair alting provide mechanisms for ensuring a degree of fairness in otherwise priority free arbitrary selections. Acknowledgements The comments of the anonymous reviewers on this paper are gratefully appreciated. Credit is also due to Peter Welch and Fred Barnes (and to CPA’s contributors in general) whose collective musings on the subject have helped to shape this research. This work is part of the CoSMoS project, funded by EPSRC grant EP/E053505/1. References [1] C.A.R. Hoare. Communicating Sequential Processes. Communications of the ACM, 21(8):666–677, August 1978. [2] A.W. Roscoe. The Theory and Practice of Concurrency. Prentice Hall, 1997. ISBN: 0-13-674409-5. [3] A.A. McEwan. Concurrent program development, d.phil thesis. The University of Oxford, 2006.

110

D.N. Warren / Prioritised Choice over Multiway Synchronisation

[4] P.H. Welch, N.C.C. Brown, J. Moores, K. Chalmers, and B. Sputh. Alting barriers: synchronisation with choice in Java using CSP. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, 22:1049–1062, 2010. [5] P.H. Welch, N.C.C. Brown, J. Moores, K. Chalmers, and B. Sputh. Integrating and Extending JCSP. In Alistair A. McEwan, Steve Schneider, Wilson Ifill, and Peter Welch, editors, Communicating Process Architectures 2007, volume 65 of Concurrent Systems Engineering Series, pages 349–370, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, July 2007. IOS Press. ISBN: 978-1-58603-767-3. [6] P.H. Welch and P.D. Austin. The JCSP (CSP for Java) Home Page, 1999. Accessed 1st. May, 2011: http://www.cs.kent.ac.uk/projects/ofa/jcsp/. [7] P.H. Welch and F.R.M. Barnes. Communicating mobile processes: introducing occam-pi. In A.E. Abdallah, C.B. Jones, and J.W. Sanders, editors, 25 Years of CSP, volume 3525 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 175–210. Springer Verlag, April 2005. [8] P.H. Welch and F.R.M. Barnes. Mobile Barriers for occam-pi: Semantics, Implementation and Application. In J.F. Broenink, H.W. Roebbers, J.P.E. Sunter, P.H. Welch, and D.C. Wood, editors, Communicating Process Architectures 2005, volume 63 of Concurrent Systems Engineering Series, pages 289–316, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 2005. IOS Press. ISBN: 1-58603-561-4. [9] C. Mohan and B. Lindsay. Efficient commit protocols for the tree of processes model of distributed transactions. ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review, 19(2):40–52, 1985. [10] D. Skeen and M. Stonebraker. A formal model of crash recovery in a distributed system. IEEE Transactions On Software Engineering, SE-9:219–228, 1983. [11] P.H. Welch, F.R.M. Barnes, and F.A.C. Polack. Communicating complex systems. In M.G. Hinchey, editor, Proceedings of the 11th IEEE International Conference on Engineering of Complex Computer Systems (ICECCS-2006), pages 107–117, Stanford, California, August 2006. IEEE. ISBN: 0-7695-2530X. [12] C.J. Fidge. A formal definition of priority in csp. ACM Transactions on Programming Languages, Vol 15. No 4:681–705, 1993. [13] G. Lowe. Extending csp with tests for availability. Communicating Process Architectures, pages 325–347, 2009. [14] D.N. Warren. PCOMS source code. Accessed 1st. May, 2011: http://projects.cs.kent.ac.uk/ projects/jcsp/svn/jcsp/branches/dnw3_altbar/src/org/jcsp/lang/. [15] D.N. Warren. PCOMS test code. Accessed 1st. May, 2011: http://projects.cs.kent.ac.uk/ projects/jcsp/svn/jcsp/branches/dnw3_altbar/src/org/jcsp/demos/altableBarriers/.

Communicating Process Architectures 2011 P.H. Welch et al. (Eds.) IOS Press, 2011 © 2011 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved. doi:10.3233/978-1-60750-774-1-111

111

An Analysis of Programmer Productivity versus Performance for High Level Data Parallel Programming Alex COLE a , Alistair McEWAN a and Satnam SINGH b a Embedded Systems Lab, University Of Leicester b Microsoft Research, Cambridge Abstract. Data parallel programming provides an accessible model for exploiting the power of parallel computing elements without resorting to the explicit use of low level programming techniques based on locks, threads and monitors. The emergence of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) with hundreds or thousands of processing cores has made data parallel computing available to a wider class of programmers. GPUs can be used not only for accelerating the processing of computer graphics but also for general purpose data-parallel programming. Low level data-parallel programming languages based on the Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) provide an approach for developing programs for GPUs but these languages require explicit creation and coordination of threads and careful data layout and movement. This has created a demand for higher level programming languages and libraries which raise the abstraction level of data-parallel programming and increase programmer productivity. The Accelerator system was developed by Microsoft for writing data parallel code in a high level manner which can execute on GPUs, multicore processors using SSE3 vector instructions and FPGA chips. This paper compares the performance and development effort of the high level Accelerator system against lower level systems which are more difficult to use but may yield better results. Specifically, we compare against the NVIDIA CUDA compiler and sequential C++ code considering both the level of abstraction in the implementation code and the execution models. We compare the performance of these systems using several case studies. For some classes of problems, Accelerator has a performance comparable to CUDA, but for others its performance is significantly reduced; however in all cases it provides a model which is easier to use and enables greater programmer productivity. Keywords. GPGPU, Accelerator, CUDA, comparisons.

Introduction The emergence of low cost and high performance GPUs has made data-parallel computing widely accessible. The hundreds or thousands of processing cores on GPUs can be used not only for rendering images but they may also be subverted for general purpose data-parallel computations. To relieve the programmer for thinking in terms of graphics processing architectural features (e.g. textures, pixel shaders and vertex shaders) the manufacturers of GPUs have developed C-like programming languages that raise the abstraction level for GPU programming beyond pixel and vertex shaders to the level of data-parallel operations over arrays. However, these languages still require the programmer to think in fairly low level terms e.g. explicitly manage the creation and synchronization of threads as well as manage data layout and movement and the programmer also has to write code for the host processor to manage the movement of data to and from the graphics card and to correctly initiate a sequence of

112

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

operations. For some programmers it may be important to control every aspect of the computation in order to achieve maximum performance and it is justifiable to expend significant effort (weeks or months) to devise an extremely efficient solution. However, often one wishes to trade programmer productivity against performance – i.e. implement a data-parallel computation in a few minutes or hours and achieve around 80% of the performance that might be available from a higher cost solution that takes more effort to develop. Originally, writing data-parallel programs for execution on GPUs required knowledge of graphics cards, graphics APIs and shaders to set up and pass the data and code correctly. Over time, libraries and languages were developed to abstract these details away. The Accelerator library from Microsoft [1] is one such library. Accelerator provides a high level interface to writing data parallel code using parallel array objects and operations on those arrays. This interface hides target details, with the array objects and operations representing generic data so that Accelerator can be retargeted with little effort. Note that a “target” is the device on which code is run and Accelerator supports more than just a GPU. A Just In Time compiler (JIT) is used to convert high level descriptions to target-specific instructions at run time. As the popularity of General Purpose GPU computing (GPGPU) increased, GPU manufacturers started to develop systems with dedicated hardware and associated GPGPU software such as NVIDIA’s CUDA [2]. Older methods encoded data and code in graphics terms and ran through the full graphics pipeline, including parts which were only relevant to graphics. These newer systems provide direct access to the major processing elements of a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) and a native programming model. Although these systems provide more direct access, they have returned to requiring lower level knowledge of the (non-graphics specific) hardware. On the other hand, more abstract systems still require no detailed knowledge. CUDA code is often tightly matched to a device on which it is to run for optimisation purposes, Accelerator code can be retargeted to different classes of hardware very quickly. The question is how do these systems compare, and how do they compare to no data parallel code at all (i.e. sequential C++ code)? Are any penalties incurred by using the JIT in Accelerator, and how do development efforts compare for similar performances? Do the gains outweigh any penalties or is the abstraction simply too high? This paper presents an overview of the history of data parallelism with a focus on GPGPU in Section 1. It then examines Accelerator and compares it with CUDA on a GPU and sequential C++ code on a multi-core Central Processing Unit (CPU). These comparisons are performed for a number of case studies (Section 2), namely convolution (Section 3) and electrostatic charge map estimation (Section 4). Each case study includes an introduction to the algorithm, results and a conclusion; with the paper finished by a discussion on development (Section 5) and conclusions (Section 6). The following contributions are made: • A comparison of the programming models used in CUDA, Accelerator and C++ code executed on a regular processor. • A demonstration that very good speed-ups can be obtained using Accelerator from descriptions that are high level and easier to write than their CUDA counterparts. • A demonstration that the Accelerator model provides a higher level technique for data-parallel computing that permits good performance gains with a greater degree of programmer productivity than CUDA. 1. Background 1.1. Data Parallelism Data-parallel programming is a model of computation where the same operation is performed on every element of some data-structure. The operation to be performed on each element is

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

113

typically sequential although for nested data-parallel systems it may itself be a data-parallel operation. We limit ourselves to sequential operations. Furthermore, we limit ourselves to operations that are independent i.e. it does not matter in which order we apply the operation over the data-structure. This allows us to exploit data-parallel hardware by performing several data-parallel operations simultaneously. Key distinguishing features of such data-parallel programs is that they are deterministic (i.e. every time you run them you get the same answer); they do not require the programmer to explicitly write with threads and locks and synchronization (this is done automatically by the compiler and run-time); and the programmer’s model of the system in essence needs only a single ‘program counter’ i.e. this model facilities debugging. This technique allows us to perform data-parallel operations over large data sets quickly but requires special hardware to exploit the parallel description. There are multiple types of data parallel systems, including Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) and Single Program Multiple Data (SPMD). The former is a single instance of a program operating on multiple sets of data at once; an example of this is the Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) instruction set on modern x86 processors. The latter is multiple instances of the same program running in parallel, with each instance operating on a subset of the data. The former performs multiple operations in lockstep, the latter may not. One important aspect of data parallel code is the independence of the data—performing the required calculation on one section of the data before another section should give the same results as performing the calculations in a different order. 1.2. Graphics Processing Units To render an image on a screen may require the processing of millions of pixels at a sufficiently high rate to give a Frames Per Second (FPS) count which is smooth to the eye. For example a 60Hz 1080p HDTV displays over 124 million pixels per second. This is a massively compute intensive task which involves converting 3D scene descriptions to 2D screen projections. A GPU performs this task in parallel by utilising a highly specialised processing pipeline which can apply custom rendering effects in the form of shaders to large numbers of pixels. This GPU can be part of a dedicated graphics card or integrated on to the main board of a PC, laptop or even now phones. The processing pipeline of the GPU, and the memory in dedicated systems are well suited to high data throughput with emphasis on the number of parallel operations rather than the time for one operation. The memory system may take hundreds of clock cycles to complete a read request but then delivers a batch of data at once. The memory system can have multiple requests in various stages of completion at once. Older GPUs contained multiple user programmable stages within the pipeline for custom processing (called “shaders”). One for calculating custom lighting and colouring effects across a complete primitive (triangle) and another for calculating per-pixel effects. The operations within these stages are relatively simple when compared to the capabilities of many modern CPUs; however, one GPU will contain hundreds or thousands of these simple cores (the NVIDIA GeForce GTX480 contains 480 [3], the ATI Radeon HD 5970 contains 3200 [4]). Each core is assigned a fraction of the total workload, leading to the desired high throughput. More modern GPUs still contain this configurable ability but the range of operations available to each stage has increased, leading to a convergence allowing the stages to be combined into a “unified shader”. 1.3. General Purpose Graphic Processing Unit Computing GPGPU is using a GPU for calculations other than just graphics, i.e. general purpose calculations [5,6]. This field largely took off with the advent of configurable graphics cards, though some work had been done as far back as 1978 [7] and more recently using fixed function

114

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

   



    

   



    

 



    

!!    



     

     

 

" #  !  



    

  



Figure 1. Expression Graph

pipelines (those without shaders) [8,9,10]. These configurable cards allowed a great deal of transformations to be applied to data, though only when presented as graphics data and graphics shader operations. This involved converting data to textures and operations to shaders, then passing both to a standard graphics pipeline to render an output which was saved as the result. Many systems such as Sh [11], Brook [12] and Scout [13] were developed to abstract the graphics APIs used for the processing. These systems meant that users were not required to learn about the underlying hardware and this is where Microsoft’s Accelerator library [1] is targeted. More modern GPGPU developments use a unified shader architecture. As the capabilities of the various pipeline shader stages increased their abilities largely converged, allowing the physical hardware for the stages to be combined into a single block of cores. This allowed for better load balancing and design optimisation, but also led to the development of direct access systems which better utilised this shader for GPGPU. This model allows a programmer to pass data and code to the GPU shaders more directly, removing the reliance on the graphics pipeline and graphics concepts. Direct access systems include CUDA [2] by NVIDIA, Close To Metal (CTM)/Stream by ATI (discontinued), DirectCompute by Microsoft and OpenCL by the Khronos group. These systems are still very low level. To get the best performance requires writing code to take into account low level designs issues such as memory location and thread layout. 1.4. Accelerator Accelerator is based around a collection of data-parallel arrays and data-parallel operations which are used in a direct and intuitive style to express data-parallel programs. The Accelerator system performs a significant number of powerful optimizations to produce efficient code which is quickly JIT-ed into GPU code via DirectX or into SIMD SSE4 code using a customized JIT-er. The data-parallel computation to be instantiated on a target like an FPGA is represented as an expression tree that contains nodes for operations and memory transforms (e.g. see Figure 1). The Accelerator system supports several types of data-parallel arrays (floating point, integer, boolean and multi-dimensional arrays) and a rich collection of data-parallel operations. These include element-wise operations, reduction operations and rank changing operations. A very important aspect of Accelerator’s design is the provision of

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

Section (bi , ci , si , b j , c j , s j ) Shift (m, n) Rotate (m, n) Replicate (m, n) Expand (bi , ai , b j , a j ) Pad (m, ai , m, a j , c) Transpose(1,0)

115

Ri, j = Abi + si × i, b j + s j × j Ri, j = Ai−m, j−n Ri, j = A(i−m)modM,( j−n)modN Ri, j = Ai mod m, j mod n Ri, j = Ai−bi modM,( j−b j )modN  Ai−m, j−n if in bounds Ri, j = c otherwise Ri, j = A j,i

Figure 2. Examples of transform operations of size M × N arrays

operators that specify memory access patterns and these are exploited by each target to help produce efficient vector code, GPU code or FPGA circuits. Examples of memory transform operations are shown in Figure 2. Even on a low end graphics card, it is possible to get impressive results for a 2D convolver. All 24 cores of a 64-bit Windows 7 workstation are effectively exercised by the x64 multicore target, which exploits SIMD processor instructions and multithreading. Stencilstyle computations [14] are examples of problems that map well to Accelerator. As a concrete example, we show a very simple F Accelerator program that performs the point-wise addition of two arrays using a GPU (Listing 1). When executed, this program uses the GPU to compute a result array containing the elements 7; 9; 11; 13; 15. To perform the same computation on a multicore processor system using vector instructions, we write the same program but specify a different target (Listing 2). open System open Microsoft . ParallelArrays [ < EntryPoint >] let main ( args ) = let x = new FloatParallelArray ( Array . map float32 [|1; 2; 3; 4; 5 |]) let y = new FloatParallelArray ( Array . map float32 [|6; 7; 8; 9; 10 |]) let z = x + y use dx9Target = new DX9Target () let zv = dx9Target . ToArray1D ( z ) printf " % A \ n " zv 0 Listing 1. F Accelerator code targeting GPU.

use multicoreTarget = new X64MulticoreTarget () let zv = multicoreTarget . ToArray1D ( z ) Listing 2. F Accelerator code targeting X64 CPU (only the two changed lines are shown).

