ScalarEvolution in a ModulePass

Hey LLVMDev,

I’m working on a ModulePass that uses ScalarEvolution along with several other analyses. After some debugging, it looks to me like ScalarEvolutionWrapperPass does not handle memory correctly for this case. Here’s my current understanding of the problem.

ScalarEvolutionWrapperPass maintains a unique_ptr to a ScalarEvolution. Calling getSE() dereferences this pointer. Meanwhile runOnFunction() resets the pointer to point to a new ScalarEvolution. As a result, runOnFunction destructs and frees any ScalarEvolution the unique_ptr pointed to before.

The ModulePass I’m working on uses ScalarEvolution and several other analysis FunctionPasses, including DominatorTree, LoopInfo, OptimizationRemarkEmitter, and a custom analysis pass I’m working on, which resembles LoopInfo. To run ScalarEvolution and these other analysis FunctionPasses in a ModulePass, the ModulePass creates lambdas to get the analysis for a particular function, e.g.,

auto GetSE = [this](Function &F) → ScalarEvolution & {

return this->getAnalysis(F).getSE();


Later, when the ModulePass examines a particular Function, it calls the appropriate lambda to get the analysis for that Function.

The problem seems to arise when lambdas for other analysis FunctionPasses run after calling the GetSE lambda, e.g., when evaluating a statement like this:

for (Function &F : M)
Changed |= MyPassImpl(F, GetSE(F), GetDT(F), GetLI(F), GetORE(F), …).run();

It appears that these other analysis FunctionPasses can cause ScalarEvolutionWrapperPass::runOnFunction() to rerun after GetSE() returns a pointer to a ScalarEvolution, which changes the underlying ScalarEvolution object that the wrapper pass points to. As a result, the pointer originally obtained from GetSE() points to invalid memory, and chaos ensues. Running valgrind on the “opt -mypass” indicates that the ScalarEvolution object used by MyPassImpl points to freed memory.

I’ve been able to work around this problem, but I figured I should raise the issue and see if you might have more insights into this problem. For example, I’m not totally sure why the other analysis FunctionPasses cause ScalarEvolutionWrapperPass::runOnFunction() to rerun. I’m also concerned about other analysis FunctionPasses, that might suffer from the same problem. MemorySSAWrapperPass, for example, uses a unique_ptr similarly to ScalarEvolution.


Hi, TB,

Just to be clear, are you using the new pass manager or the old one? You can’t do this from the old pass manager - this was one of the motivations to create the new pass manager.



you are using the Legacy PassManager (which is the default). It
generally does not allow passes to use analysis for sub entities (e.g.
a FunctionPass cannot use BasicBlockPass analysis). An exception was
hardcoded for ModulePass to use FunctionPass analsyis, called
OnTheFlyManagers, but it will hold only one sub-pass at a time (per
type) and free the previous pass once you request a pass for a
different function. This is why you get the memory error if you
continue to use the previous analysis.
I once tried to get around this by invoking the analysis pass without
the pass manager. Unfortunately this is complex because the Pass class
needs an AnalysisResolver object that belongs to the PassManager,

However, there is a new pass manager that works differently. It just
stores all analysis for each entity until a pass invalidates it. You
might want to try that one. I suggest to look into the class
ScalarEvolutionAnalysis (the equivalent of ScalarEvolutionWrapperPass
for the new pass manager) and see how it is used.


Hey Hal and Michael,

Thanks for the replies.

You’re right, I was using the old pass manager. I already wrote a separate interface for my pass to the new pass manager, and that seems to work great.

I don’t have as much experience using the new pass manager, and I haven’t tried running it by default. (For reference, I’m doing most of my development based on LLVM 6.0 release at the moment.) I noticed some talk from just under a year ago about making the new pass manager the default. What’s the status of that work? Do the sanitizers work with the new pass manager?


I think that it’s pretty close, and in general, it works. The sanitizers may be some of the last outstanding items. -Hal