[llvm-dev] [InstCombine] When should InstCombine indicate something was changed to the pass managers?

Davide Italiano via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Tue Apr 4 13:12:50 PDT 2017

On Tue, Apr 4, 2017 at 12:56 PM, Craig Topper via llvm-dev
<llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> InstCombine consists of iteration of the following two steps
> 1. Building the worklist over the function. Including dead code elimination,
> constant folding, and constant argument folding.
> 2. Processing the worklist.
> InstCombine currently only reports a change to the pass manager if more than
> 1 iteration is executed. And we only do additional iterations when worklist
> processing changed something.
> But the first iteration could do deadcode elmination or constant folding
> during the worklist build, but make no changes during the processing. Do
> those count as changes that should be passed up to the pass manager?

In the current world, the semantic associated to the return value of a
pass execution is, IMHO: "did this pass modify the unit of IR on which
is working on?"
Folding + removing instructions have visible effects, so, yes, I think
it should return `true`.
The current logic has the unfortunate effect of invalidating all the
analyses. When the new pass manager will be in place, you may be a
little bit more granular as the return value of a pass is a Preserved
set of analyses rather than a boolean value.

> There's an additional odd quirk here, if we constant fold an argument during
> the worklist build we do return a changed flag from the worklist build which
> gets ORed with the change flag for the worklist processing. This can force
> another iteration even if the worklist processing itself doesn't make any
> change. I've seen this happen during some InstCombine runs where we constant
> fold a GEP ConstantExpr just to change an i32 to i64 for one of the
> indices.Clearly we shouldn't be forcing a subsequent iteration just because
> the worklist build changed something but the worklist itself didn't.

Maybe this can be improved, although I think one iteration more hardly
matters for compile time, YMMV.


"There are no solved problems; there are only problems that are more
or less solved" -- Henri Poincare

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