The FPGA target does not work in an on-line mode and does not return a result. Instead it generates VHDL circuits which need to be implemented using FPGA vendor tools. A key point here is that we can take the same computation and instantiate it on three wildly different computational devices. Accelerator running on the GPU currently uses DirectX 9, which introduces a number of limitations to the target. First is the lack of data-type support, with only Float32 data-types that are not quite compliant with IEEE 754 (the floating point number standard). Secondly the code is quite limited in performance by both shader length limits, which restrict the amount of

116

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

code which can be run; and memory limitations. In DirectX 9 there is no local shared memory as in CUDA, limited register files and limited numbers of textures in which to encode input data. 1.5. CUDA NVIDIA CUDA provides direct access to an NVIDIA GPU’s many hundreds or thousands of parallel cores (termed the “streaming multiprocessor” in the context of GPGPU), rather than being required to run code through the graphics pipeline. In CUDA one writes programs as functions (called kernels) which operate on a single element, equivalent to the code in the inner loop of sequential array code. Threads are then spawned, one for every element, each running a single kernel instance. When a program is executed through CUDA on the GPU the programmer first declares how many threads to spawn and how they are grouped. This allows the system to execute more threads than there are cores available by splitting the work up into “blocks”. The low level nature of CUDA allows for code to be very highly tailored to the device it is running on, leading to optimisations such as using thread local memory (which is faster than global memory), or configuring exactly how much work each thread does. The CUDA kernel code to add two arrays, equivalent to the code in Section 1.4, is shown in Listing 3. This code adds a single set of elements together after first determining the current thread ID for use as an index. __global__ void DoAddition ( float aCudaA [] , float aCudaB [] , float aCudaTot [] , int iSize ) { const int index = ( blockIdx . x * blockDim . x ) + threadIdx . x ; if ( index < iSize ) { aCudaTot [ index ] = aCudaA [ index ] + aCudaB [ index ]; } }

void main () { float arrayOne [5] = {1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 } , arrayTwo [5] = {6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10} , arrayOut [5]; Link ( arrayOne , arrayTwo , arrayOut , 5); }

extern " C " void Link ( float a1 [] , float a2 [] , float ao [] , int size ) { void * cudaArrayOne = 0 , cudaArrayTwo = 0 , cudaArrayOut = 0; // Allocate GPU memory for the arrays . cudaMalloc (& cudaArrayOne , size ); cudaMalloc (& cudaArrayTwo , size ); cudaMalloc (& cudaArrayOut , size );

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

117

// Copy the input data over . cudaMemcpy ( cudaArrayOne , a1 , size , c u d a M e m c p y H o s t T o D e v i c e ); cudaMemcpy ( cudaArrayTwo , a2 , size , c u d a M e m c p y H o s t T o D e v i c e ); // Call the GPU code from the host . dim3 dimBlocks (1) , dimThreads ( size ); DoAddition < < < dimBlocks , dimThreads > > >( cudaArrayOne , cudaArrayTwo , cudaArrayOut , size ); // Save the result . cudaMemcpy ( ao , cudaArrayOut , size , c u d a M e m c p y D e v i c e T o H o s t ); } Listing 3. CUDA addition code

CUDA code has three parts—host code, which runs on the CPU and is regular C/C++; link code, which invokes a kernel and has custom, C-based, syntax; and the kernel code itself, which also has custom syntax. The example code shows the kernel first (“DoAddition”), then the host code (“main”) and finally the link code (“Link”). In this instance the link code initialises the CUDA arrays and spawns many instances of the kernel function, each of which calculates a single output result based on it’s unique thread and block ID. The “DoAddition” code is custom CUDA syntax and requires a special compiler; however, everything else in that function is regular C code and could equally be placed in the device code. 2. Case Studies The CUDA programming model is designed to allow maximum flexibility in code, requiring in-depth target knowledge but allowing for lots of optimizations. Conversely the Accelerator programming model provides easy to use, high-level access to data but includes a JIT, which is an overhead not present in CUDA. We believe that despite this Accelerator gives reasonable speed for many classes of problems and we have instrumented the overhead of the JIT and found it to be very small (less than 3%) for realistic workloads. We also believe that the development effort involved is lower in Accelerator and so justifies some reduced performance. Indeed, it may be possible for the JIT-bases scheme to produce faster code because it can exploit extra information about the execution environment which is only available at run-time. The motivation behind this work was to find out just how much of an improvement or overhead Accelerator has compared to other data parallel and sequential programming models. Two case studies were used to test Accelerator’s performance against other systems: convolution and electrostatic charge map generation. Each algorithm was run in CUDA on a GPU, C++ code on a CPU and Accelerator on both a GPU and a CPU. The Accelerator tests were run on both platforms using the same code for two different implementations. The CUDA tests were run for two different implementations and the C++ tests for three. These studies were run in a common framework to share as much code as possible and reduce the areas which could affect timings. The experiments were run on an AMD 1055T CPU at 2.8GHz (the Phenom II X6) with 8Gb of DDR3 RAM and an NVIDIA GTX 460 GPU (the Palit Sonic) with 2Gb of GDDR5 RAM. Every individual test was run ten times for every target with the results displaying the totals for all ten runs. Memory and initialisations were all reset between every run. The case studies are aimed at determining the speed ups available for a reasonable amount of effort. While it is technically possible to write code by hand that will match any-

118

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

thing generated by a compiler the effort involved is unreasonable. JIT compilers can use advanced knowledge of the data to be processed through techniques such as branch prediction and memory layout optimisation, writing generic code by hand to exploit such dynamic information is very difficult although some optimisations can still be applied. The optimisations applied to CUDA code were limited to those found in the Programming Massively Parallel Processors [15] book. This was assumed to be a reasonable estimation of the ability of a non-specialist. 3. Convolution Case Study 3.1. Introduction Convolution is the combination of two signals to form a third signal. In image processing a blur function is a weighted average of a pixel and its surrounding pixels. This is the convolution of two 2D signals—an input image and a blur filter which contains the weightings. In a continuous setting both signals are theoretically infinite. In a discrete setting such as image processing both signals are clipped. Figure 3 shows a 1D convolution example. The filter (a) is applied to the current element “7” of the input (m) and its surrounding elements (highlighted). These are multiplied to give array ma and all the elements are summed together to give the current element in the output array (n). This is shown generically in Equation (1) where mt and nt are the current input and output points respectively, N is the filter radius and a is the filter.

Figure 3. Convolution of a radius 1 1D filter and an 8 element input array with one operation highlighted.

The filter (Equation (2)) used in this study is a discretised Gaussian curve, rounded to zero beyond the stated radius (generally very small values). The “radius” of the filter represents the number of non-zero values—a 1D filter with a radius of 5 will yield 11 total non-zero values, a (square) 2D filter of radius 5 will yield 121. As it is a constant for every element in the input signal, the filter values are pre-computed prior to running any timed code. This is a part of the previously discussed common test framework and ensures that all the implementations run off the same initial data. nt =

2N+1



ak m(t+k−N)

(1)

k=0

 ak =

2N+1 (k − N)2 (i − N)2 / ∑ 2σ 2 2σ 2 i=0

(2)

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

119

Figure 4. Convolution case study GPU results for a radius 5 filter on grids from 2048 × 64 to 2048 × 2048 elements.

A 2D convolver has a 2D input and a 2D filter (in this case a square of width 2N + 1). A separable convolver is a special case of 2D convolver in which the result is the same as applying a 1D convolution to every row of original input and to every column of those results applying a second 1D convolution. A radius five filter on a 2D input array implemented as a separable convolver would require only 11 + 11 = 22 calculations per output, compared to 11 × 11 = 121 for basic 2D convolution. When calculating results close to the edge of the input data the radius of the filter may extend beyond the limits of known data, in this case the nearest known value is used. This zone is called the “apron”, as is the zone of input data loaded but not processed by CUDA when splitting the data up into processing chunks [16]. Accelerator does not permit explicit array indexing so convolution is implemented as whole array operations using array shifts where every element in the input array has the effect of one element in the filter calculated in parallel. 3.2. Results Figures 4 and 5 show the results for a 2D separable convolver using a radius five Gaussian filter (Equation (2)) on grids of size 2048 × 64 to 2048 × 2048. Figure 4 shows the results for the various GPU targets (“Acc” is “Accelerator”). Both Accelerator and CUDA ran two different implementations. Figure 5 shows the CPU target results with “C++” using three different implementations of varying complexity. 3.3. Discussion For the convolver the Accelerator GPU version is only marginally slower than the CUDA version. The CUDA code used here was based on public documentation [16] which included optimisations based on loop unrolling and usage of low latency shared memory. While the

120

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

Figure 5. Convolution case study CPU results for a radius 5 filter on grids from 2048 × 64 to 2048 × 2048 elements.

speed is slower the development efforts here are significantly different. Examples of the code required to implement a convolver in Accelerator, C++ and CUDA can be found in Appendix A. Additional examples can be found in the Accelerator user guide [17] and CUDA convolution white paper [16]. One point to note, clearly visible on the GPU graph, is the constant overhead from the Accelerator JIT. The performance of Accelerator on the CPU was significantly better than the original C++ sequential code (“C++ 1”) and slightly better than the more advanced versions (“C++ 2” and “C++ 3”). These versions performed the apron calculations separately from the main calculations, rather than using a single piece of generic code. Generic code requires branches to clamp the requested input data to within the bounds of the available data. The Accelerator code here was between two and four times faster than the C++ versions, and with significantly less development effort than “C++ 2” and “C++ 3”. Both Accelerator CPU implementations display a very interesting and consistent oscillating graph which requires further investigation. All the alternate code versions (“Acc 2”, “CUDA 2”, “C++ 2” and “C++ 3”) rely on the fact that the filter in use (a Gaussian curve) was symmetrical and so performed multiple filter points using common code. The only place where the alternate code gives significant speed improvements over the original is in the “C++” implementations and the number of other optimisations applied there implies that using symmetry made little difference. 4. Charge Map Case Study 4.1. Introduction Electrostatic charge maps are used to approximate the field of charge generated by a set of atoms in space. The space in question is split up into a 3D grid and the charge at every point

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

121

Figure 6. Grid of points showing the full calculation for charge at one point.

in that grid is calculated by dividing the charge of every atom by their distance from the point and summing all the results. The finer the grid the better the approximation as space is continuous in reality. The basic calculation is given in Equation (3), where N is the number of atoms, Ci is the charge of atom i and dist(i, xyz) is the distance between atom i and grid point xyz. The total (Gxyz ) is the final charge at that point in space. The 3D world grid is divided up into slices with each 2D layer calculated independently. For this test only one slice was calculated but all the atoms were used, regardless of their location in 3D space. This is demonstrated in Figure 6 for one point (circled). The large circles with numbers in are atoms with their charges, the numbers by the lines are the distance between one atom and the currently calculated point and the sum in the corner is the overall calculation. N

Ci dist(i, xyz) i=1

Gxyz = ∑

(3)

There are two obvious methods for parallelising this algorithm. The first is to loop through the atoms sequentially and calculate the current atom’s effect on every point in the grid in parallel. The second is the reverse—loop through grid points and calculate every atom’s effect on that point in parallel. This latter option would require a parallel addition, such as a sum-reduce algorithm and would also generate very long code in Accelerator, due to loops being unrolled by the compiler. The number of atoms should be small compared to the number of grid points being calculated and may be small compared to the number of GPU processing elements available. The lack of parallel addition, shorter programs and greater resource usage makes the former option the only realistic option. A third option, calculating every atom’s effect on every grid point simultaneously, is not possible as at present Accelerator does not provide the 3D arrays required to store all the atom offsets from all the points in the 2D grid. DirectX 9, upon which the Accelerator GPU target is currently based, has relatively low limits on shader lengths; however, the Accelerator JIT can split programs into multiple shaders to bypass this limit. New Accelerator GPU targets are alleviating this restriction. The original algorithm was found in the Programming Massively Parallel Processors book [15] and the CUDA code is based on the most advanced version of the code in there. Two Accelerator implementations were produced, the second pre-computing a number of constants to simplify the distance calculations based on the fact that the distance between two atoms is

122

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

Figure 7. Electrostatic charge map case study GPU results for 4-200 atoms with a grid size 1024 x 1024.

constant. This fact was used with a rearrangement of the standard Pythagorean equation to get the distance to one atom based on the distance to the last atom. 4.2. Results Figures 7 and 8 show the results for the electrostatic charge map experiment. These are for a range of atom counts placed in a constant size grid. Both graphs were generated with the same set of randomly placed input atoms for consistency. The grid was a single 1024 × 1024 slice containing just over 1,000,000 points. Results were run for 4 to 200 atoms in 4 atom steps with results re-run for the “Accelerator 1 GPU” target between 106 and 114 atoms in 1 atom intervals (not shown). The experiments were only run to 200 atoms because the CUDA target stopped running beyond that point. “Acc 1” is a basic Accelerator implementation performing the full distance calculation on the GPU for every point in parallel. “Acc 2” is the alternate distance calculation, the timings here include the longer expression generation phase for pre-computing constants. Similarly “C++ 1”, “C++ 2”, “CUDA 1” etc. show the results for different implementations run on a given target. 4.3. Discussion Figure 8 show the results for Accelerator and C++ running on a CPU. Here the optimised C++ versions (“C++ 2” and “C++ 3”) were the fastest. Although they were very slightly faster than the basic Accelerator CPU version far more effort was used to write them. In terms of development effort “Accelerator 1” was on a par with “C++ 1”, and the benefits there are clear to see. The CPU results for “Accelerator 2” are also interesting. Extra effort was put into this version to attempt to make the calculations run on the GPU (or multi-core CPU) faster at the expense of running more calculations at code generation time (see electrostatic charge

