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Studies of the performance of interrupt-driven operating systems in high-speed networks have brought forth the problem of receive livelock. Device hybrid interrupt-polling and interrupt coalescing are two common techniques used in general-purpose operating systems to mitigate this problem. Adaptive schemes based on local knowledge have been proposed for each technique above. However, all the schemes proposed so far are designed using heuristics. In addition, the capabilities of the proposed schemes have not been systematically compared. In this paper, we first analyze the capabilities of these schemes by investigating the relationship between key system parameters and system goodput in different packet protocol processing modes under heavy traffic load. Then we propose a robust device hybrid interrupt-polling (RHIP) scheme which achieves high system goodput, low packet loss and good latency with low consumption of CPU cycles, compared to other schemes. The key idea of RHIP is to use the recipient's buffer information to adjust the interrupt rate and the protocol processing time. We validate our analysis and design through several experiments.
Date of Conference: 15-18 Oct. 2007