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From: Derrick Stolee <stolee@gmail.com>
To: git@vger.kernel.org
Cc: gitster@pobox.com, peff@peff.net, sbeller@google.com,
	szeder.dev@gmail.com, ramsay@ramsayjones.plus.com,
	git@jeffhostetler.com, Derrick Stolee <dstolee@microsoft.com>
Subject: [PATCH v6 04/14] graph: add commit graph design document
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2018 15:27:26 -0400
Message-ID: <20180314192736.70602-5-dstolee@microsoft.com> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <20180314192736.70602-1-dstolee@microsoft.com>

From: Derrick Stolee <dstolee@microsoft.com>

Add Documentation/technical/commit-graph.txt with details of the planned
commit graph feature, including future plans.

Signed-off-by: Derrick Stolee <dstolee@microsoft.com>
---
 Documentation/technical/commit-graph.txt | 164 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 1 file changed, 164 insertions(+)
 create mode 100644 Documentation/technical/commit-graph.txt

diff --git a/Documentation/technical/commit-graph.txt b/Documentation/technical/commit-graph.txt
new file mode 100644
index 0000000000..d11753ac6f
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/technical/commit-graph.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,164 @@
+Git Commit Graph Design Notes
+=============================
+
+Git walks the commit graph for many reasons, including:
+
+1. Listing and filtering commit history.
+2. Computing merge bases.
+
+These operations can become slow as the commit count grows. The merge
+base calculation shows up in many user-facing commands, such as 'merge-base'
+or 'status' and can take minutes to compute depending on history shape.
+
+There are two main costs here:
+
+1. Decompressing and parsing commits.
+2. Walking the entire graph to satisfy topological order constraints.
+
+The commit graph file is a supplemental data structure that accelerates
+commit graph walks. If a user downgrades or disables the 'core.commitGraph'
+config setting, then the existing ODB is sufficient. The file is stored
+as "commit-graph" either in the .git/objects/info directory or in the info
+directory of an alternate.
+
+The commit graph file stores the commit graph structure along with some
+extra metadata to speed up graph walks. By listing commit OIDs in lexi-
+cographic order, we can identify an integer position for each commit and
+refer to the parents of a commit using those integer positions. We use
+binary search to find initial commits and then use the integer positions
+for fast lookups during the walk.
+
+A consumer may load the following info for a commit from the graph:
+
+1. The commit OID.
+2. The list of parents, along with their integer position.
+3. The commit date.
+4. The root tree OID.
+5. The generation number (see definition below).
+
+Values 1-4 satisfy the requirements of parse_commit_gently().
+
+Define the "generation number" of a commit recursively as follows:
+
+ * A commit with no parents (a root commit) has generation number one.
+
+ * A commit with at least one parent has generation number one more than
+   the largest generation number among its parents.
+
+Equivalently, the generation number of a commit A is one more than the
+length of a longest path from A to a root commit. The recursive definition
+is easier to use for computation and observing the following property:
+
+    If A and B are commits with generation numbers N and M, respectively,
+    and N <= M, then A cannot reach B. That is, we know without searching
+    that B is not an ancestor of A because it is further from a root commit
+    than A.
+
+    Conversely, when checking if A is an ancestor of B, then we only need
+    to walk commits until all commits on the walk boundary have generation
+    number at most N. If we walk commits using a priority queue seeded by
+    generation numbers, then we always expand the boundary commit with highest
+    generation number and can easily detect the stopping condition.
+
+This property can be used to significantly reduce the time it takes to
+walk commits and determine topological relationships. Without generation
+numbers, the general heuristic is the following:
+
+    If A and B are commits with commit time X and Y, respectively, and
+    X < Y, then A _probably_ cannot reach B.
+
+This heuristic is currently used whenever the computation is allowed to
+violate topological relationships due to clock skew (such as "git log"