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

123

Figure 8. Electrostatic charge map case study CPU results for 4-200 atoms with a grid size 1024 x 1024.

map introduction). This was not worth the effort as the results there are significantly slower than the basic Accelerator version. For the GPU results (Figure 7) CUDA is unparalleled in speed—almost parallel to the x axis but it is important to note that far more development effort was used in that version compared to the Accelerator version. For Accelerator the results again show the JIT overhead seen in the Convolution study, and for “Accelerator 1” also show a discontinuity between 108 and 112 atoms. The gradient of “Accelerator 1” before this discontinuity is around seven times greater than the gradient of “CUDA” and after is around ten times greater, with “Accelerator 2” consistent throughout. The discontinuity between 108 and 112 atoms, which more fine-grained testing revealed to be located between 111 and 112 atoms, is consistent and repeatable. Accelerator is limited by DirectX 9’s shader length limit but has the ability to split long programs up into multiple shaders to bypass this limit. The length of generated program in this case study depends on the number of atoms being processed; atoms are processed sequentially in an unrolled loop as Accelerator does not generate loops. It is believed that 112 atoms is the point at which this splitting occurs as the length of generated code exceeds the maximum. The time jump in the discontinuity is very close in size to the JIT overhead displayed earlier (less than twice the height), most likely resulting from multiple compilation stages or program transfer stages. The increase in gradient can be explained by requiring multiple data transfers between GPU and host (the computer in which the GPU is located). 5. Development An important consideration for any program is the ease of development. The code in Appendix A helps demonstrate the differences in development efforts between CUDA, C++ and Accelerator, metrics were unavailable as portions of the code were based on existing examples. Even when an algorithm implementation is relatively constant between the various lan-

124

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

guages, for example convolution, much more work is required in CUDA before the operation can begin in terms of low-level data shifting between global and local memory. Due to its model the CUDA version does have more options for manual improvement—with Accelerator the user is entirely bound by the layout decisions of the JIT. This is not always a bad thing, however. It is always possible to write code at the assembly level but compilers for high-level languages exist because they are seen as an acceptable trade-off: Accelerator is no different. CUDA uses a separate language with a separate compiler. Accelerator is embedded in C++; it is usable from languages with C extensions and can use operator overloading, making it possible to interchange Accelerator and sequential code with very little effort. Listing 4 shows a function to add two values of type “float t” together and defines two C input arrays and one C output array. Listing 5 shows C code which defines the “float t” type and uses the generic code wrapped in a loop to add the two input arrays together sequentially. Similarly, Listing 6 shows Accelerator using the same generic function and input data, this time defining the type as an Accelerator array object and performing the calculation in parallel on the GPU. float gInputArrayA [4] = {10 , 20 , 30 , 40} , gInputArrayB [4] = {9 , 8 , 7 , 6} , gOutputArray [4];

float_t DoCalculation ( float_t a , float_t b ) { // More complex calculations can be used here with operators . return a + b ; } Listing 4. Generic addition code

// Set the data to float . typedef float float_t ; void main () { // Loop over the data . for ( int i = 0; i != 4; ++ i ) { gOutputArray [ i ] = DoCalculation ( gInputArrayA , gInputArrayB ); } } Listing 5. C++ use of generic addition code

// Set the data to FloatParallelArray . typedef float Fl oa tPa ra ll el Ar ra y ; void main () { // Set up the target .

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

125

Target * target = CreateDX9Target (); // Convert the data . FloatParallelArray aParA ( gInputArrayA , 4) , aParB ( gInputArrayB , 4) , // Build expression tree . aParTot = DoCalculation ( aParA , aParB ); // Run expression and save . target - > ToArray ( aParTot , gOutputArray , 4); // Clean up . target - > Delete (); } Listing 6. Accelerator use of generic addition code

6. Conclusions and Future Work We compared the programming models used in CUDA, the Accelerator library and C++ code and demonstrate that Accelerator provides an attractive trade-off between programmer productivity and performance. Accelerator allows us to implement a 2D convolver using high level data-parallel arrays and data-parallel array operations without mentioning detailed information about threads, scheduling and data layout yet it delivers almost the same performance as the hand written CUDA implementation. Section 5 looked at the code for convolution using the Accelerator, CUDA and C++ systems. The CUDA code is the most complex, regardless of the advantages afforded by that additional complexity. The Accelerator code did introduce some restrictions (e.g. the use of whole array operations) but these restrictions allow the system to efficiently implement dataparallel operations on various targets like GPUs. Additionally the model means the code is complete—all further optimisation work is left to the compiler. Once past the few overheads the programming model is very similar to C++ code, providing operations on arrays in a manner similar to operations on individual elements. This is also shown in the development discussion by the example using common code for both systems (Listings 4, 5 and 6). The sequential C++ was the simplest to write, but offered no additional acceleration. The CUDA implementation was the fastest to run, though not always by much; so we believe that Accelerator gives a good balance between development and speed. We also demonstrated reasonable speed ups can be obtained using the Accelerator library. The graphs of CPU results (Figures 5 and 8) show how Accelerator performed compared to C++ code. The only time where Accelerator was slower than the C++ code was within the electrostatic charge map implementation, and only when compared to heavily optimised and tweaked implementations. The GPU and CPU used for the tests were both around £200 which makes comparing their results directly justifiable from a performance/pound point of view. Given that the CPU and GPU Accelerator tests ran from the same implementations with different targets the GPU results show how much of an advantage is available over the CPU for these case studies. When these tests were first run Accelerator was significantly behind CUDA on the GPU, but re-runs with the latest versions of both have brought the two sets of results much closer together as the JIT in Accelerator improves to give better and better code outputs. A range of algorithms were looked at for different classes of problems showing speedups in some. While a more in-depth study looking at categories such as “The Seven Dwarfs” [18], or the updated and more comprehensive “Thirteen Dwarfs” [19], is required; this work shows that some areas are well suited to Accelerator and that a comprehensive re-

126

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

view of algorithm classes would be useful work. In the cases where Accelerator can be used, further work is required to give a more complete picture of the situations to which it is well suited. The results for the electrostatic charge map case study are vastly in CUDA’s favour, but the convolution results are arguably in Accelerator’s favour as the performance gap is minimal and the development gap is huge. For this reason we believe that Accelerator is a useful system, but more work is required to determine problem classes that it is not suitable for. One major optimisation method for CUDA is the use of shared memory, of which Accelerator has no knowledge currently. One possible avenue for speed up investigation is an automated analysis of the algorithm to group calculations together in order to utilise said shared memory. The GPU results were also produced despite the limitations caused by DirectX 9 listed in Section 1.4. Several of the results have shown the overheads due to Accelerator’s JIT. These tests were run without using Accelerator’s “parameters” feature which can pre-compile an expression using placeholders (called “parameters”) for input data and store the result. Every run in the results was repeated ten times and summed, however as it uses off-line compilation the CUDA code was only ever built once. Acknowledgements This work was carried out during an internship at Microsoft Research in Cambridge. The studentship is jointly funded by Microsoft Research and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through the Systems Engineering Doctorate Centre (SEDC). References [1] David Tarditi, Sidd Puri, and Jose Oglesby. Accelerator: Using Data Parallelism to Program GPUs for General-Purpose Uses. In ASPLOS-XII: Proceedings of the 12th international conference on Architectural support for programming languages and operating systems, pages 325–335, New York, NY, USA, 2006. ACM. [2] NVIDIA. CUDA homepage. http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_home.html, 2010. [3] NVIDIA. GeForce GTX 480 Specifications, 2010. [4] ATI. ATI Radeon HD 5970 Specifications, 2011. [5] John D. Owens, Mike Houston, David Luebke, Simon Green, John E. Stone, and James C. Phillips. GPU Computing. Proceedings of the IEEE, 96(5):879–899, 2008. [6] John D. Owens, David Luebke, Naga Govindaraju, Mark Harris, Jens Krger, Aaron E. Lefohn, and Timothy J. Purcell. A Survey of General-Purpose Computation on Graphics Hardware. Computer Graphics Forum, 26(1):80–113, 2007. [7] J. N. England. A system for interactive modeling of physical curved surface objects. SIGGRAPH Comput. Graph., 12(3):336–340, 1978. [8] Christian A. Bohn. Kohonen Feature Mapping through Graphics Hardware. In In Proceedings of Int. Conf. on Compu. Intelligence and Neurosciences, pages 64–67, 1998. [9] Jed Lengyel, Mark Reichert, Bruce R. Donald, and Donald P. Greenberg. Real-Time Robot Motion Planning Using Rasterizing Computer Graphics Hardware. SIGGRAPH Comput. Graph., 24(4):327–335, 1990. [10] Kenneth E. Hoff, III, John Keyser, Ming Lin, Dinesh Manocha, and Tim Culver. Fast Computation of Generalized Voronoi Diagrams Using Graphics Hardware. In SIGGRAPH ’99: Proceedings of the 26th annual conference on Computer graphics and interactive techniques, pages 277–286, New York, NY, USA, 1999. ACM Press/Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. [11] Michael McCool and Stefanus Du Toit. Metaprogramming GPUs with Sh. http://libsh.org/ brochure.pdf, 2004. [12] Ian Buck, Tim Foley, Daniel Horn, Jeremy Sugerman, Kayvon Fatahalian, Mike Houston, and Pat Hanrahan. Brook for GPUs: Stream Computing on Graphics Hardware. ACM Trans. Graph., 23(3):777–786, 2004.

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

127

[13] Patrick S. McCormick, Jeff Inman, James P. Ahrens, Charles Hansen, and Greg Roth. Scout: A HardwareAccelerated System for Quantitatively Driven Visualization and Analysis. In VIS ’04: Proceedings of the conference on Visualization ’04, pages 171–178, Washington, DC, USA, 2004. IEEE Computer Society. [14] M. Lesniak. PASTHA - parallelizing stencil calculations in Haskell. Declarative Aspects of Muilticore Programming, Jan 2010. [15] David B. Kirk and Wen-mei W. Hwu. Programming Massively Parallel Processors: A Hands-on Approach. Morgan Kaufmann, 1 edition, 2010. [16] Victor Podlozhnyuk. Image Convolution with CUDA. http://developer.download.nvidia.com/ compute/cuda/sdk/website/C/src/convolutionSeparable/doc/convolutionSeparable. pdf, 2007. [17] Accelerator Team. Microsoft Accelerator v2 Programming Guide. Microsoft Research, 2010. [18] Phillip Colella. Defining Software Requirements for Scientific Computing. Presentation, 2004. [19] Krste Asanovic, Ras Bodik, Bryan C. Catanzaro, Joseph J. Gebis, Parry Husbands, Kurt Keutzer, David A. Patterson, William L. Plishker, John Shalf, Samuel W. Williams, and Katherine A. Yelick. The Landscape of Parallel Computing Research: A View from Berkeley. Technical report, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California at Berkeley, 2006.

128

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

A. Convolution Code Presented here is the main “kernel” code used to perform a 1D convolution in CUDA, Accelerator and sequential C++. Code to set up and destroy data arrays and target interactions has been omitted. The code used for the case studies in Section 3 is based on multiples calls to the code presented here. A.1. C++ code Listing 7 is the reference C++ code for a 1D convolver. This code is presented first as it most clearly demonstrates the basic convolution algorithm. “arrayInput” is the input data as a C array, “arrayOutput” is the resulting C array, “filter” is an array containing the full filter (a “filterRadius” value of five results in eleven filter values). The code loops through every element in the input array (of which there are “arrayWidth”), for each one calculating the result according to all filter values and surrounding elements (clipped to the array size). The operation of “Clamp” (Listing 8) is the main basis of the two improved C++ implementations which separate the loops into three loops to deal with start, middle and end of array values separately and do away with branching in “Clamp”. for ( int j = 0; j != arrayWidth ; ++ j ) { float sum = 0; for ( int u = - filterRadius , p = 0; u max ) ? max : x ; } Listing 8. Additional C++ code

A.2. Accelerator code Listing 9 is the code to perform a 1D convolution in Accelerator. The C++ sequential code loops over every input element in turn, calculating the effect of each surrounding element before moving on to the next. In contrast this code calculates the effect of one offset on every element using Accelerators “Shift” function which behaves much like the clamped array lookup in the C++ code, but for every element in parallel. Because Accelerator is a JIT system the main loop builds a large unrolled expression tree which is evaluated when “ToArray” is called for a specified target (here DirectX 9). This has the effect that all the filter values are known at compile time and become constants in the executed GPU code. In this code “arrayTemp” and “arrayInput” are Accelerator objects representing arrays on the GPU, the former is declared and initialised to 0 in the code given. “arrayOutput” is a C array to which the final result is saved after GPU execution.

A. Cole et al. / Data-Parallel Programming Systems

129

size_t dims [] = { arrayWidth }; intptr_t shifts [] = {0}; FloatParallelArray arrayTemp (0.0 f , dims , 1); for ( int u = - filterRadius , p = 0; u = apronEndClamp ) { fRowData [ pos ] = arrayInput [ maxX ]; } else if ( load >= apronClamp ) { fRowData [ pos ] = arrayInput [ load ]; } else if ( load >= apronStart ) { fRowData [ pos ] = arrayInput [0]; } load += blockDim . x ; pos += blockDim . x ; } __syncthreads (); // Part 3. All data is loaded locally , do the calculation . const int pixel = dataStart + threadIdx . x ; if ( pixel < dataEndClamp ) { float * const dd = fRowData + threadIdx . x + radius ; float total = 0; for ( int i = - radius ; i > >( arrayOutput , arrayInput , width , pitch , radius ); } Listing 10. CUDA convolution code

Communicating Process Architectures 2011 P.H. Welch et al. (Eds.) IOS Press, 2011 © 2011 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved. doi:10.3233/978-1-60750-774-1-131

131

Experiments in Multicore and Distributed Parallel Processing using JCSP Jon KERRIDGE School of Computing, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh UK, EH10 5DT [email protected] Abstract. It is currently very difficult to purchase any form of computer system be it, notebook, laptop, desktop server or high performance computing system that does not contain a multicore processor. Yet the designers of applications, in general, have very little experience and knowledge of how to exploit this capability. Recently, the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) issued a challenge to investigate the ability of developers to parallelise a simple Concordance algorithm. Ongoing work had also shown that the use of multicore processors for applications that have internal parallelism is not as straightforward as might be imagined. Two applications are considered: calculating  using Monte Carlo methods and the SICSA Concordance application. The ease with which parallelism can be extracted from a single application using both single multicore processors and distributed networks of such multicore processors is investigated. It is shown that naïve application of parallel programming techniques does not produce the desired results and that considerable care has to be taken if multicore systems are to result in improved performance. Meanwhile the use of distributed systems tends to produce more predictable and reasonable benefits resulting from parallelisation of applications.

