[LLVMdev] Lowering switch statements with PGO

Hans Wennborg hans at chromium.org
Mon Dec 15 14:55:32 PST 2014

On Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 2:26 PM, Chad Rosier <mcrosier at codeaurora.org> wrote:
>> On Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 9:57 AM, Chad Rosier <mcrosier at codeaurora.org>
>> wrote:
>>> All,
>>> About two months ago I posted a patch that hoisted the hottest case
>>> statement from a switch statement during ISelLowering.
>>> See: http://reviews.llvm.org/D5786
>>> Sean was rather adamant about using a Huffman tree (and I agree this is
>>> a
>>> more complete solution), so I'd like to put a patch together.
>> I think this sounds really cool!
>>> That being
>>> said, I have a few questions.
>>> The current switch lowering code sorts based on case values and is
>>> lowered
>>> with a combination of binary trees, lookup tables, bit tests and magic.
>>> If we lower the switch based on branch probabilities, I think the most
>>> reasonable approach would be to disable the lookup tables and stick with
>>> a
>>> purely tree structure.  Does anyone object or have opinions on this
>>> matter?
>> Spontaneously I would have thought the Huffman tree would just replace
>> the binary trees, i.e. we'd use the branch probabilities to build the
>> tree differently.
> The current implementation selects the pivot in such a way that it optimizes
> for lookup tables.  Lowering the binary tree based on branch probabilities
> doesn't fit well with this approach.  However, I think we could start by
> building a Huffman tree and once we've handled the most heavily weighted
> nodes,
> we could fall back to the current logic.  Make sense?

I think it would be interesting to find out where the best cut-off
between jump table and Huffman tree is. If there's a single hot case,
then checking for that first and then doing a jump table is probably
beneficial. But how many branches does it take before just going
through the jump table is faster? Like Sean says, this probably varies
a lot between architectures.

I suspect that if the whole switch can be lowered to a jump table,
that's the best lowering. Using a Huffman tree sounds like a great
solution when a single jump table doesn't work.

 - Hans

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