Strange Long ParNew GC Pauses (Sample Code Included)

Srinivas Ramakrishna ysr1729 at
Wed May 13 18:40:35 UTC 2015

Hi Jon --

My expectation is that for any large block spanning multiple cards, if you
walk the BOT entries for that block from lower addresses to higher
addresses, the BOT entries should be monotone increasing (albeit not
strictly monotone) until the last card for that block (but one). In the
example you gave below, is D > C > N_words, with the BOT entries in some
interior window of the same block/object going (low to high addresses in
the window) like " .... DDDDCCCCDDDD...." ? In other words, there are
lower-valued entries C within a range of higher-valued entries D, with both
C and D denoting logarithmic entries for the block in question?

If you look in the BOT methods, there was a parameter "reducing" passed to
some of the mark_block() methods which was supposed to do some kind of
assertion checking towards maintenance of this monotonicity, but looking at
it now, that may not be sufficient and the assert could be strengthened at
the "end" of the range being marked. More worryingly, I believe I had
turned off even that assert before I left (ca 6uXX?) because it was failing
at that time, but the corresponding bug hadn't been fixed, and seems as
though it still isn't. This might possibly  have some bearing on the
non-monotonicity in the entries you see.

I'll hopefully get some time to go over this code again. I was looking at
the code on the train ride into work this morning, and trying to remember
the details, but have not quite delved again into all of its details yet or
why the assert I mention above should be failing.

It might be worthwhile (if it is possible) to do a bisect on whatever the
first known JDK (7uXX?) where the performance regression appears and try to
narrow down the change that may have caused the regression, using James'
test program. I have a sneaking suspicion (because of the elided assert)
that it might well be a change I had made towards closing some
BOT-walking/card-scanning cracks when initializing CMS objects ca 6uXX.

James, in case you have read thus far, can you provide the exact version
number of the 6uXX Oracle jdk you used that did _not_ show the performance
regression for your test program?

