[logback-dev] [JIRA] Commented: (LBCORE-97) Starvation on AppenderBase.doAppend

Maarten Bosteels mbosteels.dns at gmail.com
Thu Jun 4 20:00:39 CEST 2009

Hello all,

While I have not tested any of the scenario's described above, I think the
remarks from Ralph make a lot of sense.
And I am also interested in knowing the impact on throughput of using fair

When the fairness of non-fair locks has changed so drastically with 1.6, I
would guess that more people would suffer from it, no ?
Logback is certainly not the only code using non-fair locks.
I googled a bit about "java 1.6 starvation" but nothing really alarming came


On Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 7:12 PM, Joern Huxhorn (JIRA) <noreply-jira at qos.ch>wrote:

>    [
> http://jira.qos.ch/browse/LBCORE-97?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=11139#action_11139]
> Joern Huxhorn commented on LBCORE-97:
> -------------------------------------
> Have you done any benchmarking concerning the performance impact of the
> fair ReentrantLock?
> I guess you have logback benchmarks at your fingertips, I'd be quite
> interested in the numbers.
> Concerning the "bug in the Sun JDK" part: It's the same way in case of the
> Mac version of Java 6.
> I highly doubt that Sun will come to it's senses ;) and I'm not even sure
> that it can be validly called a bug since it doesn't breach any documented
> behavior. This might really be a valid performance enhancement because
> switching threads means degrading performance.
> I'd be really grateful if this patch could be applied before the next
> release. We are suffering quite bad because of it.
> In our case it's - as mentioned - a Solaris and we can't just switch the VM
> or the OS as we like because of customer rules.
> > Starvation on AppenderBase.doAppend
> > -----------------------------------
> >
> >                 Key: LBCORE-97
> >                 URL: http://jira.qos.ch/browse/LBCORE-97
> >             Project: logback-core
> >          Issue Type: Bug
> >          Components: Appender
> >    Affects Versions: 0.9.15
> >            Reporter: Joern Huxhorn
> >            Assignee: Logback dev list
> >            Priority: Critical
> >         Attachments: AppenderBaseLock2.patch, SynchronizedVsFairLock.java
> >
> >
> > The problem we are facing here is that several threads are trying to
> obtain the object monitor of the exact same resource, namely the Appender.
> > The assumption that multiple threads waiting for ownership of a monitor
> would receive the monitor in the order that they tried to acquire it is
> simply incorrect. This is documented behavior.
> > See the last paragraph of [1]:
> > "Likewise, no assumptions should be made about the order in which threads
> are granted ownership of a monitor or the order in which threads wake in
> response to the notify or notifyAll method. An excellent reference for these
> topics is Chapter 9, "Threads," in Joshua Bloch's book Effective Java
> Programming Language Guide. "
> > The documentation of Object.notifyAll() [2] states the following:
> > "[..] The awakened threads will compete in the usual manner with any
> other threads that might be actively competing to synchronize on this
> object; for example, the awakened threads enjoy no reliable privilege or
> disadvantage in being the next thread to lock this object."
> > The documentation in [5] also lists the following as a weak-spot of
> Built-in Synchronization in J2SE 1.4.x:
> > "No way to alter the semantics of a lock, for example, with respect to
> reentrancy, read versus write protection, or fairness."
> > In LBCORE-96 Ceki stated the following:
> > "Logback is using the standard synchronization mechanism found in the
> JDK. You are saying that that mechanism is unsuitable which, truth be told,
> sounds quite suspicious."
> > Yes, it's unsuitable in this situation because obtaining the object
> monitor is not guaranteed to be fair. It's not working in a "first come,
> first serve" manner. I assumed that, too, but it isn't the case. I had the
> exact same problem in Lilith some time ago because I made exactly this very
> same wrong assumption.
> > Fairness of object monitor lock acquisition seems to be logical and a
> "good thing" but it's not specified that way, and for good reasons.
> > Without fairness in place, the VM can optimize the execution of an
> application much better. A context switch is a costly operation for a CPU so
> performance is increased significantly if such a switch can be omitted.
> > Concerning a test-case, this would be pretty hardcore to implement since
> it's 100% implementation dependent. One implementation *may* handle the
> locking of object monitors fairly while others don't.
> > Therefore I'll try the following first:
> > I assume I could convince you that object monitor acquisition (OMA) is
> not fair.
> > If we take that for granted the following scenario should show my point:
> > There are 4 Threads (e.g. 4 Threads handling concurrent webapp-requests)
> that have one single chokepoint, the appender.
> > Since OMA isn't fair, it's possible that only some of those threads can
> work at all (see [3]). Exactly that is happening right now in our webapp
> running on a 4-core Solaris on JDK6.
> > My next assumption is that we both agree that this isn't acceptable
> behavior.
> > Logging should be handled "first come, first served" so that if Thread A
> is waiting to append an event and Thread B is waiting to append an event
> subsequently, the actual appending order should be A, then B.
> > This is currently not the case. It *may* be the case but there is no
> guarantee of it.
> > One could even argue that the logging system is working incorrectly
> (aside from the starvation problem) because events are appended in a
> different order than the actual execution of the logger call.
> > The only way to prevent this is the introduction of fairness into the
> locking process. The way to do this is to use ReentrantLock [4].
> > From the ReentrantLock javadoc:
> > "The constructor for this class accepts an optional fairness parameter.
> When set true, under contention, locks favor granting access to the
> longest-waiting thread. Otherwise this lock does not guarantee any
> particular access order. Programs using fair locks accessed by many threads
> may display lower overall throughput (i.e., are slower; often much slower)
> than those using the default setting, but have smaller variances in times to
> obtain locks and guarantee lack of starvation."
> > This is exactly what is absolutely necessary for a logging framework.
> > Logging must *NOT* be able to introduce a starvation problem into a
> multi-threaded application! And it does exactly that right now.
> > I doubt that the performance will decrease in a significant manner due to
> the use of a fair ReentrantLock but even if this would be the case it would
> be necessary anyway.
> > Otherwise, appending simply isn't working correctly.
> > [1] http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.5.0/docs/guide/vm/thread-priorities.html
> > [2]
> http://java.sun.com/javase/6/docs/api/java/lang/Object.html#notifyAll()<http://java.sun.com/javase/6/docs/api/java/lang/Object.html#notifyAll%28%29>
> > [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starvation_(computing)<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starvation_%28computing%29>
> > [4]
> http://java.sun.com/javase/6/docs/api/java/util/concurrent/locks/ReentrantLock.html
> > [5] http://java.sun.com/developer/technicalArticles/J2SE/concurrency/
> --
> This message is automatically generated by JIRA.
> -
> If you think it was sent incorrectly contact one of the administrators:
> http://jira.qos.ch/secure/Administrators.jspa
> -
> For more information on JIRA, see: http://www.atlassian.com/software/jira
> _______________________________________________
> logback-dev mailing list
> logback-dev at qos.ch
> http://qos.ch/mailman/listinfo/logback-dev
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://qos.ch/pipermail/logback-dev/attachments/20090604/55c1f51e/attachment-0001.htm>

More information about the logback-dev mailing list