MLIR

Multi-Level IR Compiler Framework

Buffer Deallocation - Internals

This section covers the internal functionality of the BufferDeallocation transformation. The transformation consists of several passes. The main pass called BufferDeallocation can be applied via “-buffer-deallocation” on MLIR programs.

Requirements 

In order to use BufferDeallocation on an arbitrary dialect, several control-flow interfaces have to be implemented when using custom operations. This is particularly important to understand the implicit control-flow dependencies between different parts of the input program. Without implementing the following interfaces, control-flow relations cannot be discovered properly and the resulting program can become invalid:

  • Branch-like terminators should implement the BranchOpInterface to query and manipulate associated operands.
  • Operations involving structured control flow have to implement the RegionBranchOpInterface to model inter-region control flow.
  • Terminators yielding values to their parent operation (in particular in the scope of nested regions within RegionBranchOpInterface-based operations), should implement the ReturnLike trait to represent logical “value returns”.

Example dialects that are fully compatible are the “std” and “scf” dialects with respect to all implemented interfaces.

During Bufferization, we convert immutable value types (tensors) to mutable types (memref). This conversion is done in several steps and in all of these steps the IR has to fulfill SSA like properties. The usage of memref has to be in the following consecutive order: allocation, write-buffer, read- buffer. In this case, there are only buffer reads allowed after the initial full buffer write is done. In particular, there must be no partial write to a buffer after the initial write has been finished. However, partial writes in the initializing is allowed (fill buffer step by step in a loop e.g.). This means, all buffer writes needs to dominate all buffer reads.

Example for breaking the invariant:

func @condBranch(%arg0: i1, %arg1: memref<2xf32>) {
  %0 = memref.alloc() : memref<2xf32>
  cond_br %arg0, ^bb1, ^bb2
^bb1:
  br ^bb3()
^bb2:
  partial_write(%0, %0)
  br ^bb3()
^bb3():
  test.copy(%0, %arg1) : (memref<2xf32>, memref<2xf32>) -> ()
  return
}

The maintenance of the SSA like properties is only needed in the bufferization process. Afterwards, for example in optimization processes, the property is no longer needed.

Detection of Buffer Allocations 

The first step of the BufferDeallocation transformation is to identify manageable allocation operations that implement the SideEffects interface. Furthermore, these ops need to apply the effect MemoryEffects::Allocate to a particular result value while not using the resource SideEffects::AutomaticAllocationScopeResource (since it is currently reserved for allocations, like Alloca that will be automatically deallocated by a parent scope). Allocations that have not been detected in this phase will not be tracked internally, and thus, not deallocated automatically. However, BufferDeallocation is fully compatible with “hybrid” setups in which tracked and untracked allocations are mixed:

func @mixedAllocation(%arg0: i1) {
   %0 = alloca() : memref<2xf32>  // aliases: %2
   %1 = alloc() : memref<2xf32>  // aliases: %2
   cond_br %arg0, ^bb1, ^bb2
^bb1:
  use(%0)
  br ^bb3(%0 : memref<2xf32>)
^bb2:
  use(%1)
  br ^bb3(%1 : memref<2xf32>)
^bb3(%2: memref<2xf32>):
  ...
}

Example of using a conditional branch with alloc and alloca. BufferDeallocation can detect and handle the different allocation types that might be intermixed.

Note: the current version does not support allocation operations returning multiple result buffers.

Conversion from AllocOp to AllocaOp 

The PromoteBuffersToStack-pass converts AllocOps to AllocaOps, if possible. In some cases, it can be useful to use such stack-based buffers instead of heap-based buffers. The conversion is restricted to several constraints like:

  • Control flow
  • Buffer Size
  • Dynamic Size

If a buffer is leaving a block, we are not allowed to convert it into an alloca. If the size of the buffer is large, we could convert it, but regarding stack overflow, it makes sense to limit the size of these buffers and only convert small ones. The size can be set via a pass option. The current default value is 1KB. Furthermore, we can not convert buffers with dynamic size, since the dimension is not known a priori.

