The Maple Tree, A Modern Data Structure for a Complex Problem

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In recent years, processors have experienced growth in core counts which have pushed software to be multi-threaded and increased contention in the virtual memory data structure. The memory management subsystem uses the mmap_sem lock for write protection of the VMAs. Optimizing the mmap_sem lock into a rw-semaphore helped contention but did not solve the underlying issue. Even with a single threaded program and a well-intended system admin, contention does arise through proc file accesses for application monitoring.

In this blog, we introduce a new data structure that can track gaps, store ranges, and be implemented in an RCU compatible manner. This is the Maple Tree.
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