Keywords: multicore processors, distributed processing, parallel programming, Groovy, JCSP, Monte Carlo methods, concordance.

Introduction The common availability of systems that use multicore processors is such that it is now nearly impossible to buy any form of end-user computer system that does not contain a multicore processor. However, the effective use of such multicore systems to solve a single large problem is sufficiently challenging that SICSA, the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance, recently posed a challenge to evaluate different approaches to parallelisation for a concordance problem. There will be other challenges to follow. The concordance problem is essentially input/output bound and thus poses particular problems for parallelisation. As a means of comparison, a simple compute bound problem is also used as an experimental framework: namely the calculation of  using a Monte Carlo method. The aim of the experiments reported in this paper is to investigate simple parallelisation approaches (using the JCSP packages [1, 2] for Java, running on a variety of Windows platforms) and see whether they provide any improvement in performance over a sequential solution. In other words, is parallelisation worth the effort? In section 2, experiments using the Monte Carlo calculation of  are presented. Section 3 describes and discusses the experiments undertaken with the concordance example. Finally, some conclusions are drawn.

132

J. Kerridge / Experiments in Multicore and Distributed Parallel Processing

1. Calculating  Using Monte Carlo Methods The calculation of  using Monte Carlo statistical methods provides an approximation based on the relation of the area of a square to an inscribed circle [3]. Given a circle of radius r inscribed in a square of side 2r, the areas of the circle and square are, respectively, r2and 4r2 – so, the ratio of these areas is /4. Hence, if sufficient random points are selected within the square, approximately /4 of the points should lie within the circle. The algorithm proceeds by selecting a large number of points (N = 1,024,000) at random and determining how many lie within the inscribed circle (M). Thus if sufficient points are chosen,  can be approximated by (M/N)*4. The following sequential algorithm, Listing 1, written in Groovy [4], captures the method assuming a value of r = 1 (and using only the top-right quadrant of the circle). The algorithm is repeated 10 times and the results, including timings, are averaged. 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

def r = new Random() def timer = new CSTimer() def pi = 0 def int N = 10240000 def startTime = timer.read() for ( run in 1..10) { print "-" def int M = 0 for ( i in 1..N){ def x = r.nextDouble() def y = r.nextDouble() if (( (x*x) + (y*y)) < 1.0 ) M = M + 1 } pi = pi + ((double)M)/ ((double)N) * 4.0 } def endTime = timer.read() def elapsedTime = (endTime - startTime)/10 pi = pi / 10.0 println "\n$pi,$elapsedTime" Listing 1. Sequential implementation of  estimation.

The ‘obvious’ way to parallelise this algorithm is to split the task over a number of workers (W), such that each worker undertakes N/W iterations. A manager process is needed to initiate each worker and collate the results when all the workers have completed their task. Listing 2 shows the definition of such a worker process using Groovy Parallel and JCSP. 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37

class Worker implements CSProcess { def ChannelInput inChannel def ChannelOutput outChannel void run(){ def r = new Random() for ( run in 1..10){ def N = inChannel.read() def int M = 0 for ( i in 1..N){ def x = r.nextDouble() def y = r.nextDouble() if (( (x*x) + (y*y)) < 1.0 ) M = M + 1 } outChannel.write (M) } } } Listing 2. Worker process definition.

133

J. Kerridge / Experiments in Multicore and Distributed Parallel Processing

The corresponding manager process is shown in Listing 3. Each run of the calculation is initiated by a communication from the manager process to each worker {52}1. The manager process then waits for the returned value of M from each worker {53}. 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61

class Manager implements CSProcess { def ChannelOutputList outChannels def ChannelInputList inChannels void run () { def timer = new CSTimer() def startTime = timer.read() def workers = outChannels.size() def pi = 0.0 def N = 10240000 def iterations = N / workers for ( run in 1..10) { print "." def M = 0 for ( w in 0 ..< workers) outChannels[w].write (iterations) for ( w in 0 ..< workers) M = M + inChannels[w].read() pi = pi + ( ( ((double)M)* 4.0) / ((double)N) ) } def endTime = timer.read() def elapsedTime = (endTime - startTime)/10 pi = pi / 10.0 println "\n$workers,$pi,$elapsedTime" } } Listing 3. Manager process definition.

This parallel formulation has the advantage that it can be executed as a single parallel within one Java Virtual Machine (JVM) or over several JVMs using net channels. Furthermore, the JVMs can be executed on one or more cores in a single machine or over several machines, simply by changing the manner of invocation. 1.1 Experimental Framework The experiments were undertaken on a number of different machines and also over a distributed system in which each node comprised a multicore processor. Table 1 shows the three different machine types that were used. Table 1. Specification of the experimental machines used in the experiments.

Name

CPU

Office E8400 Home Q8400 Lab E8400

cores

Speed (Ghz)

L2 Cache (MB)

RAM (GB)

Operating System

Size bits

2 4 2

3.0 2.66 3.0

6 4 6

2 8 2

Windows XP Windows 7 Windows 7

32 64 32

The Lab and Office machines were essentially the same except that the Lab machines were running under Windows 7 as opposed to XP. The Home machine was a quad core 64bit machine. The Lab machines were also part of a distributed system connected by a 100 Mbit/sec Ethernet connected to the internet and thus liable to fluctuation depending on network traffic. 1

The notation {n} and {n..m} refer to line numbers in one of the Listings. Each line is uniquely numbered.

134

J. Kerridge / Experiments in Multicore and Distributed Parallel Processing

1.2 Single Machine Performance The experiments on a single machine were undertaken as follows. The sequential algorithm was executed on each machine type to determine the ‘sequential’ performance of each machine. The average performance for the sequential version over 10 runs for each machine type is shown in Table 2. The effect of the 64-bit architecture on the Home machine is immediately apparent. Using the Windows Task Manager to observe CPU usage on each of the machines it was noted that the maximum CPU usage was never more than 50%. Table 2. Sequential performance of each machine.

Office Home Time (secs)

4.378

2.448

Lab 4.508

The parallel version of the algorithm was then executed on each machine in a single JVM with various numbers of worker processes. The corresponding times and associated speedup is shown in Table 3. The performance in each case was monitored using the Task Manager and in each case the CPU usage was reported as 100%. However, the only version which showed any speedup of the parallel version over the sequential version was the Home machine with 2 workers. In all other cases the use of many parallel workers induced a slowdown even though the CPU was indicating a higher percentage use. The same behaviour was observed by Dickie [5] when undertaking the same Monte Carlo based calculation of  in a .NET environment. It was observed that as the number of threads increased CPU usage rose to 100% and overall completion time got worse. Further analysis using Microsoft’s Concurrency Visualizer tool [6] showed this additional processor usage was taken up with threads being swapped. Table 3. Parallel performance with varying number of workers in a single JVM.

Office Workers (secs) Speedup 2 4 8 16 32 64 128

4.621 4.677 4.591 4.735 4.841 4.936 5.063

0.947 0.936 0.954 0.925 0.904 0.887 0.865

Home (secs) 2.429 8.171 7.827 7.702 7.601 7.635 7.541

Lab Speedup (secs) Speedup 1.008 0.300 0.313 0.318 0.322 0.321 0.325

4.724 4.685 4.902 4.897 5.022 5.161 5.319

0.954 0.962 0.920 0.921 0.898 0.873 0.848

The Office and Lab machines use the same processor (E8400) and both show a gradual slowdown as the number of workers is increased. Whereas, the Home machine (Q8400) initially shows a speedup then followed by an initial dramatic decrease in performance which then slowly gets worse. An explanation of this could be that the L2 cache on the Q8400 is 4MB whereas the E8400 has 6MB and that this has crucially affected the overall performance. The parallel version of the algorithm was then reconfigured to run in a number of JVMs assuming each JVM was connected by a TCP/IP based network utilising the net channel capability of JCSP. The intention in this part of the experiment was to run each

J. Kerridge / Experiments in Multicore and Distributed Parallel Processing

135

JVM on a separate core. Each JVM was initiated from the command line by a separate execution of the java environment. The experiments were conducted twice: once just using the command line java command directly and secondly using the Windows start command so that the affinity of the JVM to a particular core could be defined. This would, it was hoped, ensure that each JVM was associated with a distinct core thereby increasing the parallelism. In the case of the Home and Lab machines this appeared to have no effect. In the case of the Office machine an effect was observed and the execution using the start command had a similar performance to the Lab Machine. Table 4 shows the performance from runs that did not use the start command. Table 4. Parallel performance with varying number of JVMs in a single machine.

JVMs 2 4 8

Office (secs) Speedup

Home (secs)

4.517 4.534 4.501

2.195 1.299 1.362

0.969 0.966 0.973

Lab Speedup (secs) Speedup 1.115 1.885 1.797

4.369 4.323 4.326

1.032 1.043 1.042

The Office machine, which uses Windows XP showed a slowdown when run without the start command, whereas the other two machines both showed speedups, relative to the sequential solution. These machines use Windows 7 and, as there was no difference in the performance when using start or not, it can be deduced that Windows 7 does try to allocate new JVMs to different cores. The Home machine has 4 cores and it can be seen that the best speedup is obtained when 4 JVMs are used. Similarly, the Lab machine has two cores and again the best speedup occurs when just two JVMs are utilised. 1.3 Distributed Performance The multi JVM version of the algorithm was now configured to run over a number of machines using a standard 100 Mbit/sec Ethernet TCP/IP network. These experiments involved Lab machines only, which have two cores. One of the machines ran the TCPIPNode Server, the Manager process and one Worker in one core. The TCPIPNode Server is only used to set up the net channel connections at the outset of processing. The Manager is only used to initiate each Worker and then to receive the returned results and thus does not impose a heavy load on the system. The performance using both two and four machines is shown in Table 5. Table 5. Performance using multiple JVMs on two and four machines.

Two Machines JVMs 2 4 8 16

Time (secs) 4.371 2.206

Speedup 1.031 2.044

Four Machines Time (secs)

Speedup

2.162 1.229 1.415

2.085 3.668 3.186

136

J. Kerridge / Experiments in Multicore and Distributed Parallel Processing

The best performance is obtained when the number of JVMs used is the same as the number of available cores. Unfortunately, the best speedup relates to the number of machines and not the number of available cores. 1.4 Conclusions Resulting from the Monte Carlo  Experiments The Monte Carlo determination of  is essentially an application that is processor bound with very little opportunity for communication. Hence the normal behaviour of CSP-based parallelism, with many processes ready to execute but awaiting communication, does not happen. JCSP currently relies on the underlying JVM to allocate and schedule its threads (that implement JCSP processes) over multiple cores. In turn, the JVM relies on the underlying operating system (Windows, in our experiments). The disappointing observation is that this combination seems to have little ability to make effective use of multiple cores for this kind of application. Utilising parallel processes within a single JVM had little effect and the result was worse performance. Performance improvement was only achieved when multiple machines were used in a distributed system. 2. Concordance Related Experiments The SICSA Concordance challenge [7] was specified as follows: Given: a text file containing English text in ASCII encoding and an integer N. Find: for all sequences, up to length N, of words occurring in the input file, the number of occurrences of this sequence in the text, together with a list of start indices. Optionally, sequences with only 1 occurrence should be omitted. A set of appropriate text files of various sizes was also made available, with which participants could test their solutions. A workshop was held on 13th December 2010 where a number of solutions were presented. The common feature of many of the presented solutions was that as the amount of parallelism was increased the solutions got slower. Most of the solutions adopted some form of Map-Reduce style of architecture using some form of tree data structure. The approach presented here is somewhat different in that it uses a distributed solution and a different data structure. The use of a distributed solution using many machines was obvious from the work undertaken on Monte Carlo . The data structures were chosen so they could be accessed in parallel, thereby enabling a single processor to progress the application using as many parallel processes as possible. However, the number of such parallel processes was kept small as it had been previously observed that increased numbers of parallel processes tended to reduce performance. The Concordance problem is essentially input-output bound and thus a solution needs to be adopted that mitigates such effects. For example, one of the text files is that of the Bible which is 4.681 MB in size and comprises 802,300 words. For N=6 (the string length) and ignoring strings that only occur once, this produces an output file size of 26.107 MB. 2.1 Solution Approach It was decided to use N as the basis for parallelisation of the main algorithm. The value of N was likely to be small and thus would not require a large number of parallel processes on each machine. It was thus necessary to create data structures that could read the data

J. Kerridge / Experiments in Multicore and Distributed Parallel Processing

137

structures in parallel (with each value of N accessed by a separate process). One approach to processing character strings is to convert each word to an integer value based on the sum of the ASCII values of each character in the word. This has the benefit that subsequent processing uses integer comparisons, which are much quicker than string comparisons. The approach used to parallelise the reading of the input file was to split it into equal sized blocks, in terms of the number of words and then send each block to a worker process. The input blocks were distributed in turn over the available worker processes. Once a worker process received a block it would do some initial processing, which should be completed before the next block was to be received. This initial processing removed any punctuation from the words and then calculated the integer value of each word in the block. Some initial experiments determined that a block size of 6k words was a good compromise between the overall time taken to read the file and the ability of a worker process to complete the initial processing before the next block needed to be received so that the read process was not delayed. This appeared to be a good compromise for the number of workers being used, which were 4, 8 and 12. The worker process could now calculate the values for N = 2..6 (N=6 was the maximum value chosen2). This was simply undertaken by summing the requisite number of integers in turn from the single word sequence values previously calculated during the initial phase. This could be easily parallelised because each process would need to read the N=1 values but would write to a separate data structure for N = 2..6. This was then undertaken for each block in the worker. The blocks were structured so that last N-1 words were repeated at the start of the next block. This meant that there was no need to transfer any values between workers during processing. The second phase of the algorithm was to search each of the N sequences to find equal values, which were placed in a map comprising the value and the indices where the value was found. Only sequences with equal values could possibly be made from the same string of words. However, some values could be created from different sequences of words (simply because the sum of the characters making up the complete string was the same) and these need eliminating (see below). This phase was repeated for each block in the worker. The result was that for each block a map structure was created which recorded the start index where sequences of equal value were found in that block. Experiments were undertaken to apply some form of hash algorithm to the creation of the value of a sequence. It was discovered that the effect was negligible in that the number of clashes remained more or less constant; the only aspect that changed was where the clashes occurred. Yet again this processing could be parallelised because each set of sequence values could be read in parallel and the resulting map could also be written in parallel as they were separated in N. Each of these maps was then processed to determine which sequence values corresponded to different word sequences. This resulted in another map which comprised each distinct word sequence as the key and the indices where that string was found in the block. Yet again, this processing was parallelisable in N. At the end of this phase, each block contained a partial concordance for the strings it contained in a map with the sequence value as key and a further map of the word strings and indices as the entry in N distinct data structures. The penultimate phase merged each of the partial concordances contained in each block to a concordance for the worker process as a whole. This was also parallelisable in N. The final phase was to merge to the worker concordances into a final complete concordance for each of the values of N. Initially, the sequence values in each data structure were sorted 2

N=6 was chosen because it was known that the string “God saw that it was good” occurs several times in Genesis.