-- ramki

On Tue, May 12, 2015 at 1:50 PM, Jon Masamitsu <jon.masamitsu at>

>  Ramki,
> The logarithmic BOT is taking big steps back to
> find the start of a large object.  But something is odd.
> Is there a reason why the BOT entries would decrease for a while
> and then increase without a value that gives the start of an object?
> &_array->_offset_array[index] = 0xffffffff6550f600 "DDDDDDDDDDDDDD ..."
> and then down the road.
>  print &_array->_offset_array[0x110600U], _array->_offset_array[0x10f600U >
> &_array->_offset_array[0x110600U] = 0xffffffff65510600
> 'D' is 0x44
> N_words is 0x40
> Jon
> On 05/12/2015 08:46 AM, Srinivas Ramakrishna wrote:
> Thanks for that background Jon; I'll try and look at the 8uxx code and run
> James's example when I get a few spare cycles (which won't be soon,
> unfortunately).
>  -- ramki
> ysr1729
> On May 8, 2015, at 14:25, Jon Masamitsu <jon.masamitsu at> wrote:
>   Ramki,
> I compared the memory/blockOffsetTable.* files between 6u35 and 7 and
> there
> were essentially no differences.  The .cpp file had some changes in
> assertions.
> The other two were the same except for comments.
> Between 6 and 6u35 (didn't pin point it), we changed from the rather
> weak N_powers=3  :-) to N_powers=14.
> There seem to be two problematic cases.
> 1)  Spike in ParNew times that lasts for 2 (or a few) GC's
> 2) Continually growing ParNew times
> From just reading the CR
> the test case seems to reproduce 1).  The test case
> has a large object that lives till the application exits.
> If it were a broken logarithmic BOT, I would not expect
> the ParNew pauses to shrink again.
> Jon
> On 5/8/2015 11:49 AM, Srinivas Ramakrishna wrote:
> This is indeed interesting...
>  Jesper, did you figure out why (as James seems to note) the problem is
> seen in JDK 8 but not in JDK 6 (he's using ParNew in both cases). Also,
> isn't the BOT logarithmic, which will allow threads to "quickly" traverse
> back to the start of even a large object? Did something change in the BOT
> that might have led to what James sees as a regression, or did the range
> that he characterizes as a "blind spot" merely move from one place to
> another?
>  Unfortunately, I have not been keeping up with the changes in this area
> and am not working with JDK 6 code much, so can't offer any clues, but am
> surprised that this would be a regression. (I would expect the same
> performance pathologies in this code to exist in 6 and forward -- has it
> been established conclusively that this is indeed a regression?)
>  thanks!
> -- ramki
> On Fri, May 8, 2015 at 6:40 AM, James Lent <jlent at> wrote:
>>  The explanation of the problem added by Jesper Wilhelmsson on 2015-05-06
>> 08:59 to JDK-8079274 is interesting, but, not very satisfying.
>> 1) The problem affects more than this one specific breakpoint.  It
>> impacts objects in at least the range of about 480M to 512M.  The comment
>> "A larger object probably triggers some higher level code that are able to
>> skip scanning of this part of the memory" does not inspire confidence. It
>> makes even more concerned that we do not understand this issue and that
>> there could be other triggers.  It seems like "the higher level code" has a
>> 32M blind spot.  Further I can create scenarios where the GC code takes
>> progressively longer to clear the issue.  Presumably it completes the lower
>> block scan during each GC cycle.  Why does it take longer and longer each
>> time (my guess is it has something to do with the number of objects moved
>> to survivor space).  If I cache 1 in 100 instead of 1 in 10 then there are
>> 11 progressively slower ParNewGC (after several fast one) and the issue
>> takes minutes to clear:
>> $ /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-oracle/bin/java -verbose:gc -XX:+PrintGCTimeStamps
>> -XX:+PrintGCDetails -XX:+UseParNewGC -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC -Xmx4G -Xms4G
>> LongParNewPause 536870384 100 100
>> 0.308: [GC0.308: [ParNew: 272640K->3029K(306688K), 0.0113180 secs]
>> 796927K->527316K(4160256K), 0.0114040 secs] [Times: user=0.05 sys=0.00,
>> real=0.02 secs]
>> 0.367: [GC0.367: [ParNew: 275669K->7766K(306688K), 0.0140840 secs]
>> 799956K->532053K(4160256K), 0.0141630 secs] [Times: user=0.04 sys=0.01,
>> real=0.02 secs]
>> 0.430: [GC0.430: [ParNew: 280406K->10057K(306688K), 0.0120810 secs]
>> 804693K->534344K(4160256K), 0.0121690 secs] [Times: user=0.05 sys=0.00,
>> real=0.02 secs]
>> 0.490: [GC0.490: [ParNew: 282697K->15383K(306688K), 0.0128540 secs]
>> 806984K->539670K(4160256K), 0.0129390 secs] [Times: user=0.05 sys=0.00,
>> real=0.02 secs]
>> 0.551: [GC0.551: [ParNew: 288023K->21006K(306688K), 0.0146480 secs]
