Re: Block statements and memory management

2019-04-05 Thread Murilo via Digitalmars-d-learn

On Saturday, 16 March 2019 at 15:53:26 UTC, Johan Engelen wrote:

On Saturday, 16 March 2019 at 03:47:43 UTC, Murilo wrote:
Does anyone know if when I create a variable inside a scope as 
in

{int a = 10;}
it disappears complete from the memory when the scope 
finishes? Or does it remain in some part of the memory? I am 
thinking of using scopes to make optimized programs that 
consume less memory.


Others have made good points in this thread, but what is 
missing is that indeed scopes _can_ be used beneficially to 
reduce memory footprint.

-Johan


I would like to thank everyone for your help, those informations 
were very helpful.




Re: Block statements and memory management

2019-03-16 Thread Johan Engelen via Digitalmars-d-learn

On Saturday, 16 March 2019 at 03:47:43 UTC, Murilo wrote:
Does anyone know if when I create a variable inside a scope as 
in

{int a = 10;}
it disappears complete from the memory when the scope finishes? 
Or does it remain in some part of the memory? I am thinking of 
using scopes to make optimized programs that consume less 
memory.


Others have made good points in this thread, but what is missing 
is that indeed scopes _can_ be used beneficially to reduce memory 
footprint.


I recommend playing with this code on d.godbolt.org:
```
void func(ref int[10] a); // important detail: pointer

void foo()
{
{
int[10] a;
func(a);
} {
int[10] b;
func(b);
}
}
```

Because the variable is passed by reference (pointer), the 
optimizer cannot merge the storage space of `a` and `b` _unless_ 
scope information is taken into account. Without taking scope 
into account, the first `func` call could store the pointer to 
`a` somewhere for later use in the second `func` call for 
example. However, because of scope, using `a` after its scope has 
ended is UB, and thus variables `a` and `b` can be used.


GDC uses scope information for variable lifetime optimization, 
but LDC and DMD both do not.
For anyone interested in working on compilers: adding variable 
scope lifetime to LDC (not impossibly hard) would be a nice 
project and be very valuable.


-Johan





Re: Block statements and memory management

2019-03-16 Thread H. S. Teoh via Digitalmars-d-learn
On Sat, Mar 16, 2019 at 01:21:02PM +0100, spir via Digitalmars-d-learn wrote:
> On 16/03/2019 11:19, Dennis via Digitalmars-d-learn wrote:
[...]
> > In any case, for better memory efficiency I'd consider looking at
> > reducing dynamic allocations such as new or malloc. Memory on the
> > stack is basically free compared to that, so even if adding lots of
> > braces to your code reduces stack memory, chances are it's a low
> > leverage point.
> > 
> > [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_variable_analysis
> > [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data-flow_analysis
> 
> Just to add a bit on what has been said:
> * Register allocation (see wikipedia) is a well-researched area.
> * By coding that way, you force the compiler to optimise *a certain way*
> which may prevent it to perform other, more relevant optimisations.
> * You cannot beat the knowledge in that domain, it is simply too big
> and complex, just be confident.
[...]

And to add even more to that: before embarking on micro-optimizations of
this sort, always check with a profiler whether or not the bottleneck is
even in that part of the code. Often I find myself very surprised at
where the real bottleneck is, which is often nowhere near where I
thought it should be.  Also, check with a memory profiler to find out
where the real heavy memory usage points are.  It may not be where you
thought it was.

Generally speaking, in this day and age of highly-optimizing compilers,
premature optimization is the root of all evils, because it uglifies
your code and makes it hard to maintain for little or no gain, and
sometimes for *negative* gain, because by writing code in an unusual
way, you confuse the optimizer as to your real intent, thereby reducing
its effectiveness at producing optimized code. Don't optimize until you
have verified with a profiler where your bottlenecks are. It takes a lot
of time and effort to write code this way, so make it count by applying
it where it actually matters.

Of course, this assumes you use a compiler with a powerful-enough
optimizer.  I recommend ldc/gdc if performance is important to you. Dmd
compiles somewhat faster, but at the cost of poorer codegen.


T

-- 
The early bird gets the worm. Moral: ewww...


Re: Block statements and memory management

2019-03-16 Thread spir via Digitalmars-d-learn

On 16/03/2019 11:19, Dennis via Digitalmars-d-learn wrote:

On Saturday, 16 March 2019 at 03:47:43 UTC, Murilo wrote:

Does anyone know if when I create a variable inside a scope as in
{int a = 10;}
it disappears complete from the memory when the scope finishes? Or does it 
remain in some part of the memory? I am thinking of using scopes to make 
optimized programs that consume less memory.


