Google Research

Souper: A Synthesizing Superoptimizer

arXiv (2017)


If we can automatically derive compiler optimizations, we might be able to sidestep some of the substantial engineering challenges involved in creating and maintaining a high-quality compiler. We developed Souper, a synthesizing superoptimizer, to see how far these ideas might be pushed in the context of LLVM. Along the way, we discovered that Souper's intermediate representation was sufficiently similar to the one in Microsoft Visual C++ that we applied Souper to that compiler as well. Shipping, or about-to-ship, versions of both compilers contain optimizations suggested by Souper but implemented by hand. Alternately, when Souper is used as a fully automated optimization pass it compiles a Clang compiler binary that is about 3 MB (4.4%) smaller than the one compiled by LLVM.

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