Movement and Placement of Allocations 

Using the buffer hoisting pass, all buffer allocations are moved as far upwards as possible in order to group them and make upcoming optimizations easier by limiting the search space. Such a movement is shown in the following graphs. In addition, we are able to statically free an alloc, if we move it into a dominator of all of its uses. This simplifies further optimizations (e.g. buffer fusion) in the future. However, movement of allocations is limited by external data dependencies (in particular in the case of allocations of dynamically shaped types). Furthermore, allocations can be moved out of nested regions, if necessary. In order to move allocations to valid locations with respect to their uses only, we leverage Liveness information.

The following code snippets shows a conditional branch before running the BufferHoisting pass:

branch_example_pre_move

func @condBranch(%arg0: i1, %arg1: memref<2xf32>, %arg2: memref<2xf32>) {
  cond_br %arg0, ^bb1, ^bb2
^bb1:
  br ^bb3(%arg1 : memref<2xf32>)
^bb2:
  %0 = memref.alloc() : memref<2xf32>  // aliases: %1
  use(%0)
  br ^bb3(%0 : memref<2xf32>)
^bb3(%1: memref<2xf32>):  // %1 could be %0 or %arg1
  test.copy(%1, %arg2) : (memref<2xf32>, memref<2xf32>) -> ()
  return
}

Applying the BufferHoisting pass on this program results in the following piece of code:

branch_example_post_move

func @condBranch(%arg0: i1, %arg1: memref<2xf32>, %arg2: memref<2xf32>) {
  %0 = memref.alloc() : memref<2xf32>  // moved to bb0
  cond_br %arg0, ^bb1, ^bb2
^bb1:
  br ^bb3(%arg1 : memref<2xf32>)
^bb2:
   use(%0)
   br ^bb3(%0 : memref<2xf32>)
^bb3(%1: memref<2xf32>):
  test.copy(%1, %arg2) : (memref<2xf32>, memref<2xf32>) -> ()
  return
}

The alloc is moved from bb2 to the beginning and it is passed as an argument to bb3.

The following example demonstrates an allocation using dynamically shaped types. Due to the data dependency of the allocation to %0, we cannot move the allocation out of bb2 in this case:

func @condBranchDynamicType(
  %arg0: i1,
  %arg1: memref<?xf32>,
  %arg2: memref<?xf32>,
  %arg3: index) {
  cond_br %arg0, ^bb1, ^bb2(%arg3: index)
^bb1:
  br ^bb3(%arg1 : memref<?xf32>)
^bb2(%0: index):
  %1 = memref.alloc(%0) : memref<?xf32>   // cannot be moved upwards to the data
                                   // dependency to %0
  use(%1)
  br ^bb3(%1 : memref<?xf32>)
^bb3(%2: memref<?xf32>):
  test.copy(%2, %arg2) : (memref<?xf32>, memref<?xf32>) -> ()
  return
}

Introduction of Clones 

In order to guarantee that all allocated buffers are freed properly, we have to pay attention to the control flow and all potential aliases a buffer allocation can have. Since not all allocations can be safely freed with respect to their aliases (see the following code snippet), it is often required to introduce copies to eliminate them. Consider the following example in which the allocations have already been placed:

func @branch(%arg0: i1) {
  %0 = memref.alloc() : memref<2xf32>  // aliases: %2
  cond_br %arg0, ^bb1, ^bb2
^bb1:
  %1 = memref.alloc() : memref<2xf32>  // resides here for demonstration purposes
                                // aliases: %2
  br ^bb3(%1 : memref<2xf32>)
^bb2:
  use(%0)
  br ^bb3(%0 : memref<2xf32>)
^bb3(%2: memref<2xf32>):
  
  return
}

The first alloc can be safely freed after the live range of its post-dominator block (bb3). The alloc in bb1 has an alias %2 in bb3 that also keeps this buffer alive until the end of bb3. Since we cannot determine the actual branches that will be taken at runtime, we have to ensure that all buffers are freed correctly in bb3 regardless of the branches we will take to reach the exit block. This makes it necessary to introduce a copy for %2, which allows us to free %alloc0 in bb0 and %alloc1 in bb1. Afterwards, we can continue processing all aliases of %2 (none in this case) and we can safely free %2 at the end of the sample program. This sample demonstrates that not all allocations can be safely freed in their associated post-dominator blocks. Instead, we have to pay attention to all of their aliases.

