Archive for the ‘HERMIT’ Category

The Kansas University Rewrite Engine (KURE)

Friday, June 8th, 2012

The Kansas University Rewrite Engine (KURE) is a Haskell-hosted DSL for strategic programming. We`ve just released the third version of KURE, which adds lenses for navigation and a variant set of combinators to make change detection easier.

This post just overviews the basics, and gives a simple example of usage.

KURE Basics

KURE is based around the following data type:

data Translate c m a b = Translate {apply :: c -> a -> m b}

translate :: (c -> a -> m b) -> Translate c m a b
translate = Translate

There`s a lot of type parameters, but the essential idea is that Translate represents a transformation that can be applied to a value of type a in a context c, and produces a value of type b in the monad m. Actually, we require m to be a MonadPlus, as this allows us to encode notions of success and failure, which are integral to strategic programming. Specifically, mzero represents failure and mplus is a “catch” for both mzero and fail. To avoid clutter we`ll omit the class constraints, but just imagine that wherever you see an m there`s a (MonadPlus m => ...) to go with it.

We also define a synonym for the special case when the result and argument type coincide:

type Rewrite c m a = Translate c m a a

Translate itself forms a monad (and an arrow, and a bunch of other structures besides), which provides us with a lot of combinators for free. Two key definitions are composition and bind:

(>>>) :: Translate c m a b -> Translate c m b d -> Translate c m a d
t1 >>> t2 = translate $ \ c -> apply t1 c >=> apply t2 c

(>>=) :: Translate c m a b -> (b -> Translate c m a d) -> Translate c m a d
t >>= f = translate $ \ c a -> do b <- apply t c a
                                  apply (f b) c a

Observe the difference: composition takes the result of the first translation as the argument to the second translation, whereas bind uses the result to determine the second translation, but then applies that second translation to the original argument.

Another useful combinator is <+> (from the ArrowPlus class), which acts as a catch for Translate:

(<+>) :: Translate c m a b -> Translate c m a b -> Translate c m a b
t1 <+> t2 = translate $ \ c a -> apply t1 c a `mplus` apply t2 c a

We can now write strategic programming code, such as the classic try combinator:

tryR :: Rewrite c m a -> Rewrite c m a
tryR r = r <+> idR

Where idR is the identity rewrite:

idR : Rewrite c m a
idR = translate $ \ _ -> return

Finally, one combinator new to this version of KURE is sequential composition of rewrites that allows one rewrite to fail:

(>+>) :: Rewrite c m a -> Rewrite c m a -> Rewrite c m a

Example: Arithmetic Expressions with Fibonacci

Now let`s consider an example. Take a data type of arithmetic expressions augmented with a Fibonacci primitive:

data Arith = Lit Int | Add Arith Arith | Sub Arith Arith | Fib Arith

To keep things simple, we`ll work with an empty context, and use Maybe as our MonadPlus:

type RewriteA = Rewrite () Maybe Arith

Let`s start with some rewrites that perform basic arithmetic simplification:

addLitR :: RewriteA
addLitR = do Add (Lit m) (Lit n) <- idR
             return (Lit (m + n))

subLitR :: RewriteA
subLitR = do Sub (Lit m) (Lit n) <- idR
             return (Lit (m - n))

We`re exploiting the fact that Translate is a monad to use do-notation – something we have found extremely convenient. If the pattern match fails, this will just trigger the fail method of the monad, which we can then catch as desired.

Using >+>, we can combine these two rewrites into a single rewrite for arithmetic simplification:

arithR :: RewriteA
arithR = addLitR >+> subLitR

Next a more interesting rewrite, unfolding the definition of Fibonacci:

fibLitR :: RewriteA
fibLitR = do Fib (Lit n) <- idR
             case n of
               0  ->  return (Lit 0)
               1  ->  return (Lit 1)
               _  ->  return (Add (Fib (Sub (Lit n) (Lit 1)))
                                  (Fib (Sub (Lit n) (Lit 2)))

Tree Traversals

Thus far, we`ve only discussed rewrites that apply to the entire data structure we`re working with. But a key feature of KURE (and strategic programming) is the ability to traverse a structure applying rewrites to specific locations. For example, the anyR combinator applies a rewrite to each immediate child of a node, succeeding if any of those rewrites succeed:

anyR :: RewriteA -> RewriteA

At first glance this might sound simple, but there are a number of issues. Most notably, what if the children have distinct types from each other and their parent? How should such a combinator be typed? This isn`t an issue in this simple Fibonacci example, as there is only one type (Arith), but in general you could have an AST with multiple mutually recursive non-terminals. KURE solves this by constructing a sum data type of all non-terminals in the AST, and having traversal combinators operate over this data type (using Associated Types to specify the sum type for each non-terminal). This is the most significant feature of KURE, but it`d take too long to explain the details here. You can read about it in either of the following papers:

Using the anyR combinator (amongst others), KURE defines various traversal strategies (we just give the specialised types here):

anybuR :: RewriteA -> RewriteA
anybuR r = anyR (anybuR r) >+> r

innermostR :: RewriteA -> RewriteA
innermostR r = anybuR (r >>> tryR (innermostR r))

anybuR traverses a tree in a bottom-up manner, applying the rewrite to every node, whereas innermostR performs a fixed-point traversal, continuing until no more rewrites can be successfully applied. For example, we can define an evaluator for Arith using this strategy:

evalR :: RewriteA
evalR = innermostR (arithR >+> fibLitR)


KURE 2.0.0 is now available on Hackage.

