[LLVMdev] RFC - Profile Guided Optimization in LLVM
bob.wilson at apple.com
Fri Sep 6 15:37:55 PDT 2013
On Jun 18, 2013, at 11:19 AM, Bob Wilson <bob.wilson at apple.com> wrote:
> On Jun 17, 2013, at 6:54 AM, Diego Novillo <dnovillo at google.com> wrote:
>> On 2013-06-15 14:18 , Evan Cheng wrote:
>>> Apple folks are also gearing up to push on the PGO front. We are primarily interested in using instrumentation, rather than sampling, to collect profile info. However, I suspect the way profile ended up being used in the various optimization and codegen passes would be largely similar.
>> Excellent! We are initially interested in instrumentation, as well. This is where we draw most of our performance with GCC. Sampling is showing a lot of promise, however. And it really is not much different than instrumentation. Most of what changes is the source of profile data.
>>> There is also some interests in pursuing profile directed specialization. But that can wait. I think it makes sense for us to get together and discuss our plans to make sure there won't be duplication of efforts.
>> Sure. My initial plan is fairly simple. Triage the existing instrumentation code and see what needs fixing. I'm starting this in the next week or so. What are your plans?
> I've been working on prototyping a new approach to instrumentation for both PGO and code coverage testing. I want to use the same data for both of those uses, and for code coverage we really need to have accurate source location info, including column positions and the starting and ending locations for every block of code. Working backward from the debug info to find source locations hasn't worked very well. The debug info just doesn't have enough detailed information. Instead, I am planning to insert the instrumentation code in the front-end. The raw profile data in this scheme is tied to source locations. One disadvantage is that it conflicts with the goal of having graceful degradation. Simply adding a blank line invalidates all the following source locations. My plan is to ignore any profile data whenever the source changes in any way. We had some discussions about this, and it is easy to come up with cases where even a trivial change to the source, e.g., enabling a debugging flag, causes massive changes in the profile data. I don't think graceful degradation should even be a goal. It is too hard to sort out insignificant changes from those that should invalidate all the profile data.
> I am still at least a few weeks away from having any details to share about this new instrumentation scheme. I want to convince myself that it is viable before making a proposal to add it to LLVM.
> I don't know if this new kind of instrumentation will fit everyone's needs for PGO. I hope that it will, but regardless the most important thing is that we standardize on the representation of profile data in the IR. We have a good start on that already with the branch probability metadata. The missing piece is adding per-function metadata to record the execution counts. We had planned to add that along with the branch probabilities but haven't gotten it done yet. You can see the lack of it in BlockFrequency::getEntryFrequency(), which just returns a constant value. We will want that to allow comparing profile data across different functions, which you can't easily get from the branch probabilities alone. I don't think anyone has yet come up with a specific proposal for that.
> As long as we agree on the canonical metadata, there should be no problem with supporting different kinds of profile generators, including things like Auto FDO.
> I also agree about the importance of getting inlining to use the PGO data. Chandler had looked into that and found that it was really difficult to do it properly with the current pass manager. Has any progress been made on that front?
Well, it took me much longer than a few weeks, and I completely abandoned the idea to tie the data to specific source locations and require it to be regenerated for any source change at all, but I finally have a proposal for doing PGO with instrumentation. Because that proposal is to do the instrumentation and the metadata generation in the front-end, so I've sent it to the cfe-dev list. Please have a look if you're interested.
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