Version française
Home     About     Download     Resources     Contact us    

This site is updated infrequently. For up-to-date information, please visit the new OCaml website at

Browse thread
OCaml runtime lock does not seem pathological
[ Home ] [ Index: by date | by threads ]
[ Search: ]

[ Message by date: previous | next ] [ Message in thread: previous | next ] [ Thread: previous | next ]
Date: 2009-06-30 (01:35)
From: Michael Ekstrand <michael@e...>
Subject: Re: OCaml runtime lock does not seem pathological
Michael Ekstrand <> writes:
> The basic test which demonstrated this problem was a simple loop
> counting down from 100000000.  On Python, if two such loops are run in
> parallel using threads on a multicore machine, the program takes
> substantially longer to finish if the loops are run sequentially.
> Disabling one core speeds the program up, but it doesn't recover all of
> its original speed.
> I duplicated this test with the following code:
> let rec count n =
>     if n <= 0 then ()
>     else count (pred n)
> ;;
> (* count 100000000;; *)
> (* count 100000000;; *)
> let t1 = Thread.create count 100000000;;
> let t2 = Thread.create count 100000000;;
> Thread.join t1;;
> Thread.join t2;;

Philippe Wang kindly told me that this isn't accurately measuring the
potential problem as it is not allocating any memory and thus not
triggering thread switching.  I have therefore modified it to use
Int64's and also to allocate an array of 32 ints in each iteration of
the loop.  The resulting program runs at equivalent speed both
sequentially and in parallel with both cores enabled (perhaps slightly
slower in parallel, but not significantly at all).  Running the
parallelized version with one core disabled does result in a noticeable
slowdown (runtime goes from 8.86s to 9.63s, but still not on the scale
reported for Python.  So it does seem that, unless I am still not doing
sufficient tests to detect a problem, OCaml has avoided Python's

- Michael

mouse, n: A device for pointing at the xterm in which you want to type.
Confused by the strange files?  I cryptographically sign my messages.
For more information see <>.