[lldb-dev] [cfe-dev] [llvm-dev] RFC: End-to-end testing

Philip Reames via lldb-dev lldb-dev at lists.llvm.org
Sat Oct 19 13:54:06 PDT 2019

On 10/9/19 6:25 PM, David Greene wrote:
> Philip Reames via cfe-dev <cfe-dev at lists.llvm.org> writes:
>> A challenge we already have - as in, I've broken these tests and had to
>> fix them - is that an end to end test which checks either IR or assembly
>> ends up being extraordinarily fragile.  Completely unrelated profitable
>> transforms create small differences which cause spurious test failures.
>> This is a very real issue today with the few end-to-end clang tests we
>> have, and I am extremely hesitant to expand those tests without giving
>> this workflow problem serious thought.  If we don't, this could bring
>> development on middle end transforms to a complete stop.  (Not kidding.)
> Do you have a pointer to these tests?  We literally have tens of
> thousands of end-to-end tests downstream and while some are fragile, the
> vast majority are not.  A test that, for example, checks the entire
> generated asm for a match is indeed very fragile.  A test that checks
> whether a specific instruction/mnemonic was emitted is generally not, at
> least in my experience.  End-to-end tests require some care in
> construction.  I don't think update_llc_test_checks.py-type operation is
> desirable.
The couple I remember off hand were mostly vectorization tests, but it's 
been a while, so I might be misremembering.
> Still, you raise a valid point and I think present some good options
> below.
>> A couple of approaches we could consider:
>>   1. Simply restrict end to end tests to crash/assert cases.  (i.e. no
>>      property of the generated code is checked, other than that it is
>>      generated)  This isn't as restrictive as it sounds when combined
>>      w/coverage guided fuzzer corpuses.
> I would be pretty hesitant to do this but I'd like to hear more about
> how you see this working with coverage/fuzzing.
We've found end-to-end fuzzing from Java (which guarantees single 
threaded determinism and lack of UB) comparing two implementations to be 
extremely effective at catching regressions.  A big chunk of the 
regressions are assertion failures.  Our ability to detect miscompiles 
by comparing the output of two implementations (well, 2 or more for tie 
breaking purposes) has worked extremely well. However, once a problem is 
identified, we're stuck manually reducing and reacting, which is a very 
major time sink.  Key thing here in the context of this discussion is 
that there are no IR checks of any form, we just check the end-to-end 
correctness of the system and then reduce from there.
>>   2. Auto-update all diffs, but report them to a human user for
>>      inspection.  This ends up meaning that tests never "fail" per se,
>>      but that individuals who have expressed interest in particular tests
>>      get an automated notification and a chance to respond on list with a
>>      reduced example.
> That's certainly workable.
>>   3. As a variant on the former, don't auto-update tests, but only inform
>>      the *contributor* of an end-to-end test of a failure. Responsibility
>>      for determining failure vs false positive lies solely with them, and
>>      normal channels are used to report a failure after it has been
>>      confirmed/analyzed/explained.
> I think I like this best of the three but it raises the question of what
> happens when the contributor is no longer contributing.  Who's
> responsible for the test?  Maybe it just sits there until someone else
> claims it.
I'd argue it should be deleted if no one is willing to actively step 
up.  It is not in the community's interest to assume unending 
responsibility for any third party test suite given the high burden 
involved here.
>> I really think this is a problem we need to have thought through and
>> found a workable solution before end-to-end testing as proposed becomes
>> a practically workable option.
> Noted.  I'm very happy to have this discussion and work the problem.
>                       -David

More information about the lldb-dev mailing list