+with default order), but is not used when the topological order is
+required (such as merge base calculations, "git log --graph").
+
+In practice, we expect some commits to be created recently and not stored
+in the commit graph. We can treat these commits as having "infinite"
+generation number and walk until reaching commits with known generation
+number.
+
+Design Details
+--------------
+
+- The commit graph file is stored in a file named 'commit-graph' in the
+  .git/objects/info directory. This could be stored in the info directory
+  of an alternate.
+
+- The core.commitGraph config setting must be on to consume graph files.
+
+- The file format includes parameters for the object ID hash function,
+  so a future change of hash algorithm does not require a change in format.
+
+Future Work
+-----------
+
+- The commit graph feature currently does not honor commit grafts. This can
+  be remedied by duplicating or refactoring the current graft logic.
+
+- The 'commit-graph' subcommand does not have a "verify" mode that is
+  necessary for integration with fsck.
+
+- The file format includes room for precomputed generation numbers. These
+  are not currently computed, so all generation numbers will be marked as
+  0 (or "uncomputed"). A later patch will include this calculation.
+
+- After computing and storing generation numbers, we must make graph
+  walks aware of generation numbers to gain the performance benefits they
+  enable. This will mostly be accomplished by swapping a commit-date-ordered
+  priority queue with one ordered by generation number. The following
+  operations are important candidates:
+
+    - paint_down_to_common()
+    - 'log --topo-order'
+
+- Currently, parse_commit_gently() requires filling in the root tree
+  object for a commit. This passes through lookup_tree() and consequently
+  lookup_object(). Also, it calls lookup_commit() when loading the parents.
+  These method calls check the ODB for object existence, even if the
+  consumer does not need the content. For example, we do not need the
+  tree contents when computing merge bases. Now that commit parsing is
+  removed from the computation time, these lookup operations are the
+  slowest operations keeping graph walks from being fast. Consider
+  loading these objects without verifying their existence in the ODB and
+  only loading them fully when consumers need them. Consider a method
+  such as "ensure_tree_loaded(commit)" that fully loads a tree before
+  using commit->tree.
+
+- The current design uses the 'commit-graph' subcommand to generate the graph.
+  When this feature stabilizes enough to recommend to most users, we should
+  add automatic graph writes to common operations that create many commits.
+  For example, one could compute a graph on 'clone', 'fetch', or 'repack'
+  commands.
+
+- A server could provide a commit graph file as part of the network protocol
+  to avoid extra calculations by clients. This feature is only of benefit if
+  the user is willing to trust the file, because verifying the file is correct
+  is as hard as computing it from scratch.
+
+Related Links
+-------------
+[0] https://bugs.chromium.org/p/git/issues/detail?id=8
+    Chromium work item for: Serialized Commit Graph
+
+[1] https://public-inbox.org/git/20110713070517.GC18566@sigill.intra.peff.net/
+    An abandoned patch that introduced generation numbers.
+
+[2] https://public-inbox.org/git/20170908033403.q7e6dj7benasrjes@sigill.intra.peff.net/
+    Discussion about generation numbers on commits and how they interact
+    with fsck.
+
+[3] https://public-inbox.org/git/20170908034739.4op3w4f2ma5s65ku@sigill.intra.peff.net/
+    More discussion about generation numbers and not storing them inside
+    commit objects. A valuable quote:
+
+    "I think we should be moving more in the direction of keeping
+     repo-local caches for optimizations. Reachability bitmaps have been
+     a big performance win. I think we should be doing the same with our
+     properties of commits. Not just generation numbers, but making it
+     cheap to access the graph structure without zlib-inflating whole
+     commit objects (i.e., packv4 or something like the "metapacks" I
+     proposed a few years ago)."
+
+[4] https://public-inbox.org/git/20180108154822.54829-1-git@jeffhostetler.com/T/#u
+    A patch to remove the ahead-behind calculation from 'status'.
+
-- 
2.14.1