Applying the BufferDeallocation pass to the program above yields the following result:

func @branch(%arg0: i1) {
  %0 = memref.alloc() : memref<2xf32>
  cond_br %arg0, ^bb1, ^bb2
^bb1:
  %1 = memref.alloc() : memref<2xf32>
  %3 = memref.clone %1 : (memref<2xf32>) -> (memref<2xf32>)
  memref.dealloc %1 : memref<2xf32> // %1 can be safely freed here
  br ^bb3(%3 : memref<2xf32>)
^bb2:
  use(%0)
  %4 = memref.clone %0 : (memref<2xf32>) -> (memref<2xf32>)
  br ^bb3(%4 : memref<2xf32>)
^bb3(%2: memref<2xf32>):
  
  memref.dealloc %2 : memref<2xf32> // free temp buffer %2
  memref.dealloc %0 : memref<2xf32> // %0 can be safely freed here
  return
}

Note that a temporary buffer for %2 was introduced to free all allocations properly. Note further that the unnecessary allocation of %3 can be easily removed using one of the post-pass transformations or the canonicalization pass.

The presented example also works with dynamically shaped types.

BufferDeallocation performs a fix-point iteration taking all aliases of all tracked allocations into account. We initialize the general iteration process using all tracked allocations and their associated aliases. As soon as we encounter an alias that is not properly dominated by our allocation, we mark this alias as critical (needs to be freed and tracked by the internal fix-point iteration). The following sample demonstrates the presence of critical and non-critical aliases:

nested_branch_example_pre_move

func @condBranchDynamicTypeNested(
  %arg0: i1,
  %arg1: memref<?xf32>,  // aliases: %3, %4
  %arg2: memref<?xf32>,
  %arg3: index) {
  cond_br %arg0, ^bb1, ^bb2(%arg3: index)
^bb1:
  br ^bb6(%arg1 : memref<?xf32>)
^bb2(%0: index):
  %1 = memref.alloc(%0) : memref<?xf32>   // cannot be moved upwards due to the data
                                   // dependency to %0
                                   // aliases: %2, %3, %4
  use(%1)
  cond_br %arg0, ^bb3, ^bb4
^bb3:
  br ^bb5(%1 : memref<?xf32>)
^bb4:
  br ^bb5(%1 : memref<?xf32>)
^bb5(%2: memref<?xf32>):  // non-crit. alias of %1, since %1 dominates %2
  br ^bb6(%2 : memref<?xf32>)
^bb6(%3: memref<?xf32>):  // crit. alias of %arg1 and %2 (in other words %1)
  br ^bb7(%3 : memref<?xf32>)
^bb7(%4: memref<?xf32>):  // non-crit. alias of %3, since %3 dominates %4
  test.copy(%4, %arg2) : (memref<?xf32>, memref<?xf32>) -> ()
  return
}

Applying BufferDeallocation yields the following output:

nested_branch_example_post_move

func @condBranchDynamicTypeNested(
  %arg0: i1,
  %arg1: memref<?xf32>,
  %arg2: memref<?xf32>,
  %arg3: index) {
  cond_br %arg0, ^bb1, ^bb2(%arg3 : index)
^bb1:
  // temp buffer required due to alias %3
  %5 = memref.clone %arg1 : (memref<?xf32>) -> (memref<?xf32>)
  br ^bb6(%5 : memref<?xf32>)
^bb2(%0: index):
  %1 = memref.alloc(%0) : memref<?xf32>
  use(%1)
  cond_br %arg0, ^bb3, ^bb4
^bb3:
  br ^bb5(%1 : memref<?xf32>)
^bb4:
  br ^bb5(%1 : memref<?xf32>)
^bb5(%2: memref<?xf32>):
  %6 = memref.clone %1 : (memref<?xf32>) -> (memref<?xf32>)
  memref.dealloc %1 : memref<?xf32>
  br ^bb6(%6 : memref<?xf32>)
^bb6(%3: memref<?xf32>):
  br ^bb7(%3 : memref<?xf32>)
^bb7(%4: memref<?xf32>):
  test.copy(%4, %arg2) : (memref<?xf32>, memref<?xf32>) -> ()
  memref.dealloc %3 : memref<?xf32>  // free %3, since %4 is a non-crit. alias of %3
  return
}

Since %3 is a critical alias, BufferDeallocation introduces an additional temporary copy in all predecessor blocks. %3 has an additional (non-critical) alias %4 that extends the live range until the end of bb7. Therefore, we can free %3 after its last use, while taking all aliases into account. Note that %4 does not need to be freed, since we did not introduce a copy for it.