138

J. Kerridge / Experiments in Multicore and Distributed Parallel Processing

so that a merge operation could be undertaken with the workers sending entries in a known order to the process undertaking the merge. In the first instance the entries were sent to the initial process that read the input file where the complete concordance was created in a single file by merging the concordance entries from each worker in a manner similar to a tape merge. In a second implementation, additional processes were run in each worker that just sent the entries for one value of N to a separate merge process. There was thus N such merge processes each generating a single output file for the corresponding value of N. The effect of each of these parallelisations is considered in the following subsections. 2.2 The Effect of Phase Parallelisation Each parallelisation did improve the performance of the application as a whole. For example, the second phase where each sequence for N = 1..6 is searched to find the indices of equal sequence values. The sequential version of the processing is shown in Listing 4. 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81

def localEqualWordMapListN = [] // contains an element for each N value for ( i in 1..N) localEqualWordMapListN[i] = [] // initialise to empty list def maxLength = BL - N for ( WordBlock wb in wordBlocks) { // sequential version that iterates through the sequenceBlockList for ( SequenceBlock sb in wb.sequenceBlockList){ // one sb for each value of N def length = maxLength def sequenceLength = sb.sequenceList.size() if (sequenceLength < maxLength) length = sequenceLength // last block def equalMap = defs.extractEqualValues ( length, wb.startIndex, sb.sequenceList) def equalWordMap = defs.extractUniqueSequences ( equalMap, sb.Nvalue, wb.startIndex, wb.bareWords) localEqualWordMapListN[sb.Nvalue] new ExtractEqualMaps( n: n, maxLength: maxLength, startIndex: wb.startIndex, words: wb.bareWords, sequenceList: wb.sequenceBlockList[n-1].sequenceList, localMap: localEqualWordMapListN[n]) } new PAR(procNet).run() } Listing 5. Parallel invocation of ExtractEqualMaps.

Listing 6 shows the definition of the process ExtractEqualMaps. By inspection it can be seen that the internal method calls of extractEqualValues {104} and extractUniqueSequences {106} are essentially the same as those in the sequential version except that they refer to the properties of the process rather than the actual variables. The definition is, however, unusual because it contains no channel properties. In this case the process will access memory locations that are shared between the parallel instances of the process. However the data structures were designed so that multiple processes can read the structures but they write to separate data structures ensuring there are no memory synchronisation and contention probems. 93 class ExtractEqualMaps implements CSProcess { 94 def n 95 def maxLength 96 def startIndex 97 def sequenceList 98 def words 99 def localMap 100 void run(){ 101 def length = maxLength 102 def sequenceLength = sequenceList.size() 103 if ( sequenceLength < maxLength) length = sequenceLength 104 def equalMap = defs.extractEqualValues ( length, startIndex, 105 sequenceList) 106 def equalWordMap = defs.extractUniqueSequences ( equalMap, 107 n, startIndex, words) 108 localMap 0, m be a margin and pa be actual production of the factory, then the value of pa is in the agreed range if pa ∈ (pi − m, pi + m) provided m < pi and m > 0.

A. Kosek et al. / Evaluating an Emergent Behaviour Algorithm

147

The scheme that regulates production rate pa in the factory takes a value from the manager at a particular time and if the value is above the specified range, therefore pa > pi + m, the production is decreased, if the value is below the range, therefore pa < pi − m, the production is increased. If the value pa is inside of the range, there is no action taken. Let d be a production rate of an employee of the factory, where d > 0 and let Δd be a factor of increase or decrease of d, where Δd > 0. Then if pa < pi − m, then workers production rate is increased d = d + Δd, if pa > pi + m, then workers production rate is decreased d = d − Δd, otherwise the request is dropped and the production rate d is kept constant until another request is issued. The behaviour can be alternated by changing the value of delta Δd depending on some conditions. Let c{n} be a sequence of conditions c1 , c2 , ..., cn , where c{n} = {c1 , c2 , ..., cn }, n ∈ N+ , cn ∈ R and let g : c{n} → Δd, Δd > 0 and h : c{n} → Δd, Δd > 0, be functions that generate the decrease/increase factor of the bricks production by each employee accordingly, then:  Δd =

g(c{n} ) if pa < pi − m; h(c{n} ) if pa > pi + m.

Functions g and h that generate the decrease or increase factor of brick production by each employee can be adjusted to regulate factory behaviour. Functions g and h can be either directly dependent or independent of pa , the actual value of production in the factory. The first group of production decrease or increase factor functions (g and h , where g ⊂ g and h ⊂ h) produce values independent of the value of the actual production in the factory, therefore c{n} is not dependent on pa . For example, let’s assume the ideal production is pi =100 bricks/min and the margin is m =5 bricks/min accepted production rate set is between 95 bricks/min and 105 bricks/min. If the input from the manager informs that the actual production is pa =50 bricks/min, then the production is increased. An employee can decide to decrease the production by a factor of Δd =1 bricks/min or Δd =10 bricks/min, that is independent of value of pa . The production rate scheme with factor functions independent of the actual production only checks if the value belongs to any of three ranges and uses functions not based on the actual value of pa . This function can be dependent of some other conditions used to calculate the increase or decrease factor. Therefore the employee that adapts to the manager’s request only need to know if the value is outside of the set (pi − m, pi + m) and react depending on the situation. The second group of production decrease or increase factor functions (g and h , where g ⊂ g and h ⊂ h) produce values dependent of the value of the actual production in the factory, therefore pa or function of pa can be one of conditions in sequence c{n} . For example one of the conditions of functions g and h can be the distance between actual and ideal production rate, therefore c1 = |pi − pa |, where c1 ∈ c{n} . 4. Algorithm Adjustments There are several factors that can be adjusted to achieve emergent behaviour when using Lazy and Enthusiastic Employee algorithm: in this paper we consider production decrease or increase factor functions and margin’s m size. Production decrease or increase factor functions helps varying workers’ behaviour. As mentioned in algorithm description any worker performs different behaviour when the overall production is too low and react differently in case of over-producing, therefore functions for production decrease or increase factor are different. Let’s consider a factory with 200 workers, where 100 of them are lazy employees and remaining 100 are enthusiastic employees. The ideal production rate is set to be 10000

148

A. Kosek et al. / Evaluating an Emergent Behaviour Algorithm

bricks/minute, all workers start from individual production rate, that is 0 bricks/minute, the default increase/decrease rate (Δd) is 10 bricks/minute. Let’s assign all enthusiastic employees to producing cheap bricks (1$ per unit) and lazy employees to production of expensive bricks (10$ per unit). By selecting appropriate production decrease or increase factor functions (g and h) we need to minimise the cost and maximise the factory reliability. At any time period the factory is reliable when actual production rate is within the accepted range, therefore pa ∈ (pi − m, pi + m) provided m < pi and m > 0, where pi is an ideal overall production rate. Within the proposed example let’s consider decrease or increase factor functions (g and h ) that produce values independent of the value of the actual production in the factory. Considered functions for enthusiastic employees g a , h a , and lazy employees g b , h b , are as follows: g a1 (Δd) = 3, h a1 (Δd) = 1,

g b1 (Δd) = 1, h b1 (Δd) = 3,

(1)

Workers production rate factor in the first example of g and h functions is constant and reaction to a low production is faster than reaction to over-producing for enthusiastic employee (g a1 (Δd) > h a1 (Δd)), and opposite for lazy employee (g b1 (Δd) < h b1 (Δd)). This way the enthusiastic employee is increasing production faster than decreasing, independently of value of Δd. In this case the production increase/decrease functions u1 and u2 are constant and independent of vale of pa . The second example functions are as follows: g a2 (step, Δd) = Δd · (step4 /100)/100, h a2 (step, Δd) = Δd · ((step − 10)4 /100)/100, g b2 (step, Δd) = Δd · ((step − 10)3 /10 + 100)/100, h b2 (step, Δd) = Δd · (100 − (step)3 /10)/100,

where step ∈ [0, 10], where step ∈ [0, 10], where step ∈ [0, 10], where step ∈ [0, 10].

(2)

Workers production rate factor in the second example of g and h functions is modelled using curves presented in Figure 3. Curves in Figure 3 based on x4 and x3 are used to calculate fraction of Δd being added or subtracted. The shape of the curve influences worker’s production rate and is one of the parameters of the algorithm. According to curves from Figure 3, enthusiastic workers increase their production rapidly at first and then stabilise, while decreasing production slowly and then picking up when no other employees are willing to decrease the production. The behaviour changes depending on a step, where step ∈ [0, 10]. At first an employee continues on the chosen curve and when the overall production reaches other side of the required range (pi − m, pi + m), then the curve is changed and a worker behaves differently.

Figure 3. Functions used to decrease and increase bricks production in the factory.

A. Kosek et al. / Evaluating an Emergent Behaviour Algorithm

149

The workers’ behaviour for both sets of g and h functions is compared to the behaviour without the Lazy and Enthusiastic algorithm and presented in Figure 4. The g and h functions used for comparison are as follows: g a3 (Δd) = 2, h a3 (Δd) = 2,

g b3 (Δd) = 2, h b3 (Δd) = 2.

(3)

As presented in Figure 4, the Lazy and Enthusiastic Employee algorithm’s performance depends on choice of g and h functions. Graphs 4.A1 and 4.A3 are very similar, therefore overall production of the factory is stable in both of those cases. When we look closer at individual behaviour of workers, graph 4.B3 shows that both work the same and try to sustain the production rate, in graph 4.B1 enthusiastic employees overtake the production with 9.910.2 bricks/minute, and force the lazy workers to decrease their production to around 0-2 bricks/minute. The third case (graph 4.B2), when using curves from Figure 3, enthusiastic workers take over the production completely, not letting lazy employees contribute to the overall production rate. The second group of production decrease or increase factor functions (g and h ) produce values dependent of the value of the actual production in the factory. Therefore the value of increase/decrease of bricks production depends on the actual value of overall production pa . An example of functions g and h depend of the distance between pa and pi , as introduced in previous section, and can be as follows: g a4 (pa , pi ) = (1 − (|pi − pa |/pi )) h a4 (pa , pi ) = (|pi − pa |/pi ) g b4 (pa , pi ) = (|pi − pa |/pi ) h b4 (pa , pi ) = (1 − (|pi − pa |/pi ))

pi , pa > 0, pi , pa > 0, pi , pa > 0, pi , pa > 0.

(4)

Functions g and h are designed to behave differently when distance between pa and pi is large and differently when both values are in close proximity. Special attention was paid to the region close to the value of pi in order to enable enthusiastic employees to overtake work done by lazy workers and stabilise the production. The behaviour of the factory is presented in Figure 5. As shown in Figures 4 and 5, the emergent behaviour of workers in a factory varies depending on chosen production decrease or increase factor functions. Table 2 presents combined results of the described behaviours, presenting cost of production and factory reliability. The cost of production is calculated with assumption that cheap bricks cost 1$ and expensive 10$ per unit. Factory reliability is measured from 100 samples of behaviour (100 minutes), the factory is reliable if the actual production is within the accepted range, therefore pa ∈ (pi − m, pi + m) provided m < pi and m > 0, where pi is an ideal overall production rate. Note that the limitation in production of the cheap bricks is not included in results Table 2, as the aim is to compare speed of reaction of workers depending on increase and decrease factor functions. In experiments described in Section 6, the light production from the mirror is limited by the outdoor lighting conditions. Table 2. Algorithm evaluation towards production cost and factory reliability. Function used (1) (2) (3) (4)

cheap bricks production cost 798601 84390 435400 891502

expensive bricks production cost 800520 0 4354000 936440

overall production cost 1599121 84390 4789400 1827942

factory reliability 72% 84% 76% 94%

150

A. Kosek et al. / Evaluating an Emergent Behaviour Algorithm

Figure 4. A1,A2,A3- Overall behaviour of workers with functions (1),(2) and (3) respectively; B1,B2,B3- Behaviour of groups of workers with functions (1),(2) and (3) respectively.

Figure 5. A4- Overall behaviour of workers with functions (4); B4- Behaviour of groups of workers with functions (4).

A. Kosek et al. / Evaluating an Emergent Behaviour Algorithm

151

Based on data represented in Table 2, functions (2) minimised the cost considerably while maintaining factory reliability within 84%. The performance of factory reliability when using functions (4) is impressive, while the cost is around 20 times higher than the production with functions (2). The overall behaviour of the algorithm points out that functions regulating production decrease or increase factor need to be selected carefully. When maximising for production cost, functions (2) or their variations should be used. 5. Implementation The Lazy and Enthusiastic Employee algorithm can be used to sustain a stable light level in a room with many autonomous light sources,as shown in Figure 1, while saving electricity. If we assume that light bulbs are lazy employees, as they need electricity to work, which is ”expensive”. Mirror using sunlight, which is ”cheap”, is assigned to be an enthusiastic employee and it is expected to give as much light as is needed and possible. This way it is possible to use the algorithm to save energy and ensure stable light level in the space as long as all light sources can function properly. This system can also exhibit emergent behaviour based on this simple model. All devices that are needed for the ligting system described in this paper are autonomous and collaborate by formatting ad-hoc networks. This means that there are many concurrent behaviours that represent a real word scenarios need to be simulated. We have chosen, therefore, the JCSP (Communicating Sequential Processes (CSP) [11] for Java) library for simulation of this system. Java was chosen as a programming language of the simulation because of its maturity and ease of programming CSP based networks of processes. JCSP implements concurrent programming with processes running and communicating simultaneously. A parallel solution was chosen for a simulation to represent many devices, working autonomously, performing a behaviour depending on a value received from sensors. Devices are autonomous and do not rely on any global synchronisation; devices only synchronise on messages and, therefore, a CSP model is natural to represent the discussed pervasive system. A sensor reacts to change of the light intensity and periodically sends a broadcast signal to all available devices. Components of the presented system decide how to react to the received signal. As a broadcast mechanism is not available in CSP, a repeater was used to ensure that all devices receive a single signal. The broadcast mechanism is fixed to the number of available devices, repeating the message to all available devices. If any of devices is not available to receive the request, the broadcast process is blocked. All devices from the scenario in Figure 1 are CSP processes and use channels to communicate. For the purpose of this simulation, we assume perfect and reliable communication links. The behaviour of the presented system needs to be visualised. All devices send their state to a Graphical Interface (GI) in order to show results of the implemented behaviour. The GI accepts state information from devices on any-to-one channel, visualises the data and calculates values for indoor sensors. The GI of the presented simulation was built with jcsp.awt [8] active components to enable direct communication between the GI and other processes. The architecture implies broadcast communication between devices, as sensors do not know which devices are interested in the passed light intensity value. The connection between broadcast process and a device is one-to-one to make sure that the massage is delivered. The connection between device and GI is a many-to-one channel enabling all devices to write to GI. As the control algorithm is implemented in individual lamps and the mirror, the behaviour of the system can only be observed when all devices run simultaneously. CSP has already been successfully used to simulate systems presenting emergent behaviour [12,13,14, 15], showing that a process-oriented approach is suitable for modelling a non-deterministic environment.

