[llvm-dev] [RFC] Goals for VPlan-based cost modelling
Anna Sophia Welker via llvm-dev
llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Fri Oct 30 03:08:41 PDT 2020
I am looking into the benefits of a VPlan-based cost model, and into how
such a cost model should be implemented to make the most out of these
Over the last year I have been working with LLVM, mainly focused on the
ARM backend, in the course of a one-year internship at Arm Ltd. My main
project from December 2019 to August 2020 was to introduce
gather/scatters for MVE auto-vectorization. One of the recurring
challenges during this work was to get things right in the cost model.
For example, gathers can extend the data they load, while scatters can
truncate their input, meaning that an extend following the load, or a
truncate preceding the store, is for free if it meets certain type
conditions. As the current cost model is not designed for context-based
analysis, this was a pain to model.
I have done some research and found out that one of the proposed
benefits of VPlan is that a new cost model making use of it would be
able to better support context-dependent decisions like this.
However, there does not exist much specification about what such a cost
model should look like.
Also, I have read through the respective code to understand how loop
vectorization is currently done and how far the introduction of VPlan
has progressed and have realised that the only recipe that actually
handles more than one instruction from the input IR is the one for
interleaved groups. When the VPlan is generated on the VPlan-native
path, every IR instruction is considered and transformed into a recipe
separately, ignoring its context (to give a code location, I am looking
And maybe there are architectures that for some cases do not have the
same vector instructions, so a pattern that works great for one could be
useless for others. So I am wondering: Is there any plan to have
target-dependent flavours of recipes, or how will those things be handled?
Right now it makes sense that nothing like this has been implemented
yet, as there is no cost model that could guide the transformation. But
if recipes are a general thing, should the cost model be the component
actually providing the target-specific pattern for a recipe, together
with its cost?
I am considering choosing a topic related to VPlan, possibly cost
modelling, for my Master thesis, with the goal to present a solution and
implement a prototype.
What I would like to ask the community is
(1) what goals there are or should be for VPlan-based cost modelling,
(2) whether there have been any discussions on target-dependent patterns
(3) which examples of inefficiencies and shortcomings of the current
cost model they have come across.
I am looking forward to your feedback.
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