Free ratio based heap shrinking in the parallel collector

Jon Masamitsu Jon.Masamitsu at Sun.COM
Tue Mar 16 22:38:50 UTC 2010


The goal of UseAdaptiveSizePolicy with regard to performance is
to size the generations so as to achieve the throughput goal.
GC cost is reduced by reducing the frequency of collections
and that is achieved by more free space in the generations
(more space for more allocations before the next GC).

I can see how a user might want to limit the footprint.  Without
your change I would tell the user to reduce the throughput goal.
Not a particularly friendly interface to limit footprint I'll

There is a method


which is called to calculate the amount that the heap
should grow in order to achieve a throughput goal.
If that method said not to increase the heap based
on the value of MaxHeapFreeRatio is that close to
what you want?  It's not the same but it would be
a way of limiting the growth of the heap (stops
growing the heap when the free space after the collection
exceeds a threshold).  I think it would fit in more
easily with the rest of UseAdativeSizePolicy.  I think
it would be easier to explain too.


On 03/15/10 16:50, Hiroshi Yamauchi wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 12:03 PM, Jon Masamitsu <Jon.Masamitsu at 
> <mailto:Jon.Masamitsu at>> wrote:
>     Hiroshi,
>     I'm looking at the code in psParallelCompact.cpp
>     2076     bool free_ratio_in_effect = false;
>     2077     if ((UseFreeRatioForParallelGC ||
>     2078          (UseFreeRatioOnlyInSystemGCForParallelGC &&
>     2079           gc_cause == GCCause::_java_lang_system_gc))) {
>     2080       ParallelScavengeHeap* heap =
>     (ParallelScavengeHeap*)Universe::heap();
>     2081       free_ratio_in_effect =
>     heap->try_to_shrink_by_free_ratio(true);
>     2082     }
>     2083
>     2084     if (!free_ratio_in_effect && UseAdaptiveSizePolicy) {
>     If only UseFreeRatioForParallelGC is set to true, is it correct
>     that the heap
>      a) will grow according to the original UseAdaptiveSizePolicy
>     policy until MaxHeapFreeRatio is exceeded (i.e., until
>     try_to_shrink_by_free_ratio() returns true)
>      b) will then shrink until MaxHeapFreeRatio is no longer exceeded
>     (likely just that once)
>     then start with a) again?
> I think that mostly matches my intention. The cyclical pattern 
> (a->b->a->b->...) is assumed not to happen more often than necessary 
> though. An expectation is that the value of MaxHeapFreeRatio is high 
> enough (70 by default) that the b) only happens when the app is under 
> reasonably light(er) load (or just idle.) 
> UseFreeRatioOnlyInSystemGCForParallelGC (instead of 
> UseFreeRatioForParallelGC ) is for apps that call System.gc() to give a 
> hint about the need to have its heap shrunk and want to avoid heap 
> shrinking otherwise.
> An intuition is the following. To reduce the memory footprint, the free 
> ratio logic holds back the heap expansion if the original adaptive size 
> policy expands too aggressively, or overrides and shrink the heap if the 
> original adaptive size policy leaves too much free space, in terms of 
> the value of MaxHeapFreeRatio. I think it's not far from what flag 
> MaxHeapFreeRatio originally meant. Otherwise, the heap size depends on 
> the original adaptive size policy (for performance.) It's a tradeoff 
> between performance and footprint.
>     What type of application fits with such a combination of policies?
>     Do you have a plots of how the heap sizing behaves (i.e., size of the
>     generations vs. collections/time)?
> The reason to combine the two logics (size policies) isn't for 
> particular applications. I don't get too surprised if you say it should 
> be a separate size policy and leave the original adaptive size policy 
> alone. My thinking is that users may want the same level of performance 
> from the parallel collector (the adaptive size policy is enabled by 
> default) unless a large part of the heap (> 70% by default) is free. 
> This is my attempt to get the best of both. The flags are off by default 
> since of course, not all applications need to have their heap shrunk 
> this way.
> No, I don't have plots.
> Hiroshi
>     Jon
>     Hiroshi Yamauchi wrote On 03/10/10 15:17,:
>      > Hi,
>      >
>      > I'd like to have this patch
>      >
>      >
>     <>
>      > <>
>      >
>      > contributed, if appropriate.
>      >
>      > It implements a simple heap shrinking logic based on the free ratio
>      > (MaxHeapFreeRatio) in the parallel collector. The way it works is the
>      > following: If the free ratio, (1.0 - <used> / <capacity>) * 100 >
>      > MaxHeapFreeRatio, this logic kicks in. Otherwise, the (default)
>      > adaptive size policy runs the show (as before). This feature is
>     turned
>      > off by default. There are two new flags to turn it on:
>      >
>      >   UseFreeRatioForParallelGC - this enables it.
>      >   UseFreeRatioOnlyInSystemGCForParallelGC - this enables it only in
>      > explicit System.gc() calls. This is more useful in apps that call
>      > System.gc() when it's idle and don't want shrinking to happen at all
>      > other times.
>      >
>      > In our tests, it appears to work well in a simple test and to help a
>      > real app reduce its footprint (RSS) when it's idle.
>      >
>      > Thanks to Chuck Rasbold who uploaded the webrev on my behalf.
>      >
>      > Thanks,
>      > Hiroshi
>      >

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