[llvm-dev] Function attributes for memory side-effects

Johannes Doerfert via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Thu Apr 30 08:34:35 PDT 2020

On 4/29/20 4:12 PM, Reid Kleckner via llvm-dev wrote:
 > On Tue, Apr 28, 2020 at 12:58 PM Ejjeh, Adel via llvm-dev <
 > llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
 >> Specifically, I want to be able to know when a called function does not
 >> have any side effects (e.g. math library functions like sqrt)
 > Apologies for the pedantry, but I believe sqrt may set errno, so it
 > actually can have side effects. :( See -fno-math-errno and the
 > documentation around it.
 >> , and was wondering if there are attributes that specify this 
behavior (I
 >> know there is the ‘noread’ attribute but wasn’t sure if there’s 
 >> similar for writes)? Also, how can I tell clang to generate those
 >> attributes at the function declaration? Any information would be 
 > Yep, I believe the IR attributes are `readonly` and `readnone`. Readonly
 > implies no side effects (no writes), and readnone implies no memory
 > dependencies at all. The return value is a pure function of the 
 > Two calls with the same arguments can be folded together.
 > There are a couple of passes (Attributor, FunctionAttrs, I'm not
 > up-to-date) that will infer these attributes if they can see a precise
 > definition of the function body. Learning anything interesting usually
 > requires expanding the scope of analysis with LTO, so these passes 
can look
 > across translation unit boundaries.

Often true. In case of library functions we actually "know" the side
effects and will add the appropriate attributes. As you said, fast math
flags are needed for math library functions that may otherwise write

The full list of attributes we have so far is:

    access locations: `readnone`, `inaccessiblememonly`, `argmemonly`, 
and `inaccessiblemem_or_argmemonly`
  and access "kinds": `readonly` and `writeonly`

Except for `readnone` you can combine a location attribute with a "kind"
or have one of either alone. The Attributor does internally derive more
"locations", basically any combination of:
   local memory
   constant memory
   internal global memory
   external global memory
   argument memory
   inaccessible memory
   malloced memory (returned by a function with the `noalias` return 
   unknown memory
I want to add some/all of these as attributes but didn't find the time



 > HTH
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