152

A. Kosek et al. / Evaluating an Emergent Behaviour Algorithm

Figure 6. CSP process model diagram for the implemented lighting system.

All 16 lamps (in Figure 6: L1-L16), 17 sensors (in Figure 6: indoor sensors S1-S16, outdoor sensor I) and the mirror (in Figure 6: M) are CSP processes communicating over a broadcast process (in Figure 6: B) using one-to-one and one-to-many channels. Every message sent to the broadcast process is replicated and sent to all devices. Signal is next interpreted according to directions from the Lazy and Enthusiastic Employee algorithm in every device individually. All devices report their state to the graphical interface process (in Figure 6: GI). The first factor of the Lazy and Enthusiastic Employee algorithm is choice of the behaviour curve; according to results presented in Section 4, the chosen curves for lights and mirror are presented in Figure 3. The choice was based on the algorithm’s high performance in overall production costs and user comfort, as presented in Table 2. The second factor that we consider in the simulation is the size and location of margins that define the range of reaction of the system. In this implementation, we use variable values of ideal light intensity in a space pi , where pi > 0, and fixed margin m=50. Therefore, a region R1 = [pi , pi + 50] for mirror and region R2 = [pi − 50; pi ) for the lights is used. The regions are excluding / therefore lights and mirror stabilise on different values from light sensors. (R1 ∩ R2 = 0), When the light is stable, the mirror is trying to go up and opposite; when the mirror is stable the lights want to dim down. Therefore, the light first reaction is always enthusiastic. This enables the behaviour of taking over the task to illuminate the space. Light can eventually become lazy when there is no need for a fast reaction or the space illumination should be stabilised. For purpose of the simulation, we use arbitrary light intensity units to express values delivered by light intensity sensors. The ideal intensity, defined by user, is 500 units. We have also assumed that if the light is dimmed to x%, the light sensor senses 10 · x units. 6. Experiments The main goal of the system is to sustain user defined light intensity in a space while maintaining low energy use, using as much natural light as possible. We have performed two experiments using a different control algorithms for a space with 16 lamps and a mirror reflecting light into a ceiling. The aim of these two experiments is to compare energy use for a system with and without dimming control algorithm deployed. The space is divided into 16 regions, both a single lamp and a mirror has an influence on this space, also light from outside is simulated to influence the sensor value with 25%, 12.5%, 10% and 0% of environment’s light intensity depending on the distance of regions from the window.

A. Kosek et al. / Evaluating an Emergent Behaviour Algorithm

153

Experiment 1. Lights and mirror react to a sensor value and are designed to sustain user defined level of light. Both mirror and light are willing to accept every request and adapt to it, therefore the Δd is constant, therefore there is no algorithm used to regulate devices behaviour. Experiment 2. Lights and mirror react to a sensor value and are designed to sustain user defined level of light and use the Lazy and Enthusiastic Employee Algorithm (L&EE Algorithm). The algorithm was implemented as described in Section 4. The simulation was

Figure 7. Experiments’ input data for light intensity outside.

run for 60 seconds with identical input for all experiments. The light intensity of the environment was changed over time according to Figure 7. We have created a data reference set for proposed experiments. We have measured an energy consumption of 16 lamps that use no dimming, all light sustain constant light level that is 100%. 7. Results and Analysis The simulation has a graphical interface to present results of experiments (Figure 8).The first part of the simulation GUI shows a 2D model of the considered space. There are 16 lamps on the ceiling and dimming percentage associated with a lamp (Figure 8,D).

Figure 8. Simulation GUI.

The mirror’s illumination is the same for whole room an is represented in the GUI by a half-circle (Figure 8,C). There are 16 regions and 16 sensors, each associated with each region. The value of the sensor in each region is the sum of light from a lamp, mirror and light spread from the window. The value of intensity in agreed units in a region is shown in Figure 8,B. For the purpose of this simulation we calculate the value of the sensor only using intensity from one lamp and mirror. The brightness of the environment due to sunlight

154

A. Kosek et al. / Evaluating an Emergent Behaviour Algorithm

is shown in a strip outside the room (Figure 8,A). Colours and brightness of all components in the simulation is adjusted depending on a data received from devices. The simulation realtime data is output to graphs as shown in Figure 9. To simplify the GIU only data from lamp 1 (top-left corner of the room), mirror and sensor 1 associated with region 1 are shown in graphs. The x axis in graphs is time measured in milliseconds.

Figure 9. Light, mirror and indoor sensor behaviour for Experiment 1 and 2.

Experiment 1. In this experiment lights react to values from the sensor and try to fulfil the request to increase or decrease the light level in the space. All lights and mirror react the same to sensor values, increasing or decreasing light level with the same factor, therefore no algorithm regulating their behaviour is used. The graphs in Figure 9 are divided into time phases that were described in Figure 7. In phase 1 light and mirror both are trying to dim up, both light sources stop as soon as they reach the defined range. In phase 2, as light outside decreases, mirror gives away less light and light has to compensate. Both light sources slightly decrease in phase 3. As environmental light decreases to 20 units in phase 4, light takes over lighting the space. In phase 5 both light and mirror are stable as both of them have reached the range. In this experiment we can observe that the mirror is usually not used, as it has a limit over its dimming up. The lamp can dim up easily, therefore it usually takes over lighting the space. Experiment 2. In this experiment we use L&EE algorithm to control light intensity in the space. The graphs in Figure 9 are divided into the sample five time phases. At the start of the simulation, in phase 1, all the lamps are off, as sensors start sending values to lamps, lamps notice that the light intensity is smaller than defined by the user, therefore they start slowly dimming up. In phase 1 mirror is also willing to dim up, and as the light intensity outside is 200 units mirror fast dim up to 20%. Lamps waits for a while and then slowly starts dimming up to keep the desired light level. In phase 2 the environmental conditions change and intensity decreases to 100 units, the mirror gives less light, therefore lamps have to compensate. Soon lamp 1 becomes stable as the range of the ideal intensity was reached. In phase 3 the light from outside increases to 700 units and mirror takes this opportunity to dim up, meanwhile light notices a possibility to give away less light, therefore it dims down. After a while the mirror takes over lighting up the space and light 1 is off. Table 3. Energy usage for all experiments. Algorithm No control, lamps 100% dim Dimming control, no algorithm L&EE Algorithm

Energy usage (J) 86700 31428 16019

A. Kosek et al. / Evaluating an Emergent Behaviour Algorithm

155

In phase 4 light from the outside rapidly decreases to 20 units. The mirror stops giving light, so the light bulb is forced to dim up slowly, until the space will be illuminated within the agreed range. In phase 5 light outside increases to 300 units, therefore mirror goes up and lamp 1 dims down to 10%. As the light from outside spreads unevenly in the room. Regions closer to the window are brighter than regions further away from the window. At the end of this experiment lamp 1 is dimmed to only 10%, while lamp 4 (top-right corner of the room) needs to be dimmed to 20%. Table 4. Energy savings when comparing energy usage from experiment 1 and 2 to the reference data. Algorithm used No dimming algorithm L&EE Algorithm

Energy savings (%) 63.8 81.5

Energy usage results from two experiments are compared in Table 3. The energy usage data is calculated with assumption that all lamps are 100 Watt. From Table 3 we can further calculate the percentage of the energy savings while using L&EE algorithm and experiment with no dimming control algorithm used compared to the reference data. Results are shown in Table 4. Using data reference set and other experiments, we can see that Lazy and Enthusiastic Employee algorithm can reduce energy usage, when there is light outside that can be used to illuminate the space. 8. Further Work and Conclusions In this paper we have shown an emergent behaviour arising from autonomous lighting system devices. This behaviour is based on a simple model inspired by human society. Processoriented approach was chosen for representing this non-deterministic environment. We have used CSP to model and JCSP to implement this system of many concurrently executing devices and their message exchanges. The Graphical Interface benefits from use of any-to-one input channel for receiving information about devices’ state in order to simulate the overall light intensity in the room. The algorithm helps saving energy in spaces with daylight and enables devices that use less energy to take over a task from devices that use more energy without a central control. The algorithm was tested with different parameters and a simulation of a lighting system in an office space was developed in order to show possible energy savings. The algorithm presented in this paper is tested using simulation, we have chosen arbitrary units for light intensity as we did not use any lighting model. This algorithm can be tested in a real system with actual devices. In this simulation model we also assume that light sensor value is a sum of luminance from light that is above its location, the light distributed by the mirror and the light that gets into the room through the window. In real system, in general a sensor could be be affected by more than one light source but no light distribution model was used in this simulation. In a real system the value from the sensor is a sum of the actual lighting condition in the room, in the simulation, this value is calculated from lamps and light outside, but not according to any lighting model, therefore calculations can be inaccurate. In this paper we described algorithm with only two options for employees: lazy and enthusiastic, but its possible to make whole range of workers and assign them different behaviours using different behaviour curves, as presented in Figure 3. Acknowledgements The work presented in this paper and part of the experiments have been performed at NXP Semiconductors, The Netherlands.

156

A. Kosek et al. / Evaluating an Emergent Behaviour Algorithm

References [1] U.S. Energy Information Administration. Retail sales and direct use of electricity to ultimate consumers by sector, by provider, 1997 through 2008, 2008. [2] U.S. Energy Information Administration. Electricity consumption (kwh) by end use for all buildings, 2003, 2008. [3] Kurt W. Ruth and Kurtis McKenney. Energy consumption by consumer electronics in U.S. residences, Final report to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) January 2007, 2007. [4] WorldwatchInstitute. Compact Fluorescent Lamps Could Nearly Halve Global Lighting Demand for Electricity, 2008. [5] U.S. Department of Energy. Comparison of LEDs to Traditional Light Sources, 2009. [6] NEN. NEN 2916:2004, Dutch Standards Institute Norm, Energy performance of residential buildings, 2004. [7] Marco Mamei and Franco Zambonelli. Field-Based Coordination for Pervasive Multiagent Systems. Springer, 2006. [8] P. H. Welch and P. D. Austin. The jcsp home page. http://www.cs.ukc.ac.uk/projects/ofa/jcsp/, 1999. [9] Peter H. Welch, Neil C.C. Brown, J. Moores, K. Chalmers, and B. Sputh. Integrating and Extending JCSP. In Alistair A. McEwan, Steve Schneider, Wilson Ifill, and Peter Welch, editors, Communicating Process Architectures 2007, volume 65 of Concurrent Systems Engineering Series, pages 349–370, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, July 2007. IOS Press. ISBN: 978-1-58603-767-3. [10] Aly A. Syed, Johan Lukkien, and Roxana Frunza. An ad hoc networking architecture for pervasive systems based on distributed knowledge. In Proceedings of Date2010, Dresden, 2010. [11] C. A. R. Hoare. Communicating sequential processes. Commun. ACM, 21(8):666–677, 1978. [12] C. G. Ritson and P. H. Welch. A process-oriented architecture for complex system modelling. Concurr. Comput. : Pract. Exper., 22:965–980, June 2010. [13] Christopher A. Rouff, Michael G. Hinchey, Walter F. Truszkowski, and James L. Rash. Experiences applying formal approaches in the development of swarm-based space exploration systems. Int. J. Softw. Tools Technol. Transf., 8:587–603, October 2006. [14] Peter H. Welch, Frederick R. M. Barnes, and Fiona A. C. Polack. Communicating complex systems. In Proceedings of the 11th IEEE International Conference on Engineering of Complex Computer Systems, pages 107–120, Washington, DC, USA, 2006. IEEE Computer Society. [15] A.T. Sampson, P.H. Welch, and F.R.M. Barnes. Lazy Simulation of Cellular Automata with Communicating Processes. In J.F. Broenink, H.W. Roebbers, J.P.E. Sunter, P.H. Welch, and D.C. Wood, editors, Communicating Process Architectures 2005, volume 63 of Concurrent Systems Engineering Series, pages 165–175, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 2005. IOS Press. ISBN: 1-58603-561-4.

Communicating Process Architectures 2011 P.H. Welch et al. (Eds.) IOS Press, 2011 © 2011 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved. doi:10.3233/978-1-60750-774-1-157

157

LUNA: Hard Real-Time, Multi-Threaded, CSP-Capable Execution Framework M. M. BEZEMER, R. J. W. WILTERDINK and J. F. BROENINK Control Engineering, Faculty EEMCS, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands {M.M.Bezemer, J.F.Broenink} @utwente.nl Abstract. Modern embedded systems have multiple cores available. The CTC++ library is not able to make use of these cores, so a new framework is required to control the robotic setups in our lab. This paper first looks into the available frameworks and compares them to the requirements for controlling the setups. It concludes that none of the available frameworks meet the requirements, so a new framework is developed, called LUNA. The LUNA architecture is component based, resulting in a modular structure. The core components take care of the platform related issues. For each supported platform, these components have a different implementation, effectively providing a platform abstraction layer. High-level components take care of platform-independent tasks, using the core components. Execution engine components implement the algorithms taking care of the execution flow, like a CSP implementation. The paper describes some interesting architectural challenges encountered during the LUNA development and their solutions. It concludes with a comparison between LUNA, C++CSP2 and CTC++. LUNA is shown to be more efficient than CTC++ and C++CSP2 with respect to switching between threads. Also, running a benchmark using CSP constructs, shows that LUNA is more efficient compared to the other two. Furthermore, LUNA is also capable of controlling actual robotic setups with good timing properties. Keywords. CSP, framework architecture, hard real-time, performance comparison, rendezvous communication, scheduling, threading.

