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Gmane
From: Dan Gohman <dan433584 <at> gmail.com>
Subject: Re: More Qs about llvm IR to access struct fields
Newsgroups: gmane.comp.compilers.llvm.devel
Date: Friday 18th April 2014 15:37:42 UTC (over 3 years ago)
On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 5:40 AM, Krzysztof Parzyszek <
[email protected]> wrote:

> On 4/17/2014 2:41 PM, Rodney M. Bates wrote:
>
>>
>> Question 1:
>> Does this choice affect the optimization possibilities?
>>
>
> Depends on how advanced the alias analysis is these days (it is mostly
the
> alias analysis that could suffer).  I haven't looked into the AA code
much,
> but from what I remember, it could be affected by how the data addresses
> are constructed.  Look into the TBAA metadata and whether there is any
> expectation of correlation between the GEP structure and the TBAA
> information. (Sorry, I don't have exact answers off the top of my head.)
>

LLVM's builtin type system provides MustAlias information, and TBAA
metadata provides NoAlias information. The two complement each other, and
do not conceptually interact (though they do interact in practice somewhat
due to sharing the same AliasAnalysis API).

If two memory accesses have the same base and the same gep indices, then
they're accessing the same memory, and you can do the MustAlias family of
optimizations -- eliminating one of the accesses. But if two memory
accesses have different bases or different gep indices, you can't
immediately prove anything.

If two memory accesses have TBAA tags which indicate non-aliasing, then
they're accessing different memory, and you can do the NoAlias family of
optimizations -- reordering the accesses with respect to each other. But if
the two memory accesses have the same tag, you can't immediately prove
anything.

The AliasAnalysis difference between 1) and 2) above is that 1) has
stronger LLVM type information, so it has more MustAlias information.
However, these days BasicAA can compute MustAlias information by analyzing
everything as byte offsets too, so there's probably no difference in
practice.

The main practical advantage of 1) is that it gives SROA a suggestion for
how to split up an aggregate in memory. There's no semantic difference, and
in theory SROA could infer where the fields are by looking at the actual
memory access (and in theory this would make it more powerful), but relying
on the type is a convenient heuristic.

3) is less nice because the load is wider, which could produce false
dependencies if there are nearby accesses to other fields of the struct.
But the optimizer will probably convert 3) into something like 2) or 1)
pretty quickly, so it's probably not hugely different in practice.

Dan
 
CD: 3ms