RFR(L): JDK-8046936 : JEP 270: Reserved Stack Areas for Critical Sections

David Holmes david.holmes at oracle.com
Tue Nov 17 01:00:49 UTC 2015

Hi Fred,

On 11/11/2015 3:38 AM, frederic parain wrote:
> Hi David and Doug,
> Thank you for your feedback.
> I put some comments below.
> On 09/11/2015 08:12, David Holmes wrote:
>> Hi Doug,
>> On 9/11/2015 9:31 AM, Doug Lea wrote:
>>> On 11/06/2015 02:23 AM, David Holmes wrote:
>>>> Before I look at the code, what is the status of the "Open Issues"
>>>> referenced in the JEP?
>>>> Also the JDK changes need to be reviewed on core-libs-dev and in
>>>> particular must
>>>> be seen by the jsr166 maintainers (ie Doug Lea and Martin Buchholz)
>>> Martin and I and others are aware of this work.
>>> As has been said by everyone initially looking at JEP 270, it is a
>>> disappointing effort. It requires that APIs/methods supporting
>>> try/finally-like constructions (especially locks) include new
>>> annotations to substantially reduce the likelihood of failing to
>>> perform the "finally" side actions to release resources (like a lock)
>>> upon StackOverflowError.
>>> Considering that no other readily implementable solution has
>>> been proposed during the many years that this issue has been discussed,
>>> a disappointing band-aid might not be so bad.
>> If I put on some extra-strength rose-coloured glasses I think I can
>> almost read that as "something is better than nothing". ;-) As there are
>> no practical general solutions to the problem (which surely says
>> something fundamental about the language design!) an annotation-based
>> point solution seems the only way to make some progress.
>> But note that it is not the finally part that need be at issue. If one
>> considers ReentrantLock.lock() (in NonfairSync):
>>   210         final void lock() {
>>   211             if (compareAndSetState(0, 1))
>>   212                 setExclusiveOwnerThread(Thread.currentThread());
>>   213             else
>>   214                 acquire(1);
>>   215         }
>> if we throw after #211 the lock is half-locked: state says it is locked,
>> but no owner set. So it can't be locked again, nor can it be unlocked.
>> We would have to determine actual stack usage for each call path to know
>> whether that is in fact possible
>>> Assuming the hotspot mechanics are put into place, the main question
>>> is when to use the  @ReservedStackAccess annotation.
>>> The JEP singles out ReentrantLock. But there are also other locks
>>> provided in JDK (StampedLock, ReentrantReadWriteLock), as well
>>> as in other external packages, that should probably use this.
>>> Plus there are other lock/resource APIs, for example Semaphore,
>>> that are often used in try/finally constructions. And internal
>>> before/after bookkeeping inside Executors. Plus, many cases of
>>> try-with-resources constructions. Plus many transactional APIs.
>>> And so on. It would be a never-ending effort to effectively use
>>> @ReservedStackAccess.
>> Which, to me, is just another way of saying that the general problem is
>> intractable. The annotation at least gives the mechanism for a point
>> solution as has been said. The pain point that drove this was the use of
>> ReentrantLock in ConcurrentHashMap, which in turn was used in class
>> loading. That particular pain point has been addressed by not using the
>> problematic class - something we surely do not want to promote as the
>> way to deal with this problem!
>>> I don't know of a good way to address this. One possibility is
>>> for javac to automatically insert @ReservedStackAccess in any
>>> method with a try-finally that involves at least one call?
>> I don't see how that would be at all viable as it brings back in the
>> sizing problem - or greatly exacerbates the sizing problem. Plus as
>> noted above the problem is not just with the finally part.
> Another issue is that writing a rule for javac that is not
> overpessimistic is also an intractable problem. The pattern
> "atomic operation followed by method invocation to complete
> status update" is too general to be the trigger of the annotation.
> 1) It would lead to an excessive number of methods being annotated,
> and by consequence an over-sizing of the reserved area.
> 2) Another condition to hit the bug is that the stack space of
> the callee method must be bigger than the caller method with
> the atomic operation. This information depends heavily on runtime
> information like HW, compilation policies (inlining) and execution
> profile (to know which methods are going to be compiled first).
> javac won't have access to these information to annotated methods.