Introduction Context Nowadays, many embedded systems have multiple cores at their disposal. In order to be able to run more challenging (control) algorithms, embedded control software should be able to make use of these extra cores. Developing complex concurrent software tends to become tedious and error-prone. CSP [1] can ease such a task. Especially in combination with a graphical modeling tool [2], designing such complex system becomes easier and the tool could help in reusing earlier developed models. CTC++ [3] is a CSP based library, providing a hard real-time execution framework for CSP based applications. When controlling robotic setups, real-time is an important property. There are two levels of real-time: hard real-time and soft real-time. According to Kopetz [4]: “If a result has utility even after the deadline has passed, the deadline is classified as soft (. . . ) If a catastrophe could result if a deadline is missed, the deadline is called hard”. Figure 1 shows the layered design, used in our Control Engineering group, for embedded software applications connected to actual hardware. Each layer supports a type of real-time,

158 M.M. Bezemer et al. / LUNA: Hard Real-Time, Multi-Threaded, CSP-Capable Execution Framework

Safety layer

Hard real-time

I/O hardware

Meas. & Act.

Sequence control

Soft real-time

Supervisory control & Interaction

User interface

Non real-time

Loop control

Embedded software

Process

D/A

Power amplifier

A/D

Filtering/ Scaling

Actuators Physical system Sensors

Figure 1. Software architecture for embedded systems [5].

varying from non real-time to hard real-time. The ‘Loop control’ is the part of the application responsible for controlling the physical system and it is realised in a hard real-time layer. The hard real-time layer has strict timing properties, guaranteeing that given deadlines are always met. If this for whatever reason fails, the system is considered unsafe and catastrophic accidents might happen with the physical system or its surroundings due to moving parts. The soft real-time layer tries to meet its deadlines, without giving any hard guarantees. If the design is correct nothing serious should happen in case such a deadline is not met. This layer can be used for those parts of the application which are more complex and require more time to run its tasks, like algorithms which map the environment, plan future tasks of the physical system or communicate with other systems. The non real-time layer does not try to meet any deadlines, but provides means for long running tasks or for an user interface. The left-over resources of the system are used for these tasks, without giving any guarantees of the availability of them. Robotic and mechatronic setups like the ones in our lab require a hard real-time layer, since it is undesirable for the actual setups to go haywire. The use of Model Driven Development (MDD) tools makes developing for complex setups a less complex and more maintainable task [6]. For the multi-core or multi-CPU embedded platforms, we would like to make use of these extra resources. Unfortunately, the CTC++ library, as it is, is not suitable for these platforms, as it can only use one core or CPU. This paper evaluates possibilities to overcome this problem. The requirements for a suitable framework that can be used for robotic and mechatronic setups are: • Hard real-time. This incorporates that the resulting application needs to be deterministic, so it is possible to guarantee that deadlines are always met. The framework should provide a layered approach for such hard real-time systems (see Figure 1). • Multi-platform. The setups have different kind of hardware platforms to run on, like PowerPC, ARM or x86 processors. Also different operating systems should be supported by the framework. • Thread support. In order to take advantage of multi-core or multi-CPU capable target systems. • Scalability. All kind of setups should be controlled: From the big robotic humanoids in our lab to small embedded platforms with limited computer resources. • CSP execution engine. Although, it should not force the use of CSP constructs when the developer does not want it, as this might result in not using the framework at all. • Development time. The framework should decrease the development time for complex concurrent software. • Debugging and tracing. Provide good debugging and tracing functionality, so developed applications using the framework can be debugged easily and during development unexpected behaviour of the framework can be detected and corrected. Realtime logging functionalities could preserve the debug output for later inspection.

M.M. Bezemer et al. / LUNA: Hard Real-Time, Multi-Threaded, CSP-Capable Execution Framework 159

The CTC++ library meets most requirements, however as mentioned before, it does not have thread support for multi-core target systems. It also has a tight integration with the CSP execution engine, so it is not possible to use the library without being forced to use CSP as well. This is an obstacle to use the library from a generic robotics point of view and results in ignoring the CTC++ library altogether, as is experienced in our lab. A future framework should prevent this tight integration. By adding a good MDD tool to the toolchain, the robotic oriented people can gradually get used to CSP. It might seem logical to perform a major update to CTC++. But unfortunately the architecture and structure of the library became outdated over the years, making it virtually impossible to make such major changes to it. So other solutions need to be found to solve our needs. Existing Solutions This section describes other frameworks, which could replace the CTC++ library. For each framework the list with requirements is discussed to get an idea of the usability of the framework. A good candidate is the C++CSP2 library [7] as it already has a multi-threaded CSP engine available. Unfortunately it is not suitable for hard real-time applications controlling setups. It actively makes use of exceptions to influence the execution flow, which makes a application non deterministic. Exceptions are checked at run-time, by the C++ run-time engine. Because the C++ run-time engine has no notion of custom context switches, exceptions are considered unsafe for usage in hard real-time setups. Also as exceptions cannot be implemented in a deterministic manner, as they might destroy the timing guarantees of the application. Exceptions in normal control flow also do not provide priorities which could be set for processes or groups of processes. This is essential to have hard, soft and non real-time layers in a design in order to meet the scheduled deadlines of control loops. And last, it makes use of features which are not commonly available on embedded systems. On such systems it is common practice to use the microcontroller C library (uClibc) [8], in which only commonly used functionality of the regular C library is included. Most notably, one of the functionalities which is not commonly included in uClibc is Thread Local Storage, but is used by C++CSP2. Since Java is not hard real-time, for example due to the garbage collector, we did not look into the Java based libraries, like JCSP [9]. Although, there is a new Java virtual machine, called JamaicaVM [10], which claims to be hard real-time and supporting multi-core targets. Nonetheless, JCSP was designed without hard real-time constraints in mind and so may not be suitable for hard real-time. Besides these specific CSP frameworks, there are non-CSP-based frameworks to which a CSP layer might be added. OROCOS [11] and ROS [12] are two of these frameworks and both claim to be real-time. But both will not be able to run hard real-time 1KHz control loops on embedded targets which are low on resources. Their claim about being real-time is probably true when using dedicated hardware for the control loops, which are fed by the framework with ‘setpoints’. Basically, the framework is operating at a soft real-time level, since it does not matter if a setpoint arrives slightly late at the hardware control loop. In our group we like to design the control loops ourselves and are not using such hardware control loop solutions. Furthermore, it is impossible to use formal methods to confirm that a complex application, using one of these frameworks, is deadlock or livelock free, because of the size and complexity of these frameworks [13]. Based on the research performed on these frameworks, we have decided to start over and implement a completely new framework. Available libraries, especially the CTC++ and C++CSP2 libraries, are helpful for certain constructs, ideas and solutions. The new framework can reuse these useful and sophisticated parts, to prevent redundant work and knowl-

160 M.M. Bezemer et al. / LUNA: Hard Real-Time, Multi-Threaded, CSP-Capable Execution Framework

edge being thrown away. After implementing the mentioned requirements, it should be able to keep up with our future expansion ideas. Outline The next section describes the general idea behind the new framework, threading, the CSP approach, channels and alternative functionality. Section 2 compares the framework with the other related CSP frameworks mentioned earlier, for some timing tests and when actually controlling real setups. In the next section, the conclusions about the new framework are presented. And the last section discusses future work and possibilities. 1. LUNA Architecture The new framework is called LUNA, which stands for ‘LUNA is a Universal Networking Architecture’. A (new) graphical design and code generation tool, like gCSP [14], is also planned, tailored to be compatible with the LUNA. This MDD tool will be called Twente Embedded Real-time Robotic Application (TERRA). It is going to take care of model optimisations and by result generating more efficient code, in order to reduce the complexity and needs of optimisations in LUNA itself. >

      


1 then { a aliases A[0..|A|/2 − 1] ; b aliases A[i..|A|] ; seq-msort (a) ; seq-msort (b) ; merge(A,a,b) } (a)

proc par-msort (t, n, A) is if |A| > 1 then { a aliases A[0 . . . |A|/2 − 1] ; b aliases A[i . . . |A|] ; if |A| > Cth then { par-msort (t, n/2, a) | on t + n/2 do par-msort (t + n/2, n/2, b) } else { par-msort (t, n/2,a) ; par-msort (t + n/2, n/2,b) } ; merge(A,a,b) } (b)

Figure 3. Sequential and parallel mergesort processes.

second call which is migrated to a remote core. This threshold is used to control the extent to which the computation is distributed. In each of the experiments for an input of size 2k and available processors p = 2d , the threshold is set as 2k /p. The approach taken in distribute is used to control the placements of each of the sub-computations. Initially, the problem is split in half; this will have the greatest benefit to the execution time. Depending on the problem size, further remote branchings of the problem may not be economical, and the remaining steps should be evaluated locally, in sequence. In this case, the algorithm simply reduces to seq-msort . This parallel formulation of mergesort is essentially just distribute with additional work and communication overhead, but it will allow us to more concretely quantify the relative costs of process creation. The parallel implementation of mergesort par-msort is given in Figure 3b. It uses the same sequential merge procedure and the parameters t and n control the placement of processes in the same way as they were used with distribute . We can now analyse the performance and behaviour of par-msort and the process creation mechanism by looking at the parallel runtime. 3.2.1. Runtime We first define the runtime of the sequential components of par-msort . This includes the sequential merging and sorting procedures. The runtime Tm of merge is linear and is defined as Tm (n) = Ca n +Cb for constants Ca ,Cb > 0, relating to the per-word and per-merge overheads respectively. These were measured as Ca = 90ns and Cb = 830ns. The runtime Ts (n, 1) of seq-msort , is expressed as a recurrence: n (2) Ts (n, 1) = 2Ts , 1 + Tm (n) 2 which has the solution (3) Ts (n, 1) = n(Cc log n +Cd ) for constants Cc ,Cd > 0. These were measured as Cc = 200ns and Cd = 1200ns. Based on this we can express the runtime of par-msort as the combination of the costs of creating new processes, moving data, merging and sorting sequentially. The key component of this is the cost Tc , relating to the on statement in the parallel formulation, which is defined as Tc (n) = Ci + 2Cw n.

J. Hanlon and S.J. Hollis / Fast Distributed Process Creation with the XMOS XS1 Architecture

203

This is because we can normalise Cl to 1 (due to Theorem 1), the size of the procedures sent is constant and the number of arguments and results are both n. The initialisation overhead Ci was measured as 28μs, larger than that for distribute as the closure contains the descriptions of merge and par-msort . For the parallel runtime, the base sequential case is given by Equation 2. With two processors, the work and execution time can be split in half at the cost of migrating the procedures and data: n n Ts (n, 2) = Tc + Ts , 1 + Tm (n). 2 2 With four processors, the work is split in half at a cost of Tc (n/2) and then in quarters at a cost of Tc (n/4). After the data has been sequentially sorted in time Ts (n/4, 1) it must be merged at the two children of the master node in time Tm (n/2), and then again at the master in time Tm (n): n n n n Ts (n, 4) =Tc + Tc + Tm + Tm (n) + Ts , 1 2 4 2 4 Hence in general, we have:  log p n

n n Ts (n, p) = ∑ Tc i + Tm i−1 + Ts ,1 2 2 p i=1 for n ≥ p as each leaf sub-process of the sorting computation must operate on at least one data item. We can then express this precisely by substituting our definitions for Ts , Tc and Tm and simplifying:  n n 2n 2n Ts (n, p) =Cw (p − 1) +Ci log p +Ca (p − 1) +Cb log p + Cc log +Cd p p p p  n n 2n (4) = (p − 1)(Cw +Ca ) + (Ci +Cb ) log p + Cc log +Cd p p p For p = 1, this reduces to Equation 3. This definition allows us to express the a lower bound and minimum for the runtime. 3.2.2. Lower Bound We can give a lower bound Tm s on the parallel runtime Ts (n, p) such that ∀n, p Ts (n, p) ≥ Tm s . This is obtained by considering the parallel overhead, that is the cost of distributing the problem over the system. In this case it relates to the cost of process creation, including moving processes and their data, the Tc component of Ts : log p

Tm s (n, p) =

∑ Tc

k=1

=

n 2k

log p



Ci + 2Cw

k=1

= Ci log p +Cw

n 2k

2n (p − 1). p

(5)

Equation 5 is then the sum of the costs of process creation and movement of input data. When n = 0, Tm s relates to Equation 1; this is the cost of transmitting and initiating just the computations over the system. For n ≥ 0, this includes the cost of moving the data.

204

J. Hanlon and S.J. Hollis / Fast Distributed Process Creation with the XMOS XS1 Architecture

3.2.3. Minimum Given an input of length m ≤ n for some sub-computation of par-msort , creation of a remote branch is beneficial only when the cost of this is less than the local sequential case: m m Tc + Ts , 1 + Tm (n) < Ts (m, 1) 2 2 m m m Tc , 1 + Tm (n) < 2Ts , 1 + Tm (m) + Ts 2 2 2 m m < Ts ,1 Tc 2 2 Hence, initiation of a remote sorting process for an array of length n is beneficial only when Tc (n) < Ts (n, 1). That is, the cost of remotely initiating a process to perform half the work and receiving the results is less than the cost of sequentially sorting m/2 elements. Therefore at the inflection point we have (6) Tc (n) = Ts (n, 1) . 3.2.4. Results Figure 4 shows the measured execution time of par-msort as a function of the number of processors used for varying input sizes. Figure 4a shows just three small inputs. The smallest possible input is 256 bytes as the minimum size for any sub-computation is 1 word. The minimum execution time for this size is at p = 4 processors, when the array is subdivided twice into 64 byte sections. This is the point given by Equation 6 and indicates directly the total cost incurred in offloading a computation. For p < 4, the cost of sorting sequentially dominates the runtime, and for p > 4, the cost of creating a new processes and transferring the array sections dominates the runtime. With the next input of size 512 bytes, the minimum moves to p = 8, where the array is again divided into 64 byte sections. This holds for each input size and in general gives us the minimum size for which creating a new process will further reduce the runtime. The runtime lower bound Tm s (0, p) given by Equation 5 is also plotted on Figure 4a. This shows the small and sub-linear cost with respect to p of the overheads incurred with the distribution and management of processes around the system. Relative to Ts (64, p) this constitutes most of the overall work performed, which is expected as the array is fully decomposed into unit sections. For larger sized inputs, as presented in Figure 4b, this cost becomes just a fraction of the total work performed. Figure 5 shows predicted execution times for par-msort for larger p and n. Each plot contains the execution time Ts as defined by Equation 4, and Tm s with and without the transfer of data. Figure 5a gives results for the smallest input size possible to sort on 1024 cores (4kB) and includes the measurements for Tm s (0, p) and Ts . It reiterates what was shown in Figure 4a and shows that beyond 64 cores, very little penalty is incurred to create up to 1024 sorting instances, with Tm s accounting for around 23% of the total runtime for larger systems. This is due to the exponential growth of the distribution mechanism. Figure 5b gives results for the largest measured input of 32kB, showing the same trends, where Tm s this time is around just 3% of the runtime between 64 and 1024 cores. Figure 5c and Figure 5d present predictions made by the performance model for more realistic workloads of 10MB and 1GB respectively. Figure 5c shows that 10MB could be sorted sequentially in around 7s and in parallel in at least 0.6s. Figure 5d shows that 1GB could be sorted in just under 15m sequentially or at least 1m in parallel. What these results

J. Hanlon and S.J. Hollis / Fast Distributed Process Creation with the XMOS XS1 Architecture

0.8

0.5

Time (ms)

0.6 Time (ms)

100

Tm s (0, p) Ts (256B, p) Ts (512B, p) Ts (1kB, p)

0.7

0.4 0.3

205

Ts (256B, p) Ts (512B, p) Ts (1kB, p) Ts (2kB, p) Ts (4kB, p) Ts (8kB, p) Ts (16kB, p) Ts (32kB, p)

10

1

0.2 0.1 0.1

0 1

2

4

8 p

16

32

64

(a) Log-linear plot for varying small inputs.

