[llvm-dev] RFC: Comprehensive Static Instrumentation
Mehdi Amini via llvm-dev
llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Fri Jun 17 11:42:04 PDT 2016
> On Jun 17, 2016, at 11:27 AM, TB Schardl via llvm-dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> Hey Ben,
> Thank you for your comments. I've put my response inline.
> On Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 6:29 AM, Craig, Ben via llvm-dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org <mailto:llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org>> wrote:
> On 6/16/2016 2:48 PM, Mehdi Amini via llvm-dev wrote:
>>> On Jun 16, 2016, at 9:01 AM, TB Schardl via llvm-dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org <mailto:llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org>> wrote:
>>> The CSI framework inserts instrumentation hooks at salient locations throughout the compiled code of a program-under-test, such as function entry and exit points, basic-block entry and exit points, before and after each memory operation, etc. Tool writers can instrument a program-under-test simply by first writing a library that defines the semantics of relevant hooks
>>> and then statically linking their compiled library with the program-under-test.
>>> At first glance, this brute-force method of inserting hooks at every salient location in the program-under-test seems to be replete with overheads. CSI overcomes these overheads through the use of link-time-optimization (LTO), which is now readily available in most major compilers, including GCC and LLVM. Using LTO, instrumentation hooks that are not used by a particular tool can be elided, allowing the overheads of these hooks to be avoided when the
>> I don't understand this flow: the front-end emits all the possible instrumentation but the useless calls to the runtime will be removed during the link?
>> It means that the final binary is specialized for a given tool right? What is the advantage of generating this useless instrumentation in the first place then? I'm missing a piece here...
> Suppose I want to build a production build, and one build for each of ASAN, MSAN, UBSAN, and TSAN.
> With the current approach, I need to compile my source five different times, and link five different times.
> With the CSI approach (assuming it was the backing technology behind the sanitizers), I need to compile twice (once for production, once for instrumentation), then LTO-link five times. I can reuse my .o files across the sanitizer types.
> This reduction in the number of compile operations needed, and in the number intermediate object/bitcode files produced, is indeed an advantage of the CSI approach.
It is a very artificial advantage, what are you saving? Temporary Disk Space?
> As an aside, we've been experimenting with linking CSI-instrumented bitcodes against the "null tool," which implements every instrumentation hook as a nop, and comparing the performance of those binaries against production binaries. Our preliminary tests have shown some promising results. For generating main executables, using LTO to link CSI-instrumented bitcodes with the null tool produces executables that are as fast as the production executables. For generating dynamic libraries, however, using LTO to link the CSI-instrumented bitcode of a dynamic library with the null tool seems to produce a binary that is slower than production. (The Apache HTTP server benchmark we've tried runs roughly 30% slower when using such null-tool-instrumented dynamic libraries.) These results suggest that using LTO to link CSI-instrumented bitcodes with the null tool is almost, but not quite, able to produce binaries with production performance
These results suggests that “adding instrumentation has a cost” nothing more, and is unrelated to LTO at all.
You would provide the runtime to the compiler directly during the compile phase and you would get the same results.
> , which would allow tool users to only compile their sources once.
LTO means basically “compiles during the link”. You won’t save much.
I haven’t seen a single compelling argument to *tie* CSI to LTO in this thread until now.
> It's possible that the math doesn't really work out in practice if the cost of the LTO-link dwarfs the compile times.
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