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@pervognsen pervognsen/task_api.txt
Last active Jul 20, 2017

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typedef int task_t; // Lower bits as table index, upper bits as generation counter for use-after-free detection.
typedef void (*task_function_t)(void *task_data);
task_t task_create(task_function_t task_function, void *task_data);
void task_depends(task_t task, task_t dependency);
void task_start(task_t task);
Upon completion, tasks signal their dependencies and are released.
Memory requirements for a minimal implementation: 16/24 bytes per task and 8 bytes per dependency edge.
Even so, you still don't want to have one task instance for every array entry in a gigabyte array. Always assign
task workloads that, on average, justify the overhead of scheduling a task, however minimal that overhead may be.
The other major benefit of working on bigger chunks of data is obviously coherent memory access. The only benefit
of finer-grained tasks is better load balancing (and you don't need too much granularity for that) or when finer
grained tasks lead to finer grainer dependencies, letting work start much sooner than otherwise. Even if your data
has a natural granularity (a million entities), you might not want to kick off a task for each. Batch them up!
This is the equivalent of parallel_foreach and similar things, but adapted for the characteristics of your data.
Don't try to make batching the job of the task system. The right strategy is tied up with your data design.
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