Haskell Compilation Improvement

By: Linus Torvalds (torvalds.delete@this.linux-foundation.org), April 9, 2013 12:03 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Symmetry (someone.delete@this.somewhere.com) on April 9, 2013 10:41 am wrote:
> I'm also curious if letting the compiler take care of prefetching is something
> that might already exist in, say, Intel's C compiler even if it doesn't in gcc.

Software prefetching is moronic.

It's a great way to generate almost-optimal behavior on one particular CPU with one particular cache setup and memory subsystem (and one particular load), but then it falls flat on its face whenever there is some other micro-architecture or cache layout, or when you have other things going on on that same machine.

Don't do it. It's useful only for benchmarking or embedded environment where you really do control the environment well enough that it's ok to only do better under only that one particular set of circumstances.

HPC falls under that "embedded" case, btw, and is likely the only real use of prefetching being valid.

Don't trust numbers generated with software prefetching. The very paper you are pointing to should convince you of how fragile it is. Look at the constant used for prefetching. It is a magic constant of 1600 bytes ahead of the stream. Do you think that 1600 is somehow fundamental? Or do you think it might be a magic value that depends on the particular memory subsystem and micro architecture used for testing?

My guess is that the 1600 byte offset is a magic "oh, look, the hardware prefetchers work really well on this machine, but they don't prefetch across page boundaries, and 1600 bytes is the magic moment where we can help tweak things on this particular uarch".

What happens when there is a next-page prefetcher in hardware, like in IvyBridge? I wouldn't be surprised if all the wins from software prefetching go away, while the downsides remain. Which is the classic situation with software prefetching. It only wins when you get the exact pattern you tested, and then it loses on other patterns.

Btw, don't get me wrong. I think this is exactly the kind of thing that you can use a functional language to express, and generating optimized libraries from functional descriptions is cool. So I think the Haskell part is interesting. The prefetching part? Not so much.