The actual introduction of buffer copies is done after the fix-point iteration has been terminated and all critical aliases have been detected. A critical alias can be either a block argument or another value that is returned by an operation. Copies for block arguments are handled by analyzing all predecessor blocks. This is primarily done by querying the BranchOpInterface of the associated branch terminators that can jump to the current block. Consider the following example which involves a simple branch and the critical block argument %2:

  custom.br ^bb1(..., %0, : ...)
  ...
  custom.br ^bb1(..., %1, : ...)
  ...
^bb1(%2: memref<2xf32>):
  ...

The BranchOpInterface allows us to determine the actual values that will be passed to block bb1 and its argument %2 by analyzing its predecessor blocks. Once we have resolved the values %0 and %1 (that are associated with %2 in this sample), we can introduce a temporary buffer and clone its contents into the new buffer. Afterwards, we rewire the branch operands to use the newly allocated buffer instead. However, blocks can have implicitly defined predecessors by parent ops that implement the RegionBranchOpInterface. This can be the case if this block argument belongs to the entry block of a region. In this setting, we have to identify all predecessor regions defined by the parent operation. For every region, we need to get all terminator operations implementing the ReturnLike trait, indicating that they can branch to our current block. Finally, we can use a similar functionality as described above to add the temporary copy. This time, we can modify the terminator operands directly without touching a high-level interface.

Consider the following inner-region control-flow sample that uses an imaginary “custom.region_if” operation. It either executes the “then” or “else” region and always continues to the “join” region. The “custom.region_if_yield” operation returns a result to the parent operation. This sample demonstrates the use of the RegionBranchOpInterface to determine predecessors in order to infer the high-level control flow:

func @inner_region_control_flow(
  %arg0 : index,
  %arg1 : index) -> memref<?x?xf32> {
  %0 = memref.alloc(%arg0, %arg0) : memref<?x?xf32>
  %1 = custom.region_if %0 : memref<?x?xf32> -> (memref<?x?xf32>)
   then(%arg2 : memref<?x?xf32>) {  // aliases: %arg4, %1
    custom.region_if_yield %arg2 : memref<?x?xf32>
   } else(%arg3 : memref<?x?xf32>) {  // aliases: %arg4, %1
    custom.region_if_yield %arg3 : memref<?x?xf32>
   } join(%arg4 : memref<?x?xf32>) {  // aliases: %1
    custom.region_if_yield %arg4 : memref<?x?xf32>
   }
  return %1 : memref<?x?xf32>
}

region_branch_example_pre_move

Non-block arguments (other values) can become aliases when they are returned by dialect-specific operations. BufferDeallocation supports this behavior via the RegionBranchOpInterface. Consider the following example that uses an “scf.if” operation to determine the value of %2 at runtime which creates an alias:

func @nested_region_control_flow(%arg0 : index, %arg1 : index) -> memref<?x?xf32> {
  %0 = cmpi "eq", %arg0, %arg1 : index
  %1 = memref.alloc(%arg0, %arg0) : memref<?x?xf32>
  %2 = scf.if %0 -> (memref<?x?xf32>) {
    scf.yield %1 : memref<?x?xf32>   // %2 will be an alias of %1
  } else {
    %3 = memref.alloc(%arg0, %arg1) : memref<?x?xf32>  // nested allocation in a div.
                                                // branch
    use(%3)
    scf.yield %1 : memref<?x?xf32>   // %2 will be an alias of %1
  }
  return %2 : memref<?x?xf32>
}

In this example, a dealloc is inserted to release the buffer within the else block since it cannot be accessed by the remainder of the program. Accessing the RegionBranchOpInterface, allows us to infer that %2 is a non-critical alias of %1 which does not need to be tracked.

