# [RFC][InlineCost] Modeling JumpThreading (or similar) in inline cost model

`All,`

`I'm working on an improvement to the inline cost model, but I'm unsure how to proceed. Let me begin by first describing the problem I'm trying to solve. Consider the following pseudo C code:`

typedef struct element {
unsigned idx;
} element_t;

static inline
unsigned char fn2 (element_t *dst_ptr, const element_t *a_ptr,
const element_t b_ptr, unsigned char changed) {
if (a_ptr && b_ptr && a_ptr->idx == b_ptr->idx) {
if (!changed && dst_ptr && dst_ptr->idx == a_ptr->idx) {
__/
Do something /__
} else {
changed = 1;
if (!dst_ptr)
dst_ptr = fn3();
else
dst_ptr->idx = a_ptr->idx;
__/
Do something. */__
}
} else {
changed = fn4();
}
return changed;
}

unsigned char fn1 (element_t *a_ptr, element_t *b_ptr) {
unsigned char changed = 0;
while (b_ptr) {
if (!a_ptr || a_ptr->idx == b_ptr->idx) {
changed = fn2 (a_ptr, a_ptr, b_ptr, changed);
b_ptr = b_ptr->next;
}
}
return changed;
}

`When the inline cost model computes the inline cost of fn2 it ends up being much higher than the inline threshold. A fair amount of the cost is due to the inlining of fn3 into fn2. However, if fn2 had been inlined into fn1 the code from fn3 would have been removed as dead/unreachable.`

`At the fn2 call site notice the first two arguments are equal. Thus, in the context of fn2 dst_ptr and a_ptr are equal. The call site of fn3 is predicated on dst_ptr being null (i.e., if (!dst_ptr) dst_ptr = fn3()), but that code is predicated on a_ptr being non-null. Therefore, we know the condition !dst_ptr is false (because ```a_ptr == dst_ptr and `a_ptr is non-null) and the call to fn3 is dead. I suspect one of JumpThreading, EarlyCSE, or GVN does the elimination after inlining, so that’s what I’d like to try and model in the inline cost model. (Note fn2 has multiple call sides and the property that the first and second arguments are equal isn’t true for each call site, so something like IPSCCP doesn’t actually help, AFAICT).`

`My first attempt at solving this problem did something similar to what is done in JumpThreadingPass::ProcessImpliedCondition(). Specifically, it tried to prove that dst_ptr was non-null based on a dominating condition. The only tricky parts were to deal with hammocks/diamonds when walking up the CFG (```See: as a concrete example of how I proposed to get an immediate dominator without the domtree`) and to account for the fact that dst_ptr and a_ptr are equal.`

`I'm pretty sure I can get this approach to work, however, I'm not convinced it's really extensible or general. Should we consider using the full dominator tree in the inline cost model to capture this?`

`If you have any thoughts on how to tackle the problem, I would love to hear your feedback!`

`Chad`

A few notes:
I’m a bit surprised IPO copy/constant propagation doesn’t get this case, but i didn’t look if the lattice supports variables.
In particular, in your example, given no other call sites, it should eliminate the dead code.
(In a real program, it may require cloning).

GCC will do IPA-CP/const-prop with cloning, and i’m wildly curious if new GCC’s catch this case for you at higher optimization levels?

If so, it may be worth not looking at this as an inlining problem, but as an area we need IPO infrastructure improvement

Otherwise, a couple things:

Approximate dominators (for example, semi-dominators) can be computed fast (a DFS walk of the CFG with no real additional computation)
Except in strange CFGs that jump around a lot, they are the dominators.

More importantly, the dominator is either the sdom or a proper ancestor of the sdom.

The practical impact of this is that if you use them as if they were dominators, the set of conditions you discover will not be “too wrong”. Occasionally wrong, but mostly not.

My guess is the cost of doing approximate dominators is ~50-60% of the cost of doing dominators. Nowadays, about half the time was in the DFS walk, the other half in the computation. At best, it would be 2-3x faster.
I’ve no idea if this changes whether we’d want dominators, approximate dominators, or stick with nothing.

If you have some sort of dominatorish tree could then just use earlycse’s method of dominating condition finding:
Process in “dom tree” top-down order, push the equivalences you see, pop the relevant ones when you exit the relevant dom tree scope.

