[Mesa-dev] Value Range Propagation in NIR (GSoC)
Thomas Helland
thomashelland90 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 11 12:12:44 PDT 2015
Thanks for the lengthy response :)
8. apr. 2015 01.52 skrev "Connor Abbott" <cwabbott0 at gmail.com>:
>
> Hi Thomas,
>
> Thanks for submitting a proposal! Some comments/answers below.
>
> On Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 3:34 PM, Thomas Helland
> <thomashelland90 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > For those that don't know I've submitted a proposal for this years GSoC.
> > I've proposed to implement value range propagation and loop unrolling in
> > NIR.
> > Since I'm no expert on compilers I've read up on some litterature:
> >
> > I started with "Constant propagation with conditional branches" (thanks
> > Connor).
> > This paper describes an algorithm, "sparse conditional constant
> > propagation",
> > that seems to be the defacto standard in compilers today.
> >
> > I also found the paper;
> > "Accurate static branch prediction by value range propagation " (VRP).
> > This describes a value range propagation implementation based on SCCP.
> > (This also allows one to set heuristics to calculate educated guesses
for
> > the
> > probability of a certain branch, but that's probably more than we're
> > interested in.)
>
> Thanks for mentioning that... I had forgotten the name of that paper.
> You're right in that the branch probability stuff isn't too useful for
> us. Also, it raises an important issue about back-edges from phi
> nodes; they present a more sophisticated method to handle it, but I
> think that for now we can just force back edges to have an infinite
> range unless they're constant.
>
> >
> > There is also a GCC paper (with whatever licensing issues that may
apply);
> > "A propagation engine for GCC".
> > They have a shared engine for doing all propagation passes.
> > It handles the worklists, and the logic to traverse these.
> > The implementing passes then supply callbacks to define the lattice
rules.
> > They reply back if the instruction was interesting or not,
> > and the propagation engine basically handles the rest.
> >
> > Maybe that's an interesting solution? Or it might not be worth the
hassle?
> > We already have copy propagation, and with value range propagation
> > we probably don't want separate constant propagation?
> > (I'm hoping to write the pass so that it handles both constants and
value
> > ranges.)
>
> Yes, copy propagation probably won't be so useful once we have value
> range propagation; the former is a special case of the latter. Note
> that we have a nifty way of actually doing the constant folding
> (nir_constant_expressions.py and nir_constant_expressions.h), which
> you should still use if all the inputs are constant.
>
I'll have a look at nir_constant_expressions to see what it's about.
I was thinking of making a separate struct with some flags and
the range of the assignment. I thought of having an is_constant
flag in there to keep control of if the value is constant.
Or do we have a metadata system for sticking useful
information in that gets shared between all passes?
> > The GCC guys have used this engine to get copy propagation that
propagates
> > copies accross conditionals, maybe this makes such a solution more
> > interesting?
>
> I'm not so sure how useful such a general framework will be. Constant
> propagation that handles back-edges seems interesting, but I'm not
> sure it's worth the time to implement something this general as a
> first pass.
>
I agree with you on this one.
If there was a potential for a lot of code
sharing it would be more appealing.
But if we drop having a separate constant propagation pass
then I see only VRP and copy prop. as potential users.
That's not a large user base for a generalized framework.
> >
> > Connor: I just remembered you saying something about your freedesktop
> > git repo, so I poked around some and found that you have already done
> > some work on VRP based on SCCP? How far did you get?
>
> I started on it, but then I realized that the approach I was using was
> too cumbersome/complicated so I don't think what I have is too useful.
> Feel free to work on it yourself, although Jason and I have discussed
> it so we have some ideas of how to do it. I've written a few notes on
> this below that you may find useful.
>
> - I have a branch I created while working on VRP that you'll probably
> find useful:
http://cgit.freedesktop.org/~cwabbott0/mesa/log/?h=nir-worklist
> . The first two commits are already in master, but the last two should
> be useful for implementing SCCP/VRP (although they'll need to be
> rebased, obviously).
>
> - There's a comment in the SCCP paper (5.3, Nodes versus Edges) that
> says: "An alternative way of implementing this would be to add nodes
> to the
> graph and then associate an ExecutableFlag with each node. An
> additional node must be inserted between any node that has more than
> one immediate successor and any successor node that has more than one
> immediate predecessor."
This is the method mentioned in the VRP (If I remember correctly).
> I think this procedure is what's usually
> called "splitting critical edges"; in NIR, thanks to the structured
> control flow, there are never any critical edges except for one edge
> case you don't really have to care about too much (namely, an infinite
> loop with one basic block) and therefore you can just use the basic
> block worklist that I added in the branch mentioned above, rather than
> a worklist of basic block edges as the paper describes.
>
> - The reason my pass was becoming so cumbersome was because I was
> trying to solve two problems at once. First, there's actually
> propagating the ranges. Then, there's taking into account restrictions
> on range due to branch predicates. For example, if I have something
> like:
>
> if (x > 0) {
> y = max(x, 0);
> }
>
> then since the use of x is dominated by the then-branch of the if, x
> has to be greater than 0 and we can optimize it. This is a little
> contrived, but we have seen things like:
>
> if (foo)
> break;
>
> /* ... */
>
> if (foo)
> break;
>
> in the wild, where we could get rid of the redundant break using this
> analysis by recognizing that since the second condition is dominated
> by the else-branch of the first, foo must be false there. I was trying
> to handle this by storing multiple lattice entries for the same SSA
> value, but it was becoming too messy. Instead, we can solve the first
> problem normally, and then to solve the second problem we can create
> new SSA values, using the standard SSA construction algorithm, any
> time where after a certain point the range of a value is restricted
> (namely, the condition of a branch or the index of an array
> dereference). In the first example, we would create a new value x2:
>
I thnk I've seen this solution mentioned in some paper.
Maybe the ISRP pass mentioned below? I don't remember.
> if (x > 0) {
> x2 = x;
> y = max(x2, 0);
> }
>
> and the VRP pass will keep track of "special" copies like the one from
> x to x2 that add restrictions on the range. After everything is
> finished, copy propagation and DCE will clean up the extra copies
> created. There's a paper on this somewhere, but I don't quite remember
> the name of it. I'm not sure if you'll be able to get to this over the
> summer, but I thought I'd explain it in case you were interested.
>
May this paper be "Interprocedural symbolic range propagation"?
Or maybe just " symbolic range propagation"?
I haven't looked much at them, but looks like they might be relevant.
> >
> > If we just want to make an SCCP inspired VRP pass then Connor has work
in
> > progress.
> > Finishing that, and loop unrolling, may not be enough work for GSoC?
>
> I'm not sure... on the one hand, there's enough here that it may take
> the entire summer for you to do. On the other hand, it's possible that
> you'll be able to finish it with enough time left over, and there are
> plenty of other things you'd be able to do. It depends on several
> factors, and no one has a crystal ball here. I'm not experienced
> enough with GSoC to be able to give you a recommendation, so it would
> be nice for someone more experienced to give their opinion.
>
That's what I struggle with. While I've done some programming
projects before they have been quite small, with a large amount
of hardware that needed to be made, so that was the time consuming
part and not the programming. Setting a realistic plan is .... hard.
> > Or maybe Connor wants to finish it of himself, and I should spend my
time
> > implementing some other pass instead, alongside loop unrolling?
> >
> > Realising Connor has partially started on this I thought it was a good
> > idea to get some feedback and ideas from others (if I need to change my
> > proposal)
> > All suggestions, ideas and opinions are more than welcome.
> > Fire at will, I'm all ears =)
> >
> > Regards,
> > Thomas
>
> Thanks,
> Connor
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