func @nested_region_control_flow(%arg0: index, %arg1: index) -> memref<?x?xf32> {
    %0 = cmpi "eq", %arg0, %arg1 : index
    %1 = memref.alloc(%arg0, %arg0) : memref<?x?xf32>
    %2 = scf.if %0 -> (memref<?x?xf32>) {
      scf.yield %1 : memref<?x?xf32>
    } else {
      %3 = memref.alloc(%arg0, %arg1) : memref<?x?xf32>
      use(%3)
      memref.dealloc %3 : memref<?x?xf32>  // %3 can be safely freed here
      scf.yield %1 : memref<?x?xf32>
    }
    return %2 : memref<?x?xf32>
}

Analogous to the previous case, we have to detect all terminator operations in all attached regions of “scf.if” that provides a value to its parent operation (in this sample via scf.yield). Querying the RegionBranchOpInterface allows us to determine the regions that “return” a result to their parent operation. Like before, we have to update all ReturnLike terminators as described above. Reconsider a slightly adapted version of the “custom.region_if” example from above that uses a nested allocation:

func @inner_region_control_flow_div(
  %arg0 : index,
  %arg1 : index) -> memref<?x?xf32> {
  %0 = memref.alloc(%arg0, %arg0) : memref<?x?xf32>
  %1 = custom.region_if %0 : memref<?x?xf32> -> (memref<?x?xf32>)
   then(%arg2 : memref<?x?xf32>) {  // aliases: %arg4, %1
    custom.region_if_yield %arg2 : memref<?x?xf32>
   } else(%arg3 : memref<?x?xf32>) {
    %2 = memref.alloc(%arg0, %arg1) : memref<?x?xf32>  // aliases: %arg4, %1
    custom.region_if_yield %2 : memref<?x?xf32>
   } join(%arg4 : memref<?x?xf32>) {  // aliases: %1
    custom.region_if_yield %arg4 : memref<?x?xf32>
   }
  return %1 : memref<?x?xf32>
}

Since the allocation %2 happens in a divergent branch and cannot be safely deallocated in a post-dominator, %arg4 will be considered a critical alias. Furthermore, %arg4 is returned to its parent operation and has an alias %1. This causes BufferDeallocation to introduce additional copies:

func @inner_region_control_flow_div(
  %arg0 : index,
  %arg1 : index) -> memref<?x?xf32> {
  %0 = memref.alloc(%arg0, %arg0) : memref<?x?xf32>
  %1 = custom.region_if %0 : memref<?x?xf32> -> (memref<?x?xf32>)
   then(%arg2 : memref<?x?xf32>) {
    %4 = memref.clone %arg2 : (memref<?x?xf32>) -> (memref<?x?xf32>)
    custom.region_if_yield %4 : memref<?x?xf32>
   } else(%arg3 : memref<?x?xf32>) {
    %2 = memref.alloc(%arg0, %arg1) : memref<?x?xf32>
    %5 = memref.clone %2 : (memref<?x?xf32>) -> (memref<?x?xf32>)
    memref.dealloc %2 : memref<?x?xf32>
    custom.region_if_yield %5 : memref<?x?xf32>
   } join(%arg4: memref<?x?xf32>) {
    %4 = memref.clone %arg4 : (memref<?x?xf32>) -> (memref<?x?xf32>)
    memref.dealloc %arg4 : memref<?x?xf32>
    custom.region_if_yield %4 : memref<?x?xf32>
   }
  memref.dealloc %0 : memref<?x?xf32>  // %0 can be safely freed here
  return %1 : memref<?x?xf32>
}

Placement of Deallocs 

After introducing allocs and copies, deallocs have to be placed to free allocated memory and avoid memory leaks. The deallocation needs to take place after the last use of the given value. The position can be determined by calculating the common post-dominator of all values using their remaining non-critical aliases. A special-case is the presence of back edges: since such edges can cause memory leaks when a newly allocated buffer flows back to another part of the program. In these cases, we need to free the associated buffer instances from the previous iteration by inserting additional deallocs.