In practice, you’d only check comparisons against the hash table.

The other option is PredicateInfo, but it requires dominators and modifies the IR.

My guess is this is undesired/too heavyweight for inline cost analysis, however the basic principle on how it renames things could also be applied without IR changing for this specific case. Unlike the EarlyCSE method, which is O(all instructons) PredicateInfo is O(branches + number of uses of variables affected by conditions) Without going into futher details, if all you care about is “for each condition, give me the set of possibly affected variables” (so you can see if they may simplify), we could do that very very quickly (as fast as we can sort a vector). But it does require dominators.

In the actual program (SPEC2017/gcc, ironically), there are multiple calls to fn2 and only one of them has the property that the 1st and 2nd argument are the same (as is shown in my pseudo code). Internally, we have another developer, Matt Simpson, working on a function specialization patch that might be of value here. Specifically, you could clone fn2 based on the fact that a_ptr == dst_ptr and then simplify a great deal of the function. However, that patch is still a WIP. GCC does inline fn2 into fn1 in this particular case, but I’m not exactly sure how GCC accomplishes this. I’m guessing GCC is just more aggressive with its inlining (fn2 is also marked with the inline keyword, which I assume GCC uses as a hint). I’m speculating here and I’ve never worked on GCC, so unfortunately I have little to go on. Because of the multiple callsites with varying characteristics I’m not sure this can be solved in this way. Right, this is kinda one of the bigger questions I’m trying to figure out. My proposed solution doesn’t use the dominator tree in order to minimize the impact on compile-time. However, I’d guess the ROI is going to be much smaller because of the limited scope. On the other end of the spectrum I’d fear the full dominator tree would be too computationally expensive (but of course some of that could be mitigated by the ability to do incremental updates to the dominator tree). Humm… I’ll have to think about it for a bit. I’m thinking this might be a good compromise for my needs. For my particular problem, I think PredicateInfo would be sufficient IIUYC. But as you suggest, I’m thinking people aren’t going to be fond of using the full dominators. Lots of great feedback. Thanks, Danny.

A few notes:
I'm a bit surprised IPO copy/constant propagation doesn't get this case,
but i didn't look if the lattice supports variables.
In particular, in your example, given no other call sites, it should
eliminate the dead code.
(In a real program, it may require cloning).

In the actual program (SPEC2017/gcc, ironically), there are multiple calls
to fn2 and only one of them has the property that the 1st and 2nd argument
are the same (as is shown in my pseudo code). Internally, we have another
developer, Matt Simpson, working on a function specialization patch that
might be of value here. Specifically, you could clone fn2 based on the
fact that a_ptr == dst_ptr and then simplify a great deal of the function.
However, that patch is still a WIP.

FWIW: You almost certainly want to integrate that with IPA based constant
propagation, as it is the thing you should be using to tell you what will
happen in the call. It should actually not be difficult at all (I can give
you references to papers, but it's just a couple hundred lines of code on
top of our current propagation engine)

(It can also later be used to do type-base devirt).

GCC will do partial specialization (IE contextually decide to clone
callsites where it believes the constantness/etc will cause elimination)

GCC will do IPA-CP/const-prop with cloning, and i'm wildly curious if new
GCC's catch this case for you at higher optimization levels?

GCC does inline fn2 into fn1 in this particular case, but I'm not exactly
sure how GCC accomplishes this. I'm guessing GCC is just more aggressive
with its inlining (fn2 is also marked with the inline keyword, which I
assume GCC uses as a hint). I'm speculating here and I've never worked on
GCC, so unfortunately I have little to go on.

I meant if you turn off inlining

I can take a gander though, given the info you've given.

If so, it may be worth not looking at this as an inlining problem, but as
an area we need IPO infrastructure improvement

Because of the multiple callsites with varying characteristics I'm not
sure this can be solved in this way.

FWIW: It definitely can. Whether we want to, ....

That said, this is the whole purpose of IPA const/copy prop.
LLVM stops at the "propagate things that are always constant in every case"
whereas, most compilers do "if worth it, clone this function callsite where
i can prove it will be constant ".