>> 812310K->545294K(4160256K), 0.0147650 secs] [Times: user=0.05 sys=0.01,
>> real=0.01 secs]
>> 0.613: [GC0.613: [ParNew: 293646K->26805K(306688K), 0.0141250 secs]
>> 817934K->551092K(4160256K), 0.0142050 secs] [Times: user=0.05 sys=0.00,
>> real=0.01 secs]
>> 0.675: [GC0.675: [ParNew: 299445K->24258K(306688K), 0.4816840 secs]
>> 823732K->551436K(4160256K), 0.4817620 secs] [Times: user=1.90 sys=0.00,
>> real=0.48 secs]
>> 1.205: [GC1.205: [ParNew: 296898K->17914K(306688K), 3.4216550 secs]
>> 824076K->547788K(4160256K), 3.4217180 secs] [Times: user=13.50 sys=0.00,
>> real=3.42 secs]
>> 4.674: [GC4.674: [ParNew: 290554K->17433K(306688K), 6.3406820 secs]
>> 820428K->550031K(4160256K), 6.3407410 secs] [Times: user=25.00 sys=0.02,
>> real=6.34 secs]
>> 11.062: [GC11.062: [ParNew: 290073K->17315K(306688K), 10.9493130 secs]
>> 822671K->552636K(4160256K), 10.9493890 secs] [Times: user=42.98 sys=0.03,
>> real=10.95 secs]
>> 22.059: [GC22.059: [ParNew: 289955K->17758K(306688K), 16.0539650 secs]
>> 825276K->555798K(4160256K), 16.0540250 secs] [Times: user=62.44 sys=0.09,
>> real=16.05 secs]
>> 38.161: [GC38.161: [ParNew: 290398K->17745K(306688K), 20.6900820 secs]
>> 828438K->558512K(4160256K), 20.6901420 secs] [Times: user=80.79 sys=0.08,
>> real=20.69 secs]
>> 58.898: [GC58.898: [ParNew: 290385K->21826K(306688K), 24.6781700 secs]
>> 831152K->565310K(4160256K), 24.6782710 secs] [Times: user=95.58 sys=0.05,
>> real=24.68 secs]
>> 83.625: [GC83.625: [ParNew: 294466K->21834K(306688K), 30.3501800 secs]
>> 837950K->568044K(4160256K), 30.3502610 secs] [Times: user=115.80 sys=0.11,
>> real=30.35 secs]
>> 114.022: [GC114.022: [ParNew: 294474K->21836K(306688K), 33.6648800 secs]
>> 840684K->570772K(4160256K), 33.6649390 secs] [Times: user=127.38 sys=0.14,
>> real=33.67 secs]
>> 147.736: [GC147.736: [ParNew: 294476K->18454K(306688K), 38.9828430 secs]
>> 843412K->570117K(4160256K), 38.9829040 secs] [Times: user=149.14 sys=0.15,
>> real=38.99 secs]
>> 186.766: [GC186.766: [ParNew: 291094K->26602K(306688K), 39.8726730 secs]
>> 842757K->580977K(4160256K), 39.8727330 secs] [Times: user=156.35 sys=0.11,
>> real=39.88 secs]
>> 226.686: [GC226.686: [ParNew: 299242K->26612K(306688K), 0.0174470 secs]
>> 853617K->583714K(4160256K), 0.0175300 secs] [Times: user=0.06 sys=0.00,
>> real=0.02 secs]
>> 2) The suggestion to use only 1 thread is not acceptable to me.  Use
>> parallel GC with one thread?  Further it did not work for me (in fact it
>> made things worse).  "user" time does now equal "real" time (and the new
>> size is 1/4 as big) so I think the parameter took effect:
>> $ /usr/lib/jvm/java-8-oracle/bin/java -verbose:gc -XX:+PrintGCTimeStamps
>> -XX:+PrintGCDetails -XX:+UseParNewGC -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC -Xmx4G -Xms4G
>> -XX:ParallelGCThreads=1 LongParNewPause 536870384 100 10
>> 0.226: [GC (Allocation Failure) 0.226: [ParNew: 68160K->6980K(76672K),
>> 0.0489756 secs] 592447K->531267K(4185792K), 0.0490718 secs] [Times:
>> user=0.05 sys=0.00, real=0.05 secs]
>> 0.291: [GC (Allocation Failure) 0.291: [ParNew: 75140K->8512K(76672K),
>> 29.8707281 secs] 599427K->539479K(4185792K), 29.8707954 secs] [Times:
>> user=29.80 sys=0.00, real=29.88 secs]
>> 30.180: [GC (Allocation Failure) 30.180: [ParNew: 76672K->8093K(76672K),
>> 30.6357699 secs] 607639K->545772K(4185792K), 30.6358257 secs] [Times:
>> user=30.57 sys=0.00, real=30.63 secs]
>> 60.837: [GC (Allocation Failure) 60.837: [ParNew: 76253K->6830K(76672K),
>> 69.2115255 secs] 613932K->552169K(4185792K), 69.2115783 secs] [Times:
>> user=69.05 sys=0.01, real=69.22 secs]
>> 130.068: [GC (Allocation Failure) 130.068: [ParNew:
>> 74990K->8226K(76672K), 132.5118903 secs] 620329K->560381K(4185792K),
>> 132.5119459 secs] [Times: user=132.21 sys=0.00, real=132.52 secs]
>> 262.603: [GC (Allocation Failure) 262.603: [ParNew:
>> 76386K->8512K(76672K), 0.0400138 secs] 628541K->568748K(4185792K),
>> 0.0400687 secs] [Times: user=0.04 sys=0.00, real=0.04 secs]
>> 3) Applications should not be expected to tune the GC settings to account
>> for the size of one static object.  The connection between the size of this
>> object and the GC performance was not easy to even find.  Further the
>> parameter ParGCCardsPerStrideChunk is pretty low level and not one I think
>> many application developers are familiar with.
>> Error: VM option 'ParGCCardsPerStrideChunk' is diagnostic and must be
>> enabled via -XX:+UnlockDiagnosticVMOptions.
>> Error: Could not create the Java Virtual Machine.
>> Error: A fatal exception has occurred. Program will exit.
>>  4) I can not reproduce this issue in Oracle 6.  This appears to be a
>> regression.  How can fixing a regression be called an enhancement request?
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