  parent reply index

Thread overview: 110+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2018-02-27  2:32 [PATCH v5 00/13] Serialized Git Commit Graph Derrick Stolee
2018-02-27  2:32 ` [PATCH v5 01/13] commit-graph: add format document Derrick Stolee
2018-02-27  2:32 ` [PATCH v5 02/13] graph: add commit graph design document Derrick Stolee
2018-02-27  2:32 ` [PATCH v5 03/13] commit-graph: create git-commit-graph builtin Derrick Stolee
2018-02-27  2:32 ` [PATCH v5 04/13] csum-file: add CSUM_KEEP_OPEN flag Derrick Stolee
2018-03-12 13:55   ` Derrick Stolee
2018-03-13 21:42     ` Junio C Hamano
2018-03-14  2:26       ` Derrick Stolee
2018-03-14 17:00         ` Junio C Hamano
2018-02-27  2:32 ` [PATCH v5 05/13] commit-graph: implement write_commit_graph() Derrick Stolee
2018-02-27  2:33 ` [PATCH v5 06/13] commit-graph: implement 'git-commit-graph write' Derrick Stolee
2018-02-27  2:33 ` [PATCH v5 07/13] commit-graph: implement git commit-graph read Derrick Stolee
2018-02-27  2:33 ` [PATCH v5 08/13] commit-graph: add core.commitGraph setting Derrick Stolee
2018-02-27  2:33 ` [PATCH v5 09/13] commit-graph: close under reachability Derrick Stolee
2018-02-27  2:33 ` [PATCH v5 10/13] commit: integrate commit graph with commit parsing Derrick Stolee
2018-02-27  2:33 ` [PATCH v5 11/13] commit-graph: read only from specific pack-indexes Derrick Stolee
2018-02-27 20:15   ` Stefan Beller
2018-02-27  2:33 ` [PATCH v5 12/13] commit-graph: build graph from starting commits Derrick Stolee
2018-02-27  2:33 ` [PATCH v5 13/13] commit-graph: implement "--additive" option Derrick Stolee
2018-02-27 18:50 ` [PATCH v5 00/13] Serialized Git Commit Graph Stefan Beller
2018-03-14 19:27 ` [PATCH v6 00/14] " Derrick Stolee
2018-03-14 19:27   ` [PATCH v6 01/14] csum-file: rename hashclose() to finalize_hashfile() Derrick Stolee
2018-03-14 19:27   ` [PATCH v6 02/14] csum-file: refactor finalize_hashfile() method Derrick Stolee
2018-03-14 19:27   ` [PATCH v6 03/14] commit-graph: add format document Derrick Stolee
2018-03-14 19:27   ` Derrick Stolee [this message]
2018-03-14 19:27   ` [PATCH v6 05/14] commit-graph: create git-commit-graph builtin Derrick Stolee
2018-03-14 19:27   ` [PATCH v6 06/14] commit-graph: implement write_commit_graph() Derrick Stolee
2018-03-14 19:27   ` [PATCH v6 07/14] commit-graph: implement 'git-commit-graph write' Derrick Stolee
2018-03-18 13:25     ` Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason
2018-03-19 13:12       ` Derrick Stolee
2018-03-19 14:36         ` Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason
2018-03-19 18:27           ` Derrick Stolee
2018-03-19 18:48             ` Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason
2018-03-14 19:27   ` [PATCH v6 08/14] commit-graph: implement git commit-graph read Derrick Stolee
2018-03-14 19:27   ` [PATCH v6 09/14] commit-graph: add core.commitGraph setting Derrick Stolee
2018-03-14 19:27   ` [PATCH v6 10/14] commit-graph: close under reachability Derrick Stolee
2018-03-14 19:27   ` [PATCH v6 11/14] commit: integrate commit graph with commit parsing Derrick Stolee
2018-03-14 19:27   ` [PATCH v6 12/14] commit-graph: read only from specific pack-indexes Derrick Stolee
2018-03-15 22:50     ` SZEDER Gábor
2018-03-19 13:13       ` Derrick Stolee
2018-03-14 19:27   ` [PATCH v6 13/14] commit-graph: build graph from starting commits Derrick Stolee
2018-03-14 19:27   ` [PATCH v6 14/14] commit-graph: implement "--additive" option Derrick Stolee
2018-03-14 20:10   ` [PATCH v6 00/14] Serialized Git Commit Graph Ramsay Jones
2018-03-14 20:43   ` Junio C Hamano
2018-03-15 17:23     ` Johannes Schindelin
2018-03-15 18:41       ` Junio C Hamano
2018-03-15 21:51         ` Ramsay Jones
2018-03-16 11:50         ` Johannes Schindelin
2018-03-16 17:27           ` Junio C Hamano
2018-03-19 11:41             ` Johannes Schindelin
2018-03-16 16:28     ` Lars Schneider
2018-03-19 13:10       ` Derrick Stolee
2018-03-16 15:06   ` Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason
2018-03-16 16:38     ` SZEDER Gábor
2018-03-16 18:33       ` Junio C Hamano
