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A Domain-Extensible Compiler with Controllable Automation of Optimisations

Thomas Kœhler
University of Glasgow
arXiv:2212.12035 [cs.PL], (22 Dec 2022)

@article{https://doi.org/10.5525/gla.thesis.83323,

   doi={10.5525/GLA.THESIS.83323},

   url={http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/83323},

   author={Kœhler, Thomas},

   title={A domain-extensible compiler with controllable automation of optimisations},

   publisher={University of Glasgow},

   year={2022}

}

In high performance domains like image processing, physics simulation or machine learning, program performance is critical. Programmers called performance engineers are responsible for the challenging task of optimising programs. Two major challenges prevent modern compilers targeting heterogeneous architectures from reliably automating optimisation. First, domain-specific compilers such as Halide for image processing and TVM for machine learning are difficult to extend with the new optimisations required by new algorithms and hardware. Second, automatic optimisation is often unable to achieve the required performance, and performance engineers often fall back to painstaking manual optimisation. This thesis shows the potential of the Shine compiler to achieve domain-extensibility, controllable automation, and generate high performance code. Domain-extensibility facilitates adapting compilers to new algorithms and hardware. Controllable automation enables performance engineers to gradually take control of the optimisation process. The first research contribution is to add 3 code generation features to Shine, namely: synchronisation barrier insertion, kernel execution, and storage folding. The second research contribution is to demonstrate how extensibility and controllability are exploited to optimise a standard image processing pipeline for corner detection. The final research contribution is to introduce sketch-guided equality saturation, a semi-automated technique that allows performance engineers to guide program rewriting by specifying rewrite goals as sketches: program patterns that leave details unspecified.
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