In general, you want variables to have no larger scope than needed, so in large 
functions reducing the scope may be useful. When it comes to efficiency however, 
doing that is neither necessary nor sufficient for the compiler to re-use 
registers / stack space. I looked at the assembly output of DMD for this:

```
void func(int a);

void main()
{
     {
     int a = 2;
     func(a);
     }
     {
     int b = 3;
     func(b);
     }
}
```
Without optimizations (the -O flag), it stores a and b on different places in 
the stack.
With optimizations, the values of a and b (2 and 3) are simply loaded in the EDI 
register before the call.

Removing the braces doesn't change anything about that.
The compiler does live variable analysis [1] as well as data-flow analysis [2] 
to figure out that it's only needed to load the values 2 and 3 just before the 
function call. This is just a trivial example, but the same applies to larger 
functions.


In any case, for better memory efficiency I'd consider looking at reducing 
dynamic allocations such as new or malloc. Memory on the stack is basically free 
compared to that, so even if adding lots of braces to your code reduces stack 
memory, chances are it's a low leverage point.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_variable_analysis
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data-flow_analysis


Just to add a bit on what has been said:
* Register allocation (see wikipedia) is a well-researched area.
* By coding that way, you force the compiler to optimise *a certain way* which 
may prevent it to perform other, more relevant optimisations.
* You cannot beat the knowledge in that domain, it is simply too big and 
complex, just be confident.

diniz



Re: Block statements and memory management

2019-03-16 Thread Dennis via Digitalmars-d-learn

On Saturday, 16 March 2019 at 03:47:43 UTC, Murilo wrote:
Does anyone know if when I create a variable inside a scope as 
in

{int a = 10;}
it disappears complete from the memory when the scope finishes? 
Or does it remain in some part of the memory? I am thinking of 
using scopes to make optimized programs that consume less 
memory.


In general, you want variables to have no larger scope than 
needed, so in large functions reducing the scope may be useful. 
When it comes to efficiency however, doing that is neither 
necessary nor sufficient for the compiler to re-use registers / 
stack space. I looked at the assembly output of DMD for this:

```
void func(int a);

void main()
{
{
int a = 2;
func(a);
}
{
int b = 3;
func(b);
}
}
```
Without optimizations (the -O flag), it stores a and b on 
different places in the stack.
With optimizations, the values of a and b (2 and 3) are simply 
loaded in the EDI register before the call.

Removing the braces doesn't change anything about that.
The compiler does live variable analysis [1] as well as data-flow 
analysis [2] to figure out that it's only needed to load the 
values 2 and 3 just before the function call. This is just a 
trivial example, but the same applies to larger functions.


In any case, for better memory efficiency I'd consider looking at 
reducing dynamic allocations such as new or malloc. Memory on the 
stack is basically free compared to that, so even if adding lots 
of braces to your code reduces stack memory, chances are it's a 
low leverage point.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_variable_analysis
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data-flow_analysis


Re: Block statements and memory management

2019-03-16 Thread Meta via Digitalmars-d-learn

On Saturday, 16 March 2019 at 03:47:43 UTC, Murilo wrote:
Does anyone know if when I create a variable inside a scope as 
in

{int a = 10;}
it disappears complete from the memory when the scope finishes? 
Or does it remain in some part of the memory? I am thinking of 
using scopes to make optimized programs that consume less 
memory.


I'd recommend against these sorts of micro-optimizations. 
Compilers are every good at doing this kind of thing manually so 
you don't have to worry about it and can concentrate on the 
actual logic of your program.


Re: Block statements and memory management

2019-03-15 Thread Paul Backus via Digitalmars-d-learn

On Saturday, 16 March 2019 at 03:47:43 UTC, Murilo wrote:
Does anyone know if when I create a variable inside a scope as 
in

{int a = 10;}
it disappears complete from the memory when the scope finishes? 
Or does it remain in some part of the memory? I am thinking of 
using scopes to make optimized programs that consume less 
memory.


It depends on how the compiler translates and optimizes the code. 
An integer variable like `a` in your example might never exist in 
memory at all, if the compiler can allocate a register for it 
until it goes out of scope. The easiest way to find out is to 
look at a disassembly of the compiled code.


Block statements and memory management

2019-03-15 Thread Murilo via Digitalmars-d-learn

Does anyone know if when I create a variable inside a scope as in
{int a = 10;}
it disappears complete from the memory when the scope finishes? 
Or does it remain in some part of the memory? I am thinking of 
using scopes to make optimized programs that consume less memory.