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+1 vote
in Clojure by
Here's a transcript of the behavior. I don't know for sure that reflection is being done, but the performance penalty (about 1300x) suggests it.


user=> (use 'criterium.core)
nil
user=> (def b (make-array Double/TYPE 1000 1000))
#'user/b
user=> (quick-bench (aget ^"[[D" b 304 175))
WARNING: Final GC required 3.5198021166354323 % of runtime
WARNING: Final GC required 29.172288684474303 % of runtime
Evaluation count : 63558 in 6 samples of 10593 calls.
             Execution time mean : 9.457308 µs
    Execution time std-deviation : 126.220954 ns
   Execution time lower quantile : 9.344450 µs ( 2.5%)
   Execution time upper quantile : 9.629202 µs (97.5%)
                   Overhead used : 2.477107 ns


One workaround is to use multiple agets.


user=> (quick-bench (aget ^"[D" (aget ^"[[D" b 304) 175))
WARNING: Final GC required 40.59820310542545 % of runtime
Evaluation count : 62135436 in 6 samples of 10355906 calls.
             Execution time mean : 6.999273 ns
    Execution time std-deviation : 0.112703 ns
   Execution time lower quantile : 6.817782 ns ( 2.5%)
   Execution time upper quantile : 7.113845 ns (97.5%)
                   Overhead used : 2.477107 ns


*Cause:* The inlined version only applies to arity 2, and otherwise it reflects.

16 Answers

+1 vote
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Comment made by: ypeleg

Bump. I just got bitten bad by this.

There are two seperate issues here:
1) (aget 2d-array-doubles 0 0 ) doesn't emit a reflection warning.
2) It seems like the compiler has enough information to avoid the reflective call here.

-Note this gets exp. worse as number of dimensions grows, i.e (get doubles3d 0 0 0)-
-will be 1M slower, etc'- Not true, unless you iterate over all elements. it's
simply n_dims**1000x per lookup.

Nasty surprise, especially considering you often go to primitive arrays for speed,
and a common use case is an inner loop(s) that iterate over arrays.

0 votes
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_Comment made by: gfredericks_

A glance at the source makes it obvious that the hypothesis is correct -- the inlined version only applies to arity 2, and otherwise it reflects.

I thought this would be as simple as converting the inline function to be variadic (using reduce), but after trying it I realized this is tricky as you have to generate the correct type hints for each step. E.g., given {{\^"[[D"}} the inline function needs to type-hint the intermediate result with {{\^"[D"}}. This isn't difficult if we're just dealing with strings that begin with square brackets, but I don't know for sure that those are the only possibilities.
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Comment made by: gfredericks

I can probably take a stab at this.

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Comment made by: gfredericks

I think the reflection warning problem is pretty much impossible to solve without changing code elsewhere in the compiler, because the reflection done in {{aget}} is a different kind than normal clojure reflection -- it's explicitly in the function body rather than emitted by the compiler. Since the compiler isn't emitting it, it doesn't reasonably know it's even there. So even if {{aget}} is fixed for other arities, you still won't get the warning when it's not inlined.

I can imagine some sort of metadata that you could put on a function telling the compiler that it will reflect if not inlined. Or maybe a more generic not-inlined warning?

The global scope of adding another compiler flag seems about balanced by the seriousness of array functions not being able to warn on reflection.

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Comment made by: gfredericks

Attached CLJ-1289-p1.patch which simply inlines variadic calls to aget. It assumes that if it sees a {{:tag}} on the array arg that is a string beginning with {{[}}, it can assume that the return value from one call to {{aget}} can be tagged with the same string with the leading {{[}} stripped off.

I'm not a jvm expert, but having read through the spec a little bit I think this is a reasonable assumption.

0 votes
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Comment made by: alexmiller

I think this probably is actually true, but a more official way to ask that question would be to get the array class and ask for Class.getComponentType() (and less janky than string munging).

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Comment made by: gfredericks

How would you get the array class based on the {{:tag}} type hint?

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Comment made by: gfredericks

I see (-> s (Class/forName) (.getComponentType) (.getName)) does the same thing -- is that route preferred, or is there another one?

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Comment made by: alexyakushev

I've taken a stab at the implementation suggested by (link: ~alexmiller). The attached patch uses getComponentType instead of string magic, and introduces the following improvements compared to the first patch:

  • aset is now supported as well. All indices but last are unrolled into {{RT.aget}} calls and the outermost call is expanded to {{RT.aset}}.
  • If the inlined version can't resolve the type of the array at any point, then, instead of unrolling into N {{RT.aget}} calls (which will cause N compiler reflection sites) it will generate an invocation of the non-inlined {{aget}} call that will use {{Array.get}} (which is faster).

On the downside, multi-arity calls to {{aset}} now trigger compiler reflection where it used to be {{Array.set}}. I wonder if it makes sense to smoothen out those corners too, or whether it's actually better that reflection in such cases is more visible (shows in compiler warnings).

I also attached the REPL log of validation examples (uses clj-java-decompiler). It would be nice to convert it into tests, but I don't yet know how.

On a side note, I had to use a hack {{((var aget) ...)}} to force the non-inlined version to be called. Can't say I like it much, but I haven't come up with anything better. Another way would be to separate non-inlined version into a separate private function, but I don't want to add even more Vars to core namespace.

0 votes
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Comment made by: alexyakushev

Patch reuploaded: minor fix.

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Comment made by: alexyakushev

BTW, why does the docstring for {{aset}} says it works only on arrays of reference types? Is this comment outdated? We can fix it it along the way.

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Comment made by: alexyakushev

Is there a chance to review this for 1.10? Perhaps, the implementation is too complicated and needs more time to consider? I might try to reduce the scope then.

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Comment made by: alexmiller

It's complicated, not sure if its worth this or not. Probably won't look at it for 1.10.

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Comment made by: alexyakushev

Thanks for the answer. In terms of complexity, I can remove the part that "optimizes" reflective calls, which both simplifies the algorithm and makes the reflection sites visible to the compiler (and thus to the user).

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Reference: https://clojure.atlassian.net/browse/CLJ-1289 (reported by alex+import)
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