You can find this Fibonacci example, and several others, bundled with the source package. For a non-trivial example, KURE is being used as the underlying rewrite engine for the HERMIT tool. HERMIT hasn`t been released yet, but you can read about it in this paper:

Introducing the HERMIT Equational Reasoning Framework

The paper also describes how KURE uses lenses.

Introducing the HERMIT Equational Reasoning Framework

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Imagine you are sitting at your terminal wishing your Haskell program would go faster. The optimization flag has been turned on, and you know of an unimplemented transformation that could help. What do you do? You could add a new optimization pass to GHC, taking part in the dark art of tuning heuristics to allow it to play well with others. Or you could experiment, using HERMIT.

First Example of HERMIT

As an example we use the Fibonacci function, not because it is interesting, but because it is so well known.

module Main where

fib :: Int -> Int
fib n = if n < 2 then 1 else fib(n-1) + fib(n-2)

Compiling with -O2, and using Criterion to average over 100 tests, we observe that fib 35 runs in 124.0ms±2.6ms on our development laptop.

To enable further optimization of fib, we want to try unrolling the recursive calls. Like the GHC optimizer, we want to do this without changing the source, which is clear and concise.

To do so, we fire up HERMIT, choosing to use the command-line interface (because the GUI version is not written yet). HERMIT uses the GHC plugin mechanism, to insert itself into the optimization pipeline as a rather non-traditional compiler pass, capturing programs mid-compilation and allowing the user to manipulate them.

ghc -fplugin=Language.HERMIT.Plugin
    -fforce-recomp -O2 -dcore-lint Main.hs
[1 of 1] Compiling Main ( Main.hs, Main.o )
module main:Main where
  fib  Int -> Int
hermit> _

GHC has compiled our program into its intermediate form, called GHC Core, and HERMIT is asking for input. At this point we can start exploring our captured program. There are several bindings, but let us consider just fib.

hermit> consider 'fib
rec fib = λ n 
      case (<)  $fOrdInt n (I# 2) of wild
          (+)  $fNumInt
            (fib ((-)  $fNumInt n (I# 1)))
            (fib ((-)  $fNumInt n (I# 2)))
        True  I# 1

The consider command moves the focus onto the specified function, and the REPL displays the function’s abstract syntax. This is HERMIT’s “compact” pretty printer for GHC Core. Core programs necessarily contain a substantial amount of information, and in this render engine HERMIT uses as a placeholder for type arguments. Notice that we refer to a Haskell syntactical name using the Template Haskell convention of prefixing with a tick.

Next we want to unroll fib, to see if this improves performance. Specifically, we want to inline all calls to fib (but nothing else) in a bottom-up manner. HERMIT uses strategic programming as its basis, so we build a strategy using two HERMIT functions.

hermit> any-bu (inline 'fib)
rec fib = λ n 
      case (<)  $fOrdInt n (I# 2) of wild
          (+)  $fNumInt
            ((λ n 
                case (<)  $fOrdInt n (I# 2) of wild
                    (+)  $fNumInt
                      (fib ((-)  $fNumInt n (I# 1)))
                      (fib ((-)  $fNumInt n (I# 2)))
                  True  I# 1)
               ((-)  $fNumInt n (I# 1)))
            ((λ n 
                case (<)  $fOrdInt n (I# 2) of wild
                    (+)  $fNumInt
                      (fib ((-)  $fNumInt n (I# 1)))
                      (fib ((-)  $fNumInt n (I# 2)))
                  True  I# 1)
               ((-)  $fNumInt n (I# 2)))
        True  I# 1

Each inner instance of fib has been replaced with its definition, effectively unrolling fib. There are many more simplifications that can be done, such as β-reduction, but GHC is good at this. For now, we just want to test this version; so we type exit and GHC resumes compiling our program.

Now we time this new version. Again, taking the average over 100 tests using Criterion, we observe that the post-HERMIT fib 35 runs in about 76.7ms±3.6ms. We have modified GHC’s internal representation of our program mid-compilation, improving it such that the resulting program runs measurably faster. Furthermore, we did not need to alter the original program to do so.

More Information

If you are interested in learning more about HERMIT, we’ve just submitted a paper to the Haskell Symposium, called Introducing the HERMIT Equational Reasoning Framework, written by Andrew Farmer, Ed Komp, Neil Sculthorpe, and myself. A first release of HERMIT will be available via hackage in the near future.

Andy Gill