Re: [PATCH] perf: Add a new sort order: SORT_INCLUSIVE (v4)

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On Tue, 2012-03-27 at 11:09 -0700, Arun Sharma wrote:
> On 3/24/12 7:14 PM, Frederic Weisbecker wrote:
> 
> >> The other problem in branch stacks/LBR is that they're
> >> sampled branches. Just because I got a sample with:
> >>
> >> a ->  b
> >> b ->  c
> >>
> >> doesn't necessarily mean that the callchain was a ->  b ->  c.
> >
> > Not sure what you mean. If you have a ->  b, b ->  c in single
> > LBR sample it means you got a ->  b ->  c.
> >
> 
> I was going by Stephane's commit message here:
> 
> http://article.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel/1236999
> 
>  > Statistical sampling of taken branch should not be confused
>  > for branch tracing. Not all branches are necessarily captured
> 
> Stephane, could you please explain if the 16 filtered branches in LBR 
> are guaranteed to be from a given callchain to the leaf function? My 
> understanding is that it's not.
> 
> callchain1: a -> b -> d -> e (sample a->b)
> callchain2: a -> c -> b -> f (sample b->f)
> 
> on PMU interrupt can we end up with:
> 
> b -> f <- top of stack
> a -> b
> ...
> 
> even though a -> b -> f can never happen in the actual program flow?

Right, so the LBR is a queue not a stack. A program like:

foo() {
	bar1();
	bar2();
}

will, using the lbr, look like: foo->bar1->bar2 (if you filter returns),
or foo->bar1->foo+x->bar2 if you include returns.

A callchain is a pure stack, a return pops the top most entry, the above
program can only give 3 possible callchains:

a) foo
b) foo, bar1
c) foo, bar2

Furthermore, the LBR is about any branch, callchains are about function
calls.
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