[polly] r264446 - docs: Describe Polly in the LLVM pass pipeline

Tobias Grosser via llvm-commits llvm-commits at lists.llvm.org
Fri Mar 25 12:23:45 PDT 2016

Author: grosser
Date: Fri Mar 25 14:23:44 2016
New Revision: 264446

URL: http://llvm.org/viewvc/llvm-project?rev=264446&view=rev
docs: Describe Polly in the LLVM pass pipeline


Modified: polly/trunk/docs/Architecture.rst
URL: http://llvm.org/viewvc/llvm-project/polly/trunk/docs/Architecture.rst?rev=264446&r1=264445&r2=264446&view=diff
--- polly/trunk/docs/Architecture.rst (original)
+++ polly/trunk/docs/Architecture.rst Fri Mar 25 14:23:44 2016
@@ -12,3 +12,82 @@ and inserted into the LLVM-IR module.
 .. image:: images/architecture.png
     :align: center
+Polly in the LLVM pass pipeline
+The standard LLVM pass pipeline as it is used in -O1/-O2/-O3 mode of clang/opt
+consists of a sequence of passes that can be grouped in different conceptual
+phases. The first phase, we call it here **Canonicalization**, is a scalar
+canonicalization phase that contains passes like -mem2reg, -instcombine,
+-cfgsimplify, or early loop unrolling. It has the goal of removing and
+simplifying the given IR as much as possible focusing mostly on scalar
+optimizations. The second phase consists of three conceptual groups that  are
+executed in the so-called **Inliner cycle**, This is again a set of **Scalar
+Simplification** passes, a set of **Simple Loop Optimizations**, and the
+**Inliner** itself. Even though these passes make up the majority of the LLVM
+pass pipeline, the primary goal of these passes is still canonicalization
+without loosing semantic information that complicates later analysis. As part of
+the inliner cycle, the LLVM inliner step-by-step tries to inline functions, runs
+canonicalization passes to exploit newly exposed simplification opportunities,
+and then tries to inline the further simplified functions. Some simple loop
+optimizations are executed as part of the inliner cycle. Even though they
+perform some optimizations, their primary goal is still the simplification of
+the program code. Loop invariant code motion is one such optimization that
+besides being beneficial for program performance also allows us to move
+computation out of loops and in the best case enables us to eliminate certain
+loops completely.  Only after the inliner cycle has been finished, a last
+**Target Specialization** phase is run, where IR complexity is deliberately
+increased to take advantage of target specific features that maximize the
+execution performance on the device we target. One of the principal
+optimizations in this phase is vectorization, but also target specific loop
+unrolling, or some loop transformations (e.g., distribution) that expose more
+vectorization opportunities.
+.. image:: images/LLVM-Passes-only.png
+    :align: center
+Polly can conceptually be run at three different positions in the pass pipeline.
+As an early optimizer before the standard LLVM pass pipeline, as a later
+optimizer as part of the target specialization sequence, and theoretically also
+with the loop optimizations in the inliner cycle. We only discuss the first two
+options, as running Polly in the inline loop, is likely to disturb the inliner
+and is consequently not a good idea.
+.. image:: images/LLVM-Passes-all.png
+    :align: center
+Running Polly early before the standard pass pipeline has the benefit that the
+LLVM-IR processed by Polly is still very close to the original input code.
+Hence, it is less likely that transformations applied by LLVM change the IR in
+ways not easily understandable for the programmer. As a result, user feedback is
+likely better and it is less likely that kernels that in C seem a perfect fit
+for Polly have been transformed such that Polly can not handle them any
+more. On the other hand, codes that require inlining to be optimized won't
+benefit if Polly is scheduled at this position. The additional set of
+canonicalization passes required will result in a small, but general compile
+time increase and some random run-time performance changes due to slightly
+different IR being passed through the optimizers. To force Polly to run early in
+the pass pipleline use the option *-polly-position=early* (default today).
+.. image:: images/LLVM-Passes-early.png
+    :align: center
+Running Polly right before the vectorizer has the benefit that the full inlining
+cycle has been run and as a result even heavily templated C++ code could
+theoretically benefit from Polly (more work is necessary to make Polly here
+really effective). As the IR that is passed to Polly has already been
+canonicalized, there is also no need to run additional canonicalization passes.
+General compile time is almost not affected by Polly, as detection of loop
+kernels is generally very fast and the actual optimization and cleanup passes
+are only run on functions which contain loop kernels that are worth optimizing.
+However, due to the many optimizations that LLVM runs before Polly the IR that
+reaches Polly often has additional scalar dependences that make Polly a lot less
+efficient. To force Polly to run before the vectorizer in the pass pipleline use
+the option *-polly-position=before-vectorizer*. This position is not yet the
+default for Polly, but work is on its way to be effective even in presence of
+scalar dependences. After this work has been completed, Polly will likely use
+this position by default.
+.. image:: images/LLVM-Passes-late.png
+    :align: center

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