Translation Validation of Loop Optimizations
Candidate: Ying Hu
Advisor: Ben Goldberg and Clark Barrett

Abstract

Formal verification is important in designing reliable computer systems. For a critical software system, it is not enough to have a proof of correctness for the source code, there must also be an assurance that the compiler produces a correct translation of the source code into the target machine code. Verifying the correctness of modern optimizing compilers is a challenging task because of their size, their complexity, and their evolution over time.
In this thesis, we focus on the Translation Validation of loop optimizations. In order to validate the optimizations performed by the compiler, we try to prove the equivalence of the intermediate codes before and after the optimizations. There were previously a set of proof rules for building the equivalence relation between two programs. However, they cannot validate some cases with legal loop optimizations. We propose new proof rules to consider the conditions of loops and possible elimination of some loops, so that those cases can also be handled. According to these new proof rules, algorithms are designed to apply them to an automatic validation process.
Based on the above proof rules, we implement an automatic validation tool for loop optimizations which analyzes the loops, guesses what kinds of loop optimizations occur, proves the validity of a combination of loop optimizations, and synthesizes a series of intermediate codes. We integrate this new loop tool into our translation validation tool TVOC, so that TVOC handles not only optimizations which do not significantly change the structure of the code, but also loop optimizations which do change the structure greatly. With this new part, TVOC has succeeded in validating many examples with loop optimizations.
Speculative optimizations are the aggressive optimizations that are only correct under certain conditions that cannot be known at compile time. In this thesis, we present the theory and algorithms for validating speculative optimizations and generating the runtime tests necessary for speculative optimizations. We also provide several examples and the results of the algorithms for speculative optimizations.