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Code Generation for Data-Dependent Stencils

Mohammed Essadki
Bertrand Michel
Bruno Maugars
Oleksandr Zinenko
Nicolas Vasilache
CGO, IEEE (2023)


Numerical simulation often resorts to iterative in-place stencils such as the Gauss-Seidel or Successive Overrelaxation (SOR) methods. Writing high performance implementations of such stencils requires significant effort and time; it also involves non-local transformations beyond the stencil kernel itself. While automated code generation is a mature technology for image processing stencils, convolutions and out-of place iterative stencils (such as the Jacobi method), the optimization of in-place stencils requires manual craftsmanship. Building on recent advances in tensor compiler construction, we propose the first domain-specific code generator for iterative in-place stencils. Starting from a generic tensor compiler implemented in the MLIR framework, tensor abstractions are incrementally refined and lowered down to parallel, tiled, fused and vectorized code. We used our generator to implement a realistic, implicit solver for structured meshes, and demonstrate results competitive with an industrial computational fluid dynamics framework. We also compare with stand-alone stencil kernels for dense tensors.