Consider the following “scf.for” use case containing a nested structured control-flow if:

func @loop_nested_if(
  %lb: index,
  %ub: index,
  %step: index,
  %buf: memref<2xf32>,
  %res: memref<2xf32>) {
  %0 = scf.for %i = %lb to %ub step %step
    iter_args(%iterBuf = %buf) -> memref<2xf32> {
    %1 = cmpi "eq", %i, %ub : index
    %2 = scf.if %1 -> (memref<2xf32>) {
      %3 = memref.alloc() : memref<2xf32>  // makes %2 a critical alias due to a
                                    // divergent allocation
      use(%3)
      scf.yield %3 : memref<2xf32>
    } else {
      scf.yield %iterBuf : memref<2xf32>
    }
    scf.yield %2 : memref<2xf32>
  }
  test.copy(%0, %res) : (memref<2xf32>, memref<2xf32>) -> ()
  return
}

In this example, the then branch of the nested “scf.if” operation returns a newly allocated buffer.

Since this allocation happens in the scope of a divergent branch, %2 becomes a critical alias that needs to be handled. As before, we have to insert additional copies to eliminate this alias using copies of %3 and %iterBuf. This guarantees that %2 will be a newly allocated buffer that is returned in each iteration. However, “returning” %2 to its alias %iterBuf turns %iterBuf into a critical alias as well. In other words, we have to create a copy of %2 to pass it to %iterBuf. Since this jump represents a back edge, and %2 will always be a new buffer, we have to free the buffer from the previous iteration to avoid memory leaks:

func @loop_nested_if(
  %lb: index,
  %ub: index,
  %step: index,
  %buf: memref<2xf32>,
  %res: memref<2xf32>) {
  %4 = memref.clone %buf : (memref<2xf32>) -> (memref<2xf32>)
  %0 = scf.for %i = %lb to %ub step %step
    iter_args(%iterBuf = %4) -> memref<2xf32> {
    %1 = cmpi "eq", %i, %ub : index
    %2 = scf.if %1 -> (memref<2xf32>) {
      %3 = memref.alloc() : memref<2xf32> // makes %2 a critical alias
      use(%3)
      %5 = memref.clone %3 : (memref<2xf32>) -> (memref<2xf32>)
      memref.dealloc %3 : memref<2xf32>
      scf.yield %5 : memref<2xf32>
    } else {
      %6 = memref.clone %iterBuf : (memref<2xf32>) -> (memref<2xf32>)
      scf.yield %6 : memref<2xf32>
    }
    %7 = memref.clone %2 : (memref<2xf32>) -> (memref<2xf32>)
    memref.dealloc %2 : memref<2xf32>
    memref.dealloc %iterBuf : memref<2xf32> // free backedge iteration variable
    scf.yield %7 : memref<2xf32>
  }
  test.copy(%0, %res) : (memref<2xf32>, memref<2xf32>) -> ()
  memref.dealloc %0 : memref<2xf32> // free temp copy %0
  return
}

Example for loop-like control flow. The CFG contains back edges that have to be handled to avoid memory leaks. The bufferization is able to free the backedge iteration variable %iterBuf.

Private Analyses Implementations 

The BufferDeallocation transformation relies on one primary control-flow analysis: BufferPlacementAliasAnalysis. Furthermore, we also use dominance and liveness to place and move nodes. The liveness analysis determines the live range of a given value. Within this range, a value is alive and can or will be used in the course of the program. After this range, the value is dead and can be discarded - in our case, the buffer can be freed. To place the allocs, we need to know from which position a value will be alive. The allocs have to be placed in front of this position. However, the most important analysis is the alias analysis that is needed to introduce copies and to place all deallocations.

Post Phase

In order to limit the complexity of the BufferDeallocation transformation, some tiny code-polishing/optimization transformations are not applied on-the-fly during placement. Currently, a canonicalization pattern is added to the clone operation to reduce the appearance of unnecessary clones.

Note: further transformations might be added to the post-pass phase in the future.

Clone Canonicalization 

During placement of clones it may happen, that unnecessary clones are inserted. If these clones appear with their corresponding dealloc operation within the same block, we can use the canonicalizer to remove these unnecessary operations. Note, that this step needs to take place after the insertion of clones and deallocs in the buffer deallocation step. The canonicalization inludes both, the newly created target value from the clone operation and the source operation