2018-03-16 19:48         ` SZEDER Gábor
2018-03-16 20:06           ` Jeff King
2018-03-16 20:19             ` Jeff King
2018-03-19 12:55               ` Derrick Stolee
2018-03-20  1:17                 ` Derrick Stolee
2018-03-16 20:49         ` Jeff King
2018-04-02 20:34   ` [PATCH v7 " Derrick Stolee
2018-04-02 20:34     ` [PATCH v7 01/14] csum-file: rename hashclose() to finalize_hashfile() Derrick Stolee
2018-04-02 20:34     ` [PATCH v7 02/14] csum-file: refactor finalize_hashfile() method Derrick Stolee
2018-04-07 22:59       ` Jakub Narebski
2018-04-02 20:34     ` [PATCH v7 03/14] commit-graph: add format document Derrick Stolee
2018-04-07 23:49       ` Jakub Narebski
2018-04-02 20:34     ` [PATCH v7 04/14] graph: add commit graph design document Derrick Stolee
2018-04-08 11:06       ` Jakub Narebski
2018-04-02 20:34     ` [PATCH v7 05/14] commit-graph: create git-commit-graph builtin Derrick Stolee
2018-04-02 20:34     ` [PATCH v7 06/14] commit-graph: implement write_commit_graph() Derrick Stolee
2018-04-02 20:34     ` [PATCH v7 07/14] commit-graph: implement git-commit-graph write Derrick Stolee
2018-04-08 11:59       ` Jakub Narebski
2018-04-02 20:34     ` [PATCH v7 08/14] commit-graph: implement git commit-graph read Derrick Stolee
2018-04-02 21:33       ` Junio C Hamano
2018-04-03 11:49         ` Derrick Stolee
2018-04-08 12:59       ` Jakub Narebski
2018-04-02 20:34     ` [PATCH v7 09/14] commit-graph: add core.commitGraph setting Derrick Stolee
2018-04-08 13:39       ` Jakub Narebski
2018-04-02 20:34     ` [PATCH v7 10/14] commit-graph: close under reachability Derrick Stolee
2018-04-02 20:34     ` [PATCH v7 11/14] commit: integrate commit graph with commit parsing Derrick Stolee
2018-04-02 20:34     ` [PATCH v7 12/14] commit-graph: read only from specific pack-indexes Derrick Stolee
2018-04-02 20:34     ` [PATCH v7 13/14] commit-graph: build graph from starting commits Derrick Stolee
2018-04-08 13:50       ` Jakub Narebski
2018-04-02 20:34     ` [PATCH v7 14/14] commit-graph: implement "--additive" option Derrick Stolee
2018-04-05  8:27       ` SZEDER Gábor
2018-04-10 12:55     ` [PATCH v8 00/14] Serialized Git Commit Graph Derrick Stolee
2018-04-10 12:55       ` [PATCH v8 01/14] csum-file: rename hashclose() to finalize_hashfile() Derrick Stolee
2018-04-10 12:55       ` [PATCH v8 02/14] csum-file: refactor finalize_hashfile() method Derrick Stolee
2018-04-10 12:55       ` [PATCH v8 03/14] commit-graph: add format document Derrick Stolee
2018-04-10 19:10         ` Stefan Beller
2018-04-10 19:18           ` Derrick Stolee
2018-04-11 20:58         ` Jakub Narebski
2018-04-12 11:28           ` Derrick Stolee
2018-04-13 22:07             ` Jakub Narebski
2018-04-10 12:55       ` [PATCH v8 04/14] graph: add commit graph design document Derrick Stolee
2018-04-15 22:48         ` Jakub Narebski
2018-04-10 12:55       ` [PATCH v8 05/14] commit-graph: create git-commit-graph builtin Derrick Stolee
2018-04-10 12:56       ` [PATCH v8 06/14] commit-graph: implement write_commit_graph() Derrick Stolee
2018-04-10 12:56       ` [PATCH v8 07/14] commit-graph: implement git-commit-graph write Derrick Stolee
2018-04-10 12:56       ` [PATCH v8 08/14] commit-graph: implement git commit-graph read Derrick Stolee
2018-04-14 22:15         ` Jakub Narebski
2018-04-15  3:26           ` Eric Sunshine
2018-04-10 12:56       ` [PATCH v8 09/14] commit-graph: add core.commitGraph setting Derrick Stolee
2018-04-14 18:33         ` Jakub Narebski
2018-04-10 12:56       ` [PATCH v8 10/14] commit-graph: close under reachability Derrick Stolee
2018-04-10 12:56       ` [PATCH v8 11/14] commit: integrate commit graph with commit parsing Derrick Stolee
2018-04-10 12:56       ` [PATCH v8 12/14] commit-graph: read only from specific pack-indexes Derrick Stolee
2018-04-10 12:56       ` [PATCH v8 13/14] commit-graph: build graph from starting commits Derrick Stolee
2018-04-10 12:56       ` [PATCH v8 14/14] commit-graph: implement "--append" option Derrick Stolee

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