1

2

4

8 16 32 64 p

(b) Log-log plot for larger inputs.

Figure 4. Measured execution time of par-msort as a function of the number of processors. (a) highlights the minimum execution time and the Tm s lower bound.

make clear is that the distribution of the input data dominates and bounds the runtime and that the distribution of data constituting the process descriptions is a negligible proportion of the overall runtime for reasonable workloads. The relatively small sequential workload O(n/p log(n/p)) of mergesort, which decays quickly as p increases, emphasises the cost of data distribution. For heavier workloads, such as O((n/p)2 ), we would expect to see a much more dramatic reduction in execution time and the cost of data distribution still eventually to bound runtime, but then by a relatively fractional amount. 4. Conclusions This paper presents the design, implementation, demonstration and evaluation of an efficient mechanism for dynamically creating computations in a distributed memory parallel computer. It has shown that a computation can be dispatched to a remote processor in just tens of microseconds, and when this mechanism is combined with recursion, it can be used to efficiently implement parallel growth. The distribute algorithm demonstrates how an empty array of processors can be populated with a computation exponentially quickly. For 64 cores, it takes just 114.60μs and for 1024 cores this will be of the order of 190μs. The par-msort algorithm extends this by performing additional computational work and communication of data which allowed us to obtain a clearer picture of the cost of process creation with respect to varying problem sizes. As the cost of transferring and invoking remote computations is related primarily to the size of the closure, this cost grows slowly with system size and is independent of data. With a 10MB input, it represents around just 0.001% of the runtime. The sorting results also highlight two important issues: the granularity at which it is possible to create new processes and costs of data movement. They show that the computation can be subdivided to operate on just 64 byte chunks and for performance to still be improved. The cost of data movement is significant, relative to the small amount of work performed at each node; for more intensive tasks, these costs would diminish. However, these results assume a worst case, where all data originates from a single core. In other systems, this cost may be reduced by concurrent access through a parallel file system or from prior data distribution. The XS1 architecture provides efficient support for concurrency and communications and the XK-XMP-64 provides an optimal transport for the described algorithms, so we expect our lightweight scheme to be fast, relative to the performance of other distributed systems.

206

10

100

1

10 Time (ms)

Time (ms)

J. Hanlon and S.J. Hollis / Fast Distributed Process Creation with the XMOS XS1 Architecture

0.1 Tm s (0, p)  Tm s (0, p)  Tm s (n, p) Ts (n, p) Ts (n, p)

0.01 0.001

0.0001

1 0.1

Tm s (0, p)  Tm s (0, p)  Tm s (n, p) Ts (n, p) Ts (n, p)

0.01 0.001

0.0001 p

1024

512

256

128

64

32

16

8

4

2

1

1024

512

256

128

64

32

16

8

4

2

1

p

(a) n = 64 (256B) with measured results up to 64 cores. (b) n = 8192 (32kB) with measured results up to 64 cores. 1e+06 100000 10000 1000 100 10 1 0.1 0.01 0.001

10000 100

Time (ms)

Time (ms)

1000  Tm s (0, p)  Tm s (n, p) Ts (n, p)

10 1 0.1 0.01

0.001

1024

p

512

256

128

64

32

16

8

4

2

(c) n = 2621440 (10MB).

1

1024

512

256

128

64

32

16

8

4

2

1

p

 Tm s (0, p)  Tm s (n, p) Ts (n, p)

(d) n = 268435465 (1GB).

Figure 5. Predicted () performance of par-msort for larger n and p ≤ 1024. All plots are log-log.

Hence, the results provide a convincing proof-of-concept implementation, demonstrating the kind of performance that is possible and, with respect to the topology, establish a reasonable lower bound on the performance of the approach presented. The results generalise to more dynamic schemes where placements are not perfect and other larger architectures such as supercomputers, where interconnection topologies are less well connected and communication is less efficient. In these cases, the approach applies at a coarser granularity with larger problem sizes to match the relative performance. 5. Future Work Having successfully designed and implemented a language and runtime allowing explicit process creation with the on statement, we will continue with our focus on the concept of growth in parallel programs and plan to extend the work in the following ways. Firstly, by looking at how placement of process closures can be determined automatically by the runtime, relieving the programmer of having to specify this. Secondly, by implementing the language and runtime with C and MPI to target a larger platform, which will provide a more scalable demonstration of the concepts and their generality. And lastly, by looking at generic optimisations that can be made to the process creation mechanism to improve overall performance and scalability. More details about the current implementation are available online1 , 1 http://www.cs.bris.ac.uk/

~hanlon/sire

J. Hanlon and S.J. Hollis / Fast Distributed Process Creation with the XMOS XS1 Architecture

207

where news of future developments will also be published. Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank XMOS for their support, in particular from David May, Henk Muller and Richard Osborne. References [1] David May. The Transputer revisited. In Millennial Perspectives in Computer Science: Proceedings of the 1999 Oxford-Microsoft Symposium in Honour of Sir Tony Hoare, pages 215–246. Palgrave Macmillan, 1999. [2] David May. The XMOS XS1 Architecture. XMOS Ltd., October 2009. http://www.xmos.com/ support/documentation. [3] Asanovic, Bodik et al. The Landscape of Parallel Computing Research: A View from Berkeley. Technical Report UCB/EECS-2006-183, EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley, Dec 2006. http: //www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2006/EECS-2006-183.html. [4] Dongarra, J., Beckman, P. et al. International Exascale Software Project Roadmap. Technical Report UTCS-10-654, University of Tennessee EECS Technical Report, May 2010. http://www.exascale.org/. [5] D. May. The Influence of VLSI Technology on Computer Architecture [and Discussion]. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, 326(1591):pp. 377–393, 1988. [6] Per Brinch Hansen. The nature of parallel programming. Natural and Artifical Parallel Computation, pages 31–46, 1990. [7] MPI 2.0. Technical report, Message Passing Interface Forum, November 2003. http://www. mpi-forum.org/docs/. [8] B.L. Chamberlain, D. Callahan, and H.P. Zima. Parallel programmability and the Chapel language. International Journal of High Performance Computing Applications, 21(3):291–312, 2007. [9] Philippe Charles, Christian Grothoff, Vijay Saraswat, Christopher Donawa, Allan Kielstra, Kemal Ebcioglu, Christoph von Praun, and Vivek Sarkar. X10: an object-oriented approach to non-uniform cluster computing. In OOPSLA ’05: Proceedings of the 20th annual ACM SIGPLAN conference on Objectoriented programming, systems, languages, and applications, pages 519–538, New York, NY, USA, 2005. ACM. [10] A. Patera. A spectral element method for fluid dynamics: Laminar flow in a channel expansion. Journal of Computational Physics, 54(3):468–488, June 1984. [11] Bernard Gendron and Teodor Gabriel Crainic. Parallel branch-and-bound algorithms: Survey and synthesis. Operations Research, 42(6):1042–1066, 1994. [12] Marsha J Berger and Joseph Oliger. Adaptive mesh refinement for hyperbolic partial differential equations. Journal of Computational Physics, 53(3):484 – 512, 1984. [13] XMOS. XK-XMP-64 Hardware Manual. XMOS Ltd., Feburary 2010. http://www.xmos.com/ support/documentation. [14] F. Thomson Leighton. Introduction to parallel algorithms and architectures: array, trees, hypercubes. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc., San Francisco, CA, USA, 1992. [15] D. E. Knuth. The Art of Computer Programming, volume 3, Sorting and Searching, chapter 5.2.4, Sorting by Merging, pages 158–168. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 2nd ed. edition, 1998.

This page intentionally left blank

Communicating Process Architectures 2011 P.H. Welch et al. (Eds.) IOS Press, 2011 © 2011 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved. doi:10.3233/978-1-60750-774-1-209

209

Serving Web Content with Dynamic Process Networks in Go James WHITEHEAD II Oxford University Computing Laboratory, Wolfson Building, Parks Road Oxford, OX1 3QD, United Kingdom jim.whitehead@comlab.ox.ac.uk Abstract. This paper introduces webpipes, a compositional web server toolkit written using the Go programming language as part of an investigation of concurrent software architectures. This toolkit utilizes an architecture where multiple functional components respond to requests, rather than the traditional monolithic web server model. We provide a classification of web server components and a set of type definitions based on these insights that make it easier for programmers to create new purpose-built components for their systems. The abstractions provided by our toolkit allow servers to be deployed using several concurrency strategies. We examine the overhead of such a framework, and discuss possible enhancements that may help to reduce this overhead. Keywords. concurrency, web-server, software architecture, golang, Go programming language

Introduction The construction of a web server is an interesting case study for concurrent software design. Clients connect to the server and request resources using the text-based HTTP [1] protocol. These resources may include various types of content, such as static documents, images, or dynamic content provided by some web application. In ideal conditions, the web server would handle these requests sequentially, ensuring that each is served as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the server is often capable of producing content much faster than the client is capable of receiving it. When confronted with actual workloads in real-world conditions, web servers must be capable of responding to many clients concurrently. There are several approaches to providing this concurrent behaviour. The ubiquitous Apache ‘httpd’ web server uses a combination of process and/or thread pools in order to respond to requests [2]. Lighttpd [3] and Nginx [4] both utilize an event-driven asynchronous architecture [5] to ensure scalability. Yaws [6], written in Erlang, and occwserv [7], written in occam-π, both make use of lightweight threads. In addition to the different approaches for concurrency, each web server approaches the problem of serving web requests differently. This paper introduces webpipes [8], a compositional web server toolkit, written as part of an investigation of concurrent software architecture. This toolkit enables the programmer to construct multi-purpose web servers where the configuration and program code directly reflect the actual behaviour of the server. Built upon the premise that any web request can be fulfilled by a series of single-purpose components, webpipes allows even complicated web configurations can be expressed in a way that is clear and understandable. The webpipes toolkit is an example of a more general component-based architecture, where networks of components communicate with each other via message passing over explicit channels to process and fulfill requests. Although this particular implementation makes

210

J. Whitehead II / Serving Web Content with Dynamic Process Networks in Go

use of specific Go language features, the architecture and techniques used should translate well to any language that supports process-oriented programming and message passing. The main contributions of this paper are a compositional architecture for constructing processing pipelines, and an implementation of this architecture for serving web requests. Combined, these are an example of using concurrency as a software design principle, rather than a feature addition to an otherwise sequential program. Additionally, we present our impressions of the Go programming language for concurrent programming. The rest of the paper is organised as follows: Section 1 provides a short introduction to the Go programming language and the features that are relevant to the implementation of the webpipes toolkit. The design and implementation of the toolkit is presented in Section 2, including both an architectural overview and details of individual server components. Section 4 addresses the performance of the toolkit, while we examine the initial conclusions and discuss future work in Section 5. 1. Go Programming Language Go is a statically-typed, systems programming language with a syntax reminiscent of C. Programs are compiled to native code and are linked with a small runtime environment that performs automatic memory management and scheduling for lightweight processes called ‘goroutines’. It also features a concurrency model heavily inspired by CSP [9] where goroutines communicate with each other via message passing over explicit channels. Pointers are a feature of the language, however the type system does not allow for pointer arithmetic. In this paper we focus on the features of the Go programming language that are used in the webpipes toolkit and may be unfamiliar to the reader. In particular we will not cover the syntax or basic semantics of the language, which can be found in the official language specification [10]. More comprehensive information on the language can be found on the language website [11]. 1.1. Concurrency The feature of Go that is most relevant to this work is the built-in support for concurrency. This includes a control structure called a goroutine, a cross between a lightweight thread and a coroutine. Spawning a new goroutine is a matter of prefixing a function call with the go keyword. The evaluation of the call will execute in a separate goroutine, while the calling goroutine continues execution with the next statement. The cost of creating a goroutine is mainly the allocation of the initial stack, plus the cost of the function call itself. The stack of a goroutine is segmented, starts small, and grows on demand. This allows larger number of goroutines to be spawned without the massive resource consumption associated with using operating system threads. Once a goroutine has been created, its subsequent activity is completely independent of its creator, except that they can share memory and may communicate with each other through channels. Shared memory among goroutines allows for efficient implementation of certain algorithms, but its use is generally discouraged. The documentation for the Go language states: “Don’t communicate by sharing memory; share memory by communicating.” and this pattern can be seen throughout the existing code base. A channel in Go is an explicitly typed, first-class value that provides synchronous manyto-many communication between goroutines. Channels may carry any first-class value, including functions or even other channels. Channels are dynamically allocated using the make function, which takes the type of the channel to be created and optionally the size of the channel’s buffer. By setting the buffer of a channel to a value greater than 0, sends are asynchronous as long as the buffer is not

J. Whitehead II / Serving Web Content with Dynamic Process Networks in Go

211

full, and similarly with receives when the buffer is non-empty. Here are two example channel declarations: primes := make(chan uint, 10) writers := make(chan string)

// buffered uint channel with 10 slots // unbuffered channel of string values

Sending a value v on a channel ch is ch