Right - there is no way to know that the atomic operation followed by 
the call should really be a single atomic operation that we can't 
implement that way. Given many atomic operations have subsequent code 
actions, the pattern would degenerate to simply involve the atomic 
operation, and that wouldn't work well at all.

Further, it isn't always that pattern. Consider for example 

             int nextc = getState() - releases;
             boolean free = exclusiveCount(nextc) == 0;
             if (free)

here we clear the owner first, but then may fail to set the new state. 
Actually detecting where a stackoverflow can lead to inconsistent state 
requires detailed scrutiny of the code. I would like to be able to 
reason that setState requires no more stack than 
setExclusiveOwnerThread, but I can't do that simply by code inspection.

>> Perhaps we should simply start with j.u.c.locks as the initial candidate
>> sets of classes and work out from there. The idiomatic Lock usage:
>> l.lock();
>> try {
>>   // ...
>> } finally {
>>    l.unlock();
>> }
>> epitomizes the critical-finally-block scenario (though the lock()
>> problem is much more subtle). AQS is too low-level to flag any specific
>> function I think; and the other synchronizers perhaps too high-level,
>> with fewer idiomatic use-cases that obviously benefit from this.
>> In that regard I don't agree with where Fred has currently placed the
>> annotation in ReentrantLock and AQS. The placements appear arbitrary at
>> first glance - though no doubt they are the result of a deep and careful
>> analysis. But it is far from obvious why the annotation is placed on
>> NonfairSync.lock but FairSync.tryAcquire(), for example.
> The annotation is used on methods with the problematic pattern
> "atomic operation followed by method invocation".
> Their execution could lead to data corruption if atomic operation
> is executed successfully but the following method invocation
> fails because of SOE.
> In the NonFairSync class, this pattern is in the lock() method,
> while the tryAcquire() is only a method invocation. So lock()
> is annotated and tryAcquire() is not. Note that the method
> invoked by try acquire is nonfairTryAcquire() which has the
> problematic pattern and is annotated.
> In the FairSync class, the situation is reversed: lock() is
> just an method invocation and it is not annotated, and
> tryAcquire() has the problematic pattern and is annotated.
> I tried to put the annotation as close as possible to the
> critical sections in order to minimize the size requirement
> for the reserved area.

Okay I now understand the rule you were applying. But it isn't obvious 
from the code. Further, there seem to be other places which could also 
suffer serious problems. In AQS doReleaseShared() we have:

  720                     if (!h.compareAndSetWaitStatus(Node.SIGNAL, 0))
  721                         continue;            // loop to recheck cases
  722                     unparkSuccessor(h);

which could seemingly throw SOE without unparking the successor.

Any compound action that logically forms a "transaction" would need to 
be immune to SOE.

>> I would be tempted to place them on all the public lock/unlock methods
>> of the Lock implementations, rather than on the internal AQS-derived
>> functions, and AQS itself.
> I've tried that :-) The amount of code being executed with
> the ReservedStackAccess privilege tends to increase very
> quickly and I was concerned about keeping the size of the
> reserved area small.

How much space does each level of calling need? I know that is hard to 
answer but are we talking a few bytes, few kb, many kb?

I'd be looking at expanding the current application of the annotation to 
cover all affected areas of AQS, AQLS, ReentrantLock and 
ReeentrantReadWriteLock. StampedLock is a bit more problematic - there 
it seems we do need to annotate the public API - but if we do it then 
j.u.c.locks is at least covered.


> Fred
>>>> On 6/11/2015 12:17 AM, Frederic Parain wrote:
>>>>> Please review the changesets for JEP 270: Reserved Stack Areas for
>>>>> Critical Sections
>>>>> CR: https://bugs.openjdk.java.net/browse/JDK-8046936
>>>>> Webrevs:
>>>>>    hotspot:
>>>>> http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~fparain/8046936/webrev.00/hotspot/
>>>>>    JDK: http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~fparain/8046936/webrev.00/jdk/
>>>>> The CR contains a detailed description of the issue and the design
>>>>> of the solution as well as implementation details.
>>>>> Tests:
>>>>>      JPRT - hotspot & core
>>>>>      RBT - vm.quick
>>>>> Thanks
>>>>> Fred

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