Go Scheduler

Question

Question about the order of output in an example

package main

import "fmt"

func sum(s []int, c chan int) {
   sum := 0
   for _, v := range s {
      sum += v
   }
   c <- sum
}

func main() {
   s := []int{7, 2, 8, -9, 4, 0}

   c := make(chan int)
   go sum(s[:len(s)/2], c)
   go sum(s[len(s)/2:], c)
   x, y := <-c, <-c

   fmt.Println(x, y, x+y)
}

The output is -5 17 12, why is -5 ahead of 17?

I thought the order should be random, because the order of calculating 2 threads could be different

Answer

My understanding is that they are in fact random. Just that for some reason or other, the go example server tends to return -5 17 12.

If you import time and sleep at the start of the sum function,

time.Sleep(1 * time.Nanosecond)

you should see 17 -5 12 appear sometimes.

In general, I believe there are no ordering guarantees for calling goroutines in this way.


Everything that happens on a computer has a reason.

I wouldn’t advise being clever [0], which is the only reason I can think of that you might need an answer that isn’t simply “they’re random”. But if you’re interested, to my knowledge, and feel free to correct me:

  1. Go uses a cooperative scheduler [1,2]. As of the current runtime, it mainly (only?) preempts on function calls [3]. You’re just doing math, so it won’t preempt. But on the playground and by default on older versions of Go, GOMAXPROCS=1 [4].

  2. Just read the scheduler source [5]. Maybe the scheduler design doc too [6]. You’re interested in runqput. Trace through the code. I’m relatively sure next is true, so you end up using the runnext slot. So the last thing scheduled runs first.

  3. I don’t know why you’d want to when the source is available, but you can also just trace the scheduler [7].

Good enough reason?

[0] https://golang.org/ref/mem
[1] https://rakyll.org/scheduler/
[2] http://www.sarathlakshman.com/2016/06/15/pitfall-of-golang-scheduler
[3] https://github.com/golang/go/issues/11462
[4] https://golang.org/pkg/runtime/#GOMAXPROCS
[5] https://golang.org/src/runtime/proc.go
[6] https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TTj4T2JO42uD5ID9e89oa0sLKhJYD0Y_kqxDv3I3XMw/edit
[7] https://www.ardanlabs.com/blog/2015/02/scheduler-tracing-in-go.html \