Learning Compiler Pass Orders using Coreset and Normalized Value Prediction

Published on Jan 9, 2023


Finding the optimal pass sequence of compilation can lead to a significant reduction in program size and/or improvement in program efficiency. Prior works on compilation pass ordering have two major drawbacks. They either require an excessive budget (in terms of compilation steps) at compile time or fail to generalize to unseen programs. In this paper, for code-size reduction tasks, we propose a novel pipeline to find program-dependent pass sequences within 45 compilation calls. It first identifies a coreset of 50 pass sequences via greedy optimization of a submodular function, and then learns a policy with Graph Neural Network (GNN) to pick the optimal sequence by predicting the normalized values of the pass sequences in the coreset. Despite its simplicity, our pipeline outperforms the default -Oz flag by an average of 4.7% over a large collection (4683) of unseen code repositories from diverse domains across 14 datasets. In comparison, previous approaches like reinforcement learning on the raw pass sequence space may take days to train due to sparse reward, and may not generalize well in held-out ones from different domains. Our results demonstrate that existing human-designed compiler flags can be improved with a simple yet effective technique that transforms the raw action space into a small one with denser rewards.


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