Why TensorFlow Lite Has Been Running Slower On Recent Linux Kernels
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 10 September 2020. Page 2 of 2. 15 Comments

The culprit was narrowed down to sched/fair: Remove meaningless imbalance calculation.

Unfortunately, while the commit title may appear mundane, this sched/fair work is part of a much larger set of changes introduced back for Linux 5.5. In fact, the patch is part of the work covered last year on Phoronix and titled Linux 5.5's Scheduler Sees A Load Balancing Rework For Better Perf But Risks Regressions. This scheduler balancing rework is what appears to be to blame for the lower TensorFlow Lite performance we are seeing on the kernels over the past year.

That rework was quite an intrusive change last year and in the kernels since there has obviously only been further scheduler changes. With post-5.5 kernels we have seen some improvements made but still not to the pre-5.5 levels from the testing we have been doing on some of the more powerful boxes. Thus for now there is no easy/straightforward solution given the complexity of the change, thus moving on to looking at other active kernel regressions...

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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