You probably not want to rely on inlining for all possible IPO effects.
Especially in this case, where IPO can actually do the job.

IMHO, if you can, you want to reserve inlining-as-IPO for the cases where
the IPO algorithms are difficult/expensive/etc.

Or, at the very least, drive inlining like this by the results of those IPO
algorithms.

If I’m not mistaken, this is exactly what Matt is doing. Doh. Right. Yes, you’re right. Yes, that makes sense. Sounds reasonable. I’ll throw this idea around with Matt and Geoff.

A few notes:
I'm a bit surprised IPO copy/constant propagation doesn't get this case, but
i didn't look if the lattice supports variables.

To the best of my knowledge (I haven't looked at this in the last 4-6
months) LLVM's lattice does not support variables, but I may be wrong

In particular, in your example, given no other call sites, it should
eliminate the dead code.
(In a real program, it may require cloning).

GCC will do IPA-CP/const-prop with cloning, and i'm wildly curious if new
GCC's catch this case for you at higher optimization levels?

If so, it may be worth not looking at this as an inlining problem, but as an
area we need IPO infrastructure improvement

FWIW, this also seems a lack of IPO infrastructure to me.
The lack of a real IPA for constant propagation inhibits other
optimizations (I think I have a few bug open about this).
GCC uses a variation of Callahan's algorithm that iterate SCCs in
topological order instead and keeps all possible candidates and then
has a very rudimental heuristic to decide which one to keep (and which
one to discard).
When I spoke with Honza Hubicka about this he claimed cloning doesn't
really give any benefit in large real world program (I think they
tried LibreOffice and Firefox), but he admitted the cost model wasn't
really tuned so that could be the problem.

A few notes:
I'm a bit surprised IPO copy/constant propagation doesn't get this case,
but i didn't look if the lattice supports variables.
In particular, in your example, given no other call sites, it should
eliminate the dead code.
(In a real program, it may require cloning).

In the actual program (SPEC2017/gcc, ironically), there are multiple calls
to fn2 and only one of them has the property that the 1st and 2nd argument
are the same (as is shown in my pseudo code). Internally, we have another
developer, Matt Simpson, working on a function specialization patch that
might be of value here. Specifically, you could clone fn2 based on the
fact that a_ptr == dst_ptr and then simplify a great deal of the function.
However, that patch is still a WIP.

GCC will do IPA-CP/const-prop with cloning, and i'm wildly curious if new
GCC's catch this case for you at higher optimization levels?

GCC does inline fn2 into fn1 in this particular case, but I'm not exactly
sure how GCC accomplishes this. I'm guessing GCC is just more aggressive
with its inlining (fn2 is also marked with the inline keyword, which I
assume GCC uses as a hint). I'm speculating here and I've never worked on
GCC, so unfortunately I have little to go on.

If so, it may be worth not looking at this as an inlining problem, but as
an area we need IPO infrastructure improvement

Because of the multiple callsites with varying characteristics I'm not
sure this can be solved in this way.

Otherwise, a couple things:
Approximate dominators (for example, semi-dominators) can be computed fast
(a DFS walk of the CFG with no real additional computation)
Except in strange CFGs that jump around a lot, they are the dominators.

More importantly, the dominator is either the sdom or a proper ancestor of
the sdom.

The practical impact of this is that if you use them as if they were
dominators, the set of conditions you discover will not be "too wrong".
Occasionally wrong, but mostly not.

My guess is the cost of doing approximate dominators is ~50-60% of the
cost of doing dominators. Nowadays, about half the time was in the DFS
walk, the other half in the computation. At best, it would be 2-3x faster.
I've no idea if this changes whether we'd want dominators, approximate
dominators, or stick with nothing.

Right, this is kinda one of the bigger questions I'm trying to figure
out. My proposed solution doesn't use the dominator tree in order to
minimize the impact on compile-time.

In the new PM, it's possible for a CGSCC pass to get a cached function
analysis from functions that have been visited previously. This requires
the CGSCC iteration on SCC's we visited earlier to keep an up to date
domtree, and I don't know if that's the case (or how much work it would be
to make it the case).

