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C# Threading issue with UI

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Hi, guys smile.gif I think I'm missing something here.

I'm developing a system that shows data from some radio-related devices used for analysis, broadcasting, etc.
It's a large system so I won't go into details on how its structured. If it is important, I'll then post it.

The problem I'm having is - I *think* that the UI thread (main thread) gets overwhelmed. I don't explicitly do anything on the UI thread. For every major task I spawn a new thread to perform it. I have something in the lines of 10-20 threads maximum at any given time. Most of them do only light work (that has to be done in parallel, so can't use one thread), and sleep for ~90% of the time.
Total CPU load of the program is on average 70% on a Core i5 2400S.

In the UI I have a UserControl, containing a TableLayoutPanel split in 2x2 cells.
The control itself is parented to a panel, docked in a form.

Each cell of the tableLayoutPanel contains a Panel that shows different data. For example, one of the panels has several bars showing dynamic values.
There are ~10 panels total, only 4 are shown at a time in the tableLayoutPanel. The others are hidden, but can be swapped with the active ones.

Most panels contain a control that contains a pre-configured ZedGraph.
The ZedGraph shows the data that I mine from the devices.

The system has to be real-time, delays of up to 200ms are acceptable but unadvisable.
The problem is that when I have 4 of those ZedGraphs shown and running, each displaying a graph of between 1 and 5 lines, the UI gets unresponsive.

For example, when I maximize the main form, I see big black squares and it takes a few seconds for everything to re-fit. Images are re-drawn very slowly.
The ZedGraphs are more responsive, but they are also slower than needed.

Again, the CPU is NOT maxed (nor it should be).

When I run thread analysis in VS, I get this:



This is just a segment of the whole report, showing just the main thread in a period when all graphs are shown and active.
What strikes me is that there is 0% to UI Processing!! Is that normal?

Before I bring up the graphics, about 80-90% of MainThread's time goes to UI Processing.

Also, what I see in the lower section is that there are ~83% time spent in Forms.dll. Is That normal? The ZedGraphs are supposed to be the heaviest component on screen, what is this thing doing 83% of the time in Forms.dll? Is that also some sort of UI Processing? Because this section is labeled Execution, as opposed to UI Processing in the beginning of the application.

(The Demystify button didn't bring much clarity on that topic either biggrin.gif )

So um, help?

rolleyes.gif

I would post code, but I don't know which part of the code to post honestly biggrin.gif
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post #4 of 44
This is something I'd take to StackOverflow.com; there is a much larger collection of professional programmers there. It sounds like you might have a pretty complex problem on your hands.
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post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by SectorNine50 View Post

This is something I'd take to StackOverflow.com; there is a much larger collection of professional programmers there. It sounds like you might have a pretty complex problem on your hands.

I'd leave it here because I bet I can solve it wink.gif

Mr ronnin I'll take a look when I get home from work smile.gif
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post #6 of 44
Thread Starter 
That sounds great! redface.gif

To add to the data, this is what CPU profiling reported:



68% exclusive time to RunMessageLoop...

Also I found that the program works better when profiler is running. Is that normal?
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post #7 of 44
I haven't actually read the thread yet LOL but I will in a few hours and then I'll help ya out tongue.gif
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post #8 of 44
It seems that you are creating threads and never closing them so you're trying to run like 5k threads ahaha. I had this same issue (have still) on my first C++ multithreading project. Still learning!

Or I could be completely wrong. I think that's what inclusive exclusive is correct? Thread count?
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post #9 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinnuke View Post

It seems that you are creating threads and never closing them so you're trying to run like 5k threads ahaha. I had this same issue (have still) on my first C++ multithreading project. Still learning!

Or I could be completely wrong. I think that's what inclusive exclusive is correct? Thread count?

No, that's sample count. I have at most 20 threads, average is between 5 and 10.
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post #10 of 44
The message loop on the UI thread is accounting for your activity. All of those controls drawing, doing stuff will be pumping messages. Maximizing the form will pump a crap-ton of messages, and those controls will all respond to them to update their layout, etc, etc.

Its really as simple as that.

Although it'd be nice if you could expand the hot path further...



From MSDN:
Quote:
The UI Processing category is important for understanding the responsiveness of GUI applications, and is desirable in applications that depend on UI responsiveness. For example, if the UI thread in an application achieves 100% time in UI Processing, it is probably very responsive. However, if the UI thread spends considerable time in other categories, look for the root causes and consider options for reducing non-UI categories on that thread.

You've got 0% in UI processing. Your UI thread is spending all of its time in "Execution Time". In order for everything to be response you WANT "UI Processing" to be closer to 100% as possible.
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Corsair AX-750 Corsair Obsidian 650D Logitech G700 XTRAC Ripper XXL 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 250ohm Schiit Bifrost DAC Schiit Asgard 2 HiVi Swan M50W 2.1 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel Xeon E5-2620 Super Micro X9SRL-F-B 128GB 1333MHz LSI 9271-8i 
OSPowerCase
VMware ESXi 5.5 SeaSonic SS-400FL2 Fractal Define R3 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3437U HP EliteBook Folio 9470m  Intel HD Graphics 4000  16GB DDR3 SDRAM 
Hard DriveOS
256GB SSD Windows 10 Insider Preview 
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Ol' Sandy
(28 items)
 
"Zeus"
(12 items)
 
Elite Preview
(6 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3-1230v3 Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK MSI Gaming GTX 980 Kingston 32GB (4x8) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Plextor PX-256M5S 256GB Samsung EVO 1TB Hitachi HDS721010CLA332 Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 Hitachi HUA722010CLA330 WDC WD10EARS-00Z5B1 TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S223B 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Phanteks PH-TC14PE with TY-140's Lamptron FCv5 (x2) Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Dell U2412M 
MonitorMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Dell U2412M Dell U2212HM Dell U2713HM Topre Realforce 87UB | Ducky DK9087 G2 Pro 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair AX-750 Corsair Obsidian 650D Logitech G700 XTRAC Ripper XXL 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 250ohm Schiit Bifrost DAC Schiit Asgard 2 HiVi Swan M50W 2.1 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel Xeon E5-2620 Super Micro X9SRL-F-B 128GB 1333MHz LSI 9271-8i 
OSPowerCase
VMware ESXi 5.5 SeaSonic SS-400FL2 Fractal Define R3 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3437U HP EliteBook Folio 9470m  Intel HD Graphics 4000  16GB DDR3 SDRAM 
Hard DriveOS
256GB SSD Windows 10 Insider Preview 
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