Linus
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TopicPosted ByDate
Haskell Compilation ImprovementSymmetry2013/04/09 10:41 AM
  Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/09 11:56 AM
  Haskell Compilation ImprovementLinus Torvalds2013/04/09 12:03 PM
    Haskell Compilation ImprovementEduardoS2013/04/09 12:20 PM
      Haskell Compilation ImprovementLinus Torvalds2013/04/09 12:31 PM
        Haskell Compilation ImprovementEduardoS2013/04/09 12:49 PM
    Haskell Compilation Improvement2013/04/11 01:36 AM
      Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 03:58 AM
        Haskell Compilation ImprovementBrendan2013/04/11 07:06 AM
          Haskell Compilation ImprovementSymmetry2013/04/11 07:45 AM
            Haskell Compilation ImprovementBrendan2013/04/11 11:31 AM
          Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 08:57 AM
            Haskell Compilation ImprovementBrendan2013/04/11 11:26 AM
              Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 11:36 AM
                Haskell Compilation ImprovementBrendan2013/04/11 05:00 PM
                  Haskell Compilation ImprovementDavid Kanter2013/04/11 08:50 PM
                    Software prefetching in JVMsGabriele Svelto2013/04/12 03:31 PM
                  Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/12 09:12 AM
                    Haskell Compilation ImprovementBrendan2013/04/12 11:40 AM
                      Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/12 12:15 PM
                        Haskell Compilation ImprovementBrendan2013/04/12 03:34 PM
                          Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/12 10:44 PM
                            Haskell Compilation ImprovementBrendan2013/04/13 02:20 AM
                              Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/13 02:32 AM
                                Haskell Compilation ImprovementBrendan2013/04/13 10:18 AM
                                  Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/14 01:04 AM
                          Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/15 08:34 AM
                            Haskell Compilation ImprovementBrendan2013/04/16 03:26 PM
                              Prefetch compilation testsEric Bron2013/04/21 12:52 AM
        Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/04/11 07:14 AM
          Haskell Compilation ImprovementMichael S2013/04/11 07:27 AM
            Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/04/11 08:25 AM
              Haskell Compilation ImprovementMichael S2013/04/11 08:37 AM
                Haskell Compilation Improvementbakaneko2013/04/11 09:39 AM
                  Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 10:08 AM
                    Haskell Compilation Improvementbakaneko2013/04/11 10:36 AM
                    Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/04/11 10:54 AM
                      Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 11:10 AM
                        Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/04/11 11:18 AM
                          Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 11:27 AM
                            Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/04/11 12:02 PM
                              Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 12:09 PM
                                Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 12:12 PM
                                Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/04/11 12:14 PM
                                  Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 12:30 PM
                                    Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/04/11 11:30 PM
                                      Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/12 09:25 AM
                                        Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/04/12 07:12 PM
                                          Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/12 10:51 PM
                                  Prefetch *hints*Konrad Schwarz2013/04/12 08:24 AM
                        Haskell Compilation ImprovementLinus Torvalds2013/04/11 12:56 PM
                          Inherent advantage of software prefetchJouni Osmala2013/04/11 09:41 PM
                            Inherent advantage of software prefetchSeni2013/04/13 03:40 AM
                            Another example: software scatter gather (NT)Megol2013/04/14 02:39 AM
                          Haskell Compilation ImprovementMaynard Handley2013/12/31 05:26 PM
                            Haskell Compilation ImprovementTREZA2013/12/31 05:44 PM
                              Haskell Compilation ImprovementMaynard Handley2013/12/31 07:49 PM
                                Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/12/31 10:39 PM
                                  Haskell Compilation ImprovementMaynard Handley2014/01/01 02:04 AM
                                  Haskell Compilation Improvementbakaneko2014/01/01 05:31 AM
                                Haskell Compilation ImprovementGabriele Svelto2014/01/02 07:57 AM
                                  Haskell Compilation ImprovementMichael S2014/01/02 08:37 AM
                                    Haskell Compilation ImprovementGabriele Svelto2014/01/02 10:09 AM
                                    Haskell Compilation ImprovementTREZA2014/01/02 12:43 PM
                            Haskell Compilation ImprovementMaynard Handley2013/12/31 06:07 PM
                            Future core architectures. (Was Haskell Compilation Improvement)Maynard Handley2014/01/03 12:06 AM
                              Speculative multi-threadingDavid Kanter2014/01/03 02:12 AM
                                Speculative multi-threadingMaynard Handley2014/01/03 05:01 AM
                              Future core architectures. (Was Haskell Compilation Improvement)Seni2014/01/03 01:09 PM
                              Future core architectures. (Was Haskell Compilation Improvement)Linus Torvalds2014/01/03 01:27 PM
                            Haskell Compilation ImprovementKonrad Schwarz2014/01/04 09:38 AM
              Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 09:23 AM
          Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 08:50 AM
            Haskell Compilation ImprovementEugene Nalimov2013/04/11 09:20 AM
              Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 09:28 AM
                Haskell Compilation ImprovementEduardoS2013/04/11 07:30 PM
            Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/04/11 10:19 AM
              Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 10:30 AM
                Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/04/11 10:50 AM
                  Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 11:03 AM
                    Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/04/11 11:16 AM
                      Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 11:24 AM
                        Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/04/11 12:09 PM
                          Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/11 12:43 PM
                            Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/04/11 11:27 PM
                              Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/12 12:15 AM
                                Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/04/12 07:14 PM
                                  Haskell Compilation ImprovementEric Bron2013/04/12 11:01 PM
                      Haskell Compilation ImprovementLinus Torvalds2013/04/11 01:05 PM
                        Haskell Compilation Improvementanon2013/04/11 10:42 PM
                        Haskell Compilation ImprovementRobert David Graham2013/04/12 02:12 PM
        Software prefetch architecturePaul A. Clayton2013/04/11 08:54 AM
          Software prefetch architectureEric Bron2013/04/11 09:06 AM
            Software prefetch architectureMegol2013/04/15 11:03 AM
              Software prefetch architectureEric Bron2013/04/15 11:30 AM
  low barMichael S2013/04/09 04:38 PM
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