-- Sean Silva

Hi,

Coincidentally I’ve been working to optimize this same case last week. I was struggling a bit to determine where to put this functionality and eventually went for the pragmatic approach of creating an experimental pass. Probably not the eventual solution, but it may provide some useful input to the discussion here.

Basically, I experimented with a ‘pre-inlining-transform’ pass that clones the callsite if it can prove that one of the arguments to the call can be replaced by a constant, based on dominating conditions, e.g.:

if (!ptr || ptr && ptr->val)

foo(ptr, …)

=>

if (!ptr)

foo(nullptr, …)

else if (ptr && ptr->val)

foo(ptr /knownNonNull/, …)

Here the first argument becomes constant for the first callsite and a further analysis pass sets the KnownNonNull attribute on the first argument in the second callsite. The InlinerCost algorithm can then determine it is cheap enough to inline both cases, because it knows the callee (foo) distinguishes between the two cases. In the callee, the check for ‘(ptrA == ptrB)’ in function foo becomes constant for the first callsite because it knows ptrA is nullptr.

To keep compile-time down, it doesn’t use the dominator tree as it seemed sufficient to look at the direct predecessors of the block containing the call (and their single-predecessors, for 'and’ed conditions). To keep the cost of duplicating code down, it only clones the block upto the call if the number of instructions stays below some threshold, which in practice reduces the cases to simple callsites with directly dominating conditions. The reasoning behind this is that duplicating the callsite is probably ‘cheap’ if it can eliminate an argument with a constant, since this is often a pointer and is likely to be checked for ‘nullptr’ in the callee which will improve the inline cost.

We’re still collecting numbers to check there are no regressions from cloning the callsite and the pass is still a bit work in progress, but I should be able to share this work if anyone is interested (if only just for reference).

Sander

Can someone fill me in on the issue with the dominator tree, precisely, during inlining?
We now have the capability of quickly keeping it up to date without too much trouble (it may require pushing it through a bunch of places, but the actual changes to do should be easy).

Was the original issue cost of rebuilding it repeatedly during inlining, or what?

There was no actual issue with using the Dominator Tree for the experimental pass AFAIK. I figured that not depending on expensive DT construction would make the pass cheaper to use if I could achieve my goal without. As you suggest this is unnecessarily conservative since the DT can be updated and preserved for other passes.

Can someone fill me in on the issue with the dominator tree, precisely, during inlining?
We now have the capability of quickly keeping it up to date without too much trouble (it may require pushing it through a bunch of places, but the actual changes to do should be easy).

If I’m not mistaken (which I very well could be since I’m no expert of the pass managers, but) I believe we need to use the new pass manager to allow CGSCC passes to use cached Function analyses (i.e., domtree). IIUC, this is what Sean was trying to point out. Assuming that’s true, we should be able to use the new functionality to preserve the domtree until we get to the inliner.

I’m more then happy to work towards this approach, if the domtree would be useful in the inliner…

Was the original issue cost of rebuilding it repeatedly during inlining, or what?

Yes, this was my primary concern.

Something that Chandler showed me a little while ago is that you could
just make outlining decisions in the inliner walking up the dom tree
from the coldest leaves as far as you can (according to profile),
outline that particular subtree, and repeat again halting on some
condition you pick. This is an example of where it could be useful.

Thanks,

Can someone fill me in on the issue with the dominator tree, precisely,
during inlining?
We now have the capability of quickly keeping it up to date without too much
trouble (it may require pushing it through a bunch of places, but the actual
changes to do should be easy).

If I'm not mistaken (which I very well could be since I'm no expert of the
pass managers, but) I believe we need to use the new pass manager to allow
CGSCC passes to use cached Function analyses (i.e., domtree). IIUC, this is
what Sean was trying to point out. Assuming that's true, we should be able
to use the new functionality to preserve the domtree until we get to the
inliner.

I'm more then happy to work towards this approach, if the domtree would be
useful in the inliner..

Something that Chandler showed me a little while ago is that you could
just make outlining decisions in the inliner walking up the dom tree
from the coldest leaves as far as you can (according to profile),
outline that particular subtree, and repeat again halting on some
condition you pick. This is an example of where it could be useful.

Ah, yes. That sounds very useful. Thanks, Davide.