Re: JavaMemoryModel: What's "control dependence" mean?

From: Bill Pugh (
Date: Thu Sep 13 2001 - 23:05:38 EDT

At 4:02 PM -0400 9/13/01, Jan-Willem Maessen wrote:
>I wrote:
>> >
>> >2) A write may be reordered across a control flow boundary iff it can
>> > be shown that the particular write will occur in any execution,
>> > regardless of the existence or behavior of other threads in the
>> > system.
>And Bill Pugh <> replied:
>> OK, a very important point regarding control dependences:
>> *** Any operation is control dependent upon all preceding operations
>> that could throw an exception.
>> So your rule (2) makes illegal any analysis that uses non-local
>> information to determine that an operation cannot throw an exception.
>Nonsense. The only thing that could possibly be prohibited in
>practice is _reordering_ based on this information; we wouldn't be
>able to tell if we did all sorts of other transformations (like
>removing exception handlers and exception points, eliding tests,
>etc.). We can simplify as much as we like.

OK, you can actually eliminate the null-pointer check or array bounds
check. But you need to leave in place a compiler memory barrier that
prevents the compiler from reordering around a location where you've
determined an exception cannot occur.

Furthermore, on processors that allow a read to be reordered with a
following write, you may need to issue a memory fence/barrier

VM implementors will not be happy about this, since it seems so
completely useless. I doubt you could get VM implementor to generate
the appropriate compiler memory barriers.

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