[llvm-dev] Finding caller-saved registers at a function call site

Robert Lyerly via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Tue Jun 28 13:22:20 PDT 2016

I think I understand where the spill code is getting generated.  I've been
digging through the register allocation debug information, and I see that
the register allocator itself is generating the spill code around the call
site (the greedy allocator is also splitting the virtual register's live
range around the call site).  I don't care about the internals of the
register allocator, but I see that it produces a VirtRegMap which contains
the mapping of virtual registers to physical registers/spill slots.  I have
two questions about this:

1. Is there a way to access the produced VirtRegMap in the
architecture-specific AsmPrinter?  I tried the normal
getAnalysis<VirtRegMap>, but it produces and empty mapping.
2. If I manage to get access to this mapping, is there a way to correlate
an LLVM bitcode Value to a virtual register?

On Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 9:59 AM, Robert Lyerly <rlyerly at vt.edu> wrote:

> Hi Sanjoy,
> On Mon, Jun 27, 2016 at 4:05 PM, Sanjoy Das <
> sanjoy at playingwithpointers.com> wrote:
>> Hi Rob,
>> Robert Lyerly wrote:
>> > At a high level, I'm interested in finding the locations of all values
>> > that are live at a given call site.**You can think of it like a
>> > debugger, e.g. gdb -- I'd like to be able to unwind the stack, frame by
>> > frame, and locate all the live values for each function invocation
>> > (i.e., where they are in a function's stack frame/register set) at the
>> > function call site.  I'm currently using DWARF metadata to implement the
>> > frame unwinding mechanism, similarly to gdb.  I can't use DWARF metadata
>> > for live value location information, however, because it only generates
>> > location information for named source code variables.  I also need to
>> Isn't DWARF info best effort (not a rhetorical question -- I don't
>> actually know)?  Or do you not care about being a 100% precise?
> Yes, tracking live values using DWARF metadata is best-effort, another
> reason that it is not suitable for what I'm doing :).  The DWARF unwinding
> procedure, however, seems to be trivial to implement correctly, as it's
> literally just dumping metadata about the generated prologue.  I haven't
> had any correctness or incompleteness problems yet with using this aspect
> of the DWARF standard.
>> Given that you're interested in finding all values live at a
>> call-site, why not do just that -- run a liveness analysis over stack
>> slots and registers?  That should catch compiler temporaries too.
> The reason I can't just run a liveness analysis over stack slots and
> registers in the backend is that I'm trying to map live value locations
> back up into their corresponding values in LLVM bitcode.  This is why I'm
> using the stackmap intrinsic, as it does exactly that -- provides a mapping
> between a bitcode value and its storage location for the generated
> assembly.  I need this intermediate-level value because I'm doing ABI
> translation.  I'm plucking values out of a call frame laid out in one ABI
> and storing them in a destination stack frame that is laid out according to
> another ABI.  The IR value is essentially the "key" used to match
> corresponding storage locations across the two ABIs.  I'm transforming a
> thread's current stack laid out for one ABI into one laid out for another
> ABI.
>> A related question is: are you interested in the *values* or the
>> *locations* the values are in?  For instance if a specific value (say
>> the result of a load) is spilled at 0x80(%rsp) and is also present in
>> %r13 (callee saved register), then do you have to know both the
>> locations or just one of the two?
> I'm actually only interested in being able to find values; I don't
> particularly care about where they're stored.  In your hypothetical, as
> long as the compiler could tell me that the value was stored in one of
> those locations, that'd be okay.
>> > locate compiler-generated temporaries, hence I've been looking at the
>> > StackMap intrinsic [1] to provide live value location information.  It
>> > does most of what I need, but it does not tell me where live values
>> > stored in registers are spilled to the stack as part of the function
>> > call procedure (whether they be in callee- or caller-saved registers) --
>> > it simply tells me which registers they are stored in before/after the
>> > function call procedure.  That's the impetus for my question.
>> With stackmaps, is the problem that it tells you e.g. a live value is
>> present in %r9 (caller saved register), but when unwinding the value
>> may have been clobbered?  This is something other people have run into
>> as well -- specifically the distinction between "live on call"
>> (available just before the call) vs. "live on return" (available after
>> the callee returns).  I'm hazy on the details, but IIRC if this is a
>> problem, then you may have problems bigger than just figuring out the
>> spill slots, since the caller saved register may not actually have
>> been spilled anywhere (since it does not need to live across the
>> call).
> I'm not concerned about values that are not live across the call ("live on
> call"), only those that are live after returning from the call ("live on
> return").  If the value is not live after the call, there's no need for me
> to able to recover it.  I just need to be able to resume execution in that
> function correctly, so I'm only concerned about values in caller-saved
> registers that are needed after the call completes, and therefore have been
> spilled to the stack as part of the procedure call standard.
> Because I'm rewriting the stack to change the ABI, I need to be able to
> set up the stack so that execution can correctly unwind back up the call
> chain.  This means that I need to be able to populate spill stack slots for
> caller-saved registers, hence this is why I need their locations.
> Thanks again for your help!
>> -- Sanjoy
>> > This is *not* a problem for callee-saved registers -- these registers
>> > are restored from the stack as part of the call frame unwinding
>> > procedure detailed in the DWARF standard [2].  However, I'm left trying
>> > to find the locations of the live values that were in caller-saved
>> > registers and were spilled to the stack as part of the function call
>> > procedure (probably during instruction selection/register allocation,
>> > I'm not familiar enough with this process).  I realize that for a
>> > MachineInstr for a given call there are no live values in caller-saved
>> > registers (as they would be clobbered and lost), but where on the stack
>> > were they saved?
>> >
>> > In a nutshell, I'm trying to figure out where values that couldn't be
>> > placed in callee-saved registers (and that were allocated to
>> > caller-saved registers) were spilled to the stack as part of the
>> > function call procedure.  Hopefully this clarifies things -- thanks!
>> >
>> > [1] http://llvm.org/docs/StackMaps.html
>> > [2] http://dwarfstd.org/doc/DWARF4.pdf, page 140
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