[llvm-dev] RFC: ConstantData should not have use-lists

Duncan P. N. Exon Smith via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Sat Sep 24 16:39:17 PDT 2016

> On 2016-Sep-24, at 15:16, Mehdi Amini <mehdi.amini at apple.com> wrote:
>> On Sep 24, 2016, at 3:06 PM, Duncan P. N. Exon Smith via llvm-dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>> r261464 added a type called ConstantData to the Value hierarchy.  This
>> is a parent type for constants with no operands, such as i32 0 and null.
>> Since then, I've removed most instances of iterating through the
>> use-lists of an instance of ConstantData.  I'd like to make this
>> illegal.  Since the users of ConstantData are spread across an
>> LLVMContext, most code that looks at the users is wrong.  Adding an
>> assertion should catch a lot of bugs (see r263853 and r263875) and
>> avoid some expensive walks through uninteresting code.
>> (The same is not true of Constant, generally.  A GlobalValue's use-list
>> will local to the GlobalValue's Module.  Any ConstantVector,
>> ConstantArray, or ConstantStruct that points at a GlobalValue will also
>> be local to the same Module.  In these cases, we also need RAUW
>> support.)
>> Besides catching bugs, removing use-lists from ConstantData will
>> guarantee that the compiler output *does not* depend on the use-list
>> order of something like i32 0.
>> Finally, this should dramatically reduce the overhead of serializing
>> use-list order in bitcode.  We will no longer track the arbitrary
>> order of references to things like i32 0 and null. 
>> What's left?
>> ============
>> I just filed PR30513 to track remaining work.
>> 1. Avoid the remaining uses of ConstantData use-lists.  There are only
>>   a couple of cases left, highlighted in the WIP HACK patches attached
>>   below (0001 and 0002).
>> 2. Remove the use-lists!  Replace them with ref-counts to keep most of
>>   the use-list API functional (and minimize the size of the change).
>>   See the WIP patch below (0003).
>> 3. (Optional) Remove use-lists from other non-GlobalValue Constants
>>   that do not reference any GlobalValues.  This would require some
>>   sort of magic in, e.g., ConstantVector to conditionally have a
>>   use-list.
> I wonder if the constant class hierarchy should not be revisited in light of this?
> For instance you identified that some are local to a module while others are “context-wide”.
> I haven’t given too much thoughts about this, but I'm curious if you did?

You mean something like PureConstantVector (which cannot transitively reference GlobalValue) vs ConstantVectorWithGlobalRef (which can/must transitively reference GlobalValue), right?  (And also for ConstantStruct, ConstantArray, and ConstantExpr, etc.)

I hadn't considered that, and it seems worth thinking about.  I'm unsure whether using isa<>() would really be cleaner than using Value::hasUseList; and it would certainly be intrusive.  Do you see any concrete benefits?

One possible long-term thing (after #4)... we could add ConstantDataUser (vs. User), which can only reference a Constant-with-no-GlobalValue, and has operands the size of a pointer.  Obviously nice to save on operand-size, but I'm not convinced it would save sufficient memory to be worthwhile: IIRC, Instruction accounts for most instances of User.

>> Mehdi
>> Call sites of API like Value::use_begin would have to
>>   check for Value::hasUseList.
>> 4. (Optional) Remove the ref-count from ConstantData (and, potentially,
>>   other use-list-free Constants).  This would eliminate ref-count
>>   traffic, but would also require checking at call sites before using
>>   any use-list-related API.
>> Feedback
>> ========
>> - Does anyone disagree with this general direction?  Why?
>> - Any thoughts on #3?
>> - Any thoughts on #4?
>> <0001-WIP-HACK-SimplifyLibCalls-Disable-optimizeSinCosPi-o.patch>
>> <0002-WIP-HACK-LICM-Ignore-stores-to-UndefValue-and-Consta.patch>
>> <0003-WIP-IR-Remove-use-lists-from-ConstantData.patch>_______________________________________________
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