THREAD DUMP ANALYSIS PATTERN – ATHLETE

Description

Threads in ‘runnable’ state consume CPU. So when you are analyzing thread dumps for high CPU consumption, threads in ‘runnable’ state should be thoroughly reviewed.

Typically in thread dumps several threads are classified in ‘RUNNABLE’ state. But in reality several of them wouldn’t be actually running, rather they would be just waiting. But still JVM classifies them in ‘RUNNABLE’ state. You need to learn to differentiate from really running threads with pretending/misleading RUNNABLE threads.

Example

Below are the real world thread dump excerpt. In these stack traces, threads aren’t actually in ‘RUNNABLE’ state. i.e. they are not actively executing any code. They are just waiting on the sockets to read or write. It’s because JVM doesn’t really know what thread is doing in a native method, JVM classifies them in ‘RUNNABLE’ state. Real running threads would consume CPU, where as these threads are on I/O wait, which don’t consume any CPU.

WorkerThread#27[10.201.1.55:56893] - priority:10 - threadId:0x00002b59983cb000 - nativeId:0x4482 - addressSpace:null - state:RUNNABLE
stackTrace:
	java.lang.Thread.State: RUNNABLE
	at java.net.SocketInputStream.socketRead0(Native Method)
	at java.net.SocketInputStream.__AW_read(SocketInputStream.java:129)
	at java.net.SocketInputStream.read(SocketInputStream.java)
	at java.io.BufferedInputStream.fill(BufferedInputStream.java:218)
	at java.io.BufferedInputStream.read(BufferedInputStream.java:237)
	- locked  (a java.io.BufferedInputStream)
	at java.io.DataInputStream.readByte(DataInputStream.java:248)
	at org.jboss.jms.server.remoting.ServerSocketWrapper.checkConnection(ServerSocketWrapper.java:94)
	at org.jboss.remoting.transport.socket.ServerThread.acknowledge(ServerThread.java:857)
	at org.jboss.remoting.transport.socket.ServerThread.dorun(ServerThread.java:585)
	at org.jboss.remoting.transport.socket.ServerThread.run(ServerThread.java:234)
multicast receiver,GATES-RefData-Infinispan-Cluster,matcamupa67-vm-46719 - priority:10 - threadId:0x00002b597c1ba800 - nativeId:0x3034 - addressSpace:null - state:RUNNABLE
stackTrace:
	java.lang.Thread.State: RUNNABLE
	at java.net.PlainDatagramSocketImpl.receive0(Native Method)
	- locked  (a java.net.PlainDatagramSocketImpl)
	at java.net.PlainDatagramSocketImpl.receive(PlainDatagramSocketImpl.java:145)
	- locked  (a java.net.PlainDatagramSocketImpl)
	at java.net.DatagramSocket.receive(DatagramSocket.java:725)
	- locked  (a java.net.DatagramPacket)
	- locked  (a java.net.MulticastSocket)
	at org.jgroups.protocols.UDP$PacketReceiver.__AW_run(UDP.java:675)
	at org.jgroups.protocols.UDP$PacketReceiver.run(UDP.java)
	at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:662)

Why named as Athlete Pattern?

Wikipedia defines Athlete as a person who competes in one or more sports that involve physical strength, speed and/or endurance. Athlete consumes high energy, similarly really RUNNABLE threads consumes high CPU, where as pretending RUNNABLE threads don’t.

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