Assignment 02: Segmented Paging FTW! Solution

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Assignment Instructions


Your next assignment will be to implement pseudo-virtual memory for your thread library in a series of phases.


Be sure to keep careful documentation of your code as you go. Your design and meta-data should be documented.


Phase A: Direct-Mapped Memory


The basic functionality of `malloc(size_t size)` is to return a pointer to a block of the requested size.

* This memory comes from a memory resource managed by the `malloc()` and `free()` functions.


To emulate physical memory, you will create a static char array of size 8MB.


You will maintain all your bookkeeping state in this array and allocate memory from it as well.


Your memory manager will manage memory for your thread library and will presume its existence.

* Its code should either be part of your thread library, or be in an included library.

* The use of your own memory manager should be transparent to the source code.


You should add a macro definition to transform all calls to `malloc()` and `free()` calls to calls to your own functions:



#define malloc(x) myallocate(x, __FILE__, __LINE__, THREADREQ)

#define free(x) mydeallocate(x, __FILE__, __LINE__, THREADREQ)



`__FILE__` and `__LINE__` are special compiler directives that substitute the name of the file and the line on which a function is called, respectively.

* This will allow for simpler debugging.


`THREADREQ` should be a library-level constant that lets you know if a memory request is from your library, or from transformed user code.


Since your thread library can be aware of your memory manager, it can call your own memory functions directly:



int* aptr = (int*)myallocate(5 * sizeof(int), __FILE__, __LINE__, LIBRARYREQ);


Since you can call your memory functions directly from the thread library, you can call them with a different library-level constant so that your memory manager can know the request is coming from the thread library itself, rather than from a thread, and can treat it differently.


You should reserve memory for a thread on the granularity of a system page.


You can discover the system page size with:


sysconf( _SC_PAGE_SIZE)



All `malloc` requests from the same thread should be served from the same memory page, until they fill that page.


At this stage, if a thread requests more than a system page’s worth of memory, you should consider its memory full, and return `NULL` pointers to all subsequent `malloc` requests.

* In order to achieve this, your memory functions should communicate with your thread scheduler to determine which thread is currently running, so that it can know who made the request and which memory page to allocate or free memory from.


Phase B: Virtual Memory


Once you can allocate and free memory, you can take the next step and provide for virtual memory allocation.


To do this, you need to provide a level of abstraction between the pointers your memory allocator returns and the physical locations of pages in memory.


If you can do this, you can present an illusion of contiguous allocation.

* If a thread fills an entire page of system memory with requests and then asks for more memory, if you have a non-contiguous free page, you can swap it into page so that it now is contiguous, and begin allocating memory in that new page for the thread.

* This should be transparent for the thread.


It should not be able to tell that your memory manager is moving pages around in the background.


In order to be sure your library is called whenever a thread tries to touch memory you should `mprotect` your memory pages. If so, any attempt to read or write that memory will result in `SIGSEGV`.


You can catch that signal and perform the necessary operations in your signal handler:


mprotect(buffer, pagesize, PROT_NONE);  // Disallow all accesses of address buffer over length page-size

mprotect(buffer, pagesize, PROT_READ | PROT_WRITE); // Allow read and write to address buffer over length page-size



Memory that you `mprotect` MUST be page-aligned with the system memory pages.


Page-aligned memory can be requested with `memalign`:



memalign(sysconf(_SC_PAGE_SIZE), sizeOfRequest);



Your scheduler should communicate with your memory manager.

* Whenever it decides to swap out the current content, it should `mprotect` all that context’s memory pages.

* Whenever it decides to swap in a different context, it should unprotect all that that context’s pages.


This way your memory manager will only get a signal when a thread tries to access a memory location that once held one of its pages, but now holds another thread’s data.


A thread might try to use any of its pages at any time.

* If that page has been moved, it will try to access an address that it does not currently own.


Your memory manager will need to determine which of the thread’s pages correspond with the address it tried to access.

* In order to do this, your memory manager’s signal handler must have the address that caused the `SIGSEGV`.


You can get this address if you use the `SIGINFO` flag with the `sigaction` signal handler:


static void handler(int sig, siginfo_t *si, void *unused) {

printf(“Got SIGSEGV at address: 0x%lx\n”,(long) si->si_addr);



struct sigaction sa;

sa.sa_flags = SA_SIGINFO;


sa.sa_sigaction = handler;


if (sigaction(SIGSEGV, &sa, NULL) == -1) {

printf(“Fatal error setting up signal handler\n”);

exit(EXIT_FAILURE);    // Explode!




Your virtual memory manager should only return `NULL` on `malloc` requests if all of its memory pages are full.

Any thread can request any amount of memory, and have any number of pages allocated to it.


Phase C: Swap File


Once you can identify and shuffle memory pages the final step is to, when memory fills up, write out memory pages to a swap file.

* Your memory manager should create a swap file 16MB large when it is first called.


Your threads are sharing the same address space.

* This means that the first allocation from thread 0 will be mapped to the same address as the first allocation from thread 1.

* Without a swap file, if one thread allocated all your 8MB, no thread could allocate any memory.


Using your swap file, you can support multiple threads allocating in the same space.

* If all memory pages are allocated to different threads and there is a new memory allocation request, instead of returning `NULL` you should pick a page of memory to evict, write it to your swap file and allocate the newly-freed page to whomever made the request.

* At this stage your eviction policy can be “naive”.

* Any page that needs to be freed can be swapped to the swap file.


You will need to maintain a mapping from thread ID to page location in memory and in the swap file.


When a thread tries to access one of this pages that is swapped out, you should pick a new page to evict, swap it out and swap the requested page back into memory.


If a thread consumes all of its address space and allocates the allocatable entire region, it can not allocate any more memory no matter what, and `malloc` should return `NULL`.


If both the swap file and memory are full, further `malloc` requests from all threads should result in `NULL`.


Phase D: Shared Region


Once the above has been implemented, designate the last 4 contiguous pages from your 8MB to be used as a shared memory region.

* This region should not be allocated using `malloc` since its ownership rules are different.


If a thread wants to allocate memory in the shared region it should explicitly call the ‘shared `malloc`’ function:


void* shalloc(size_t size)



This function returns a pointer to a block of the requested size from the shared region.

* The difference in operation of the shared region is that all threads can access all the same pages.


This means that any thread can request space in the shared region and that all threads can read and write memory in the shared region.

* This allows references to be passed to and between threads.

* This also means the shared region can not be swappable since all threads see the same address space.


If the shared region is entirely allocated, your `shalloc` function should return `NULL`.


Phase Extra: Page Replacement Algorithm


In this phase you’ll add two optimizations. In-memory swapping and non-naive victim selection.


Both strategies are enabled by keeping track of how often a given thread’s pages are accessed.


In-memory swapping:


If a thread page faults, it needs its data copied in to that page that is faulted on.


If that page currently holds a page that is accessed often by another thread, whenever that thread is swapped back in it is likely to fault on the same page requiring even more disk IO.


If you have a notion of how often pages are accessed, you can react more intelligently:

* Rather than evicting a page that is used often, you can move the page faulted on elsewhere in memory where a page that is not often used is loaded, evict the less often accessed page to the swap file and replace it with the often-used page.

* That way, when the other thread is swapped back in and faults on its page, all you need to do is copy between memory locations rather than talk to the hard drive.


Non-naive victim selection:


When a thread is swapped out, its pages currently residing in memory are placed in a free list.


The free list is the set of pages that the memory manager can swap out if it needs to load a page for a new thread.


Implement a 2nd-chance victim selection algorithm with a 1 bit counter clock.

* If a page in the free list is faulted on, check its access counter.

* If it had been accessed by the thread that owns it:

* First, select a new victim in the free list that hadn’t been accessed recently

* Swap it out

* Move the faulting page to that location.


Phase ++Extra:


Implement, test and profile additional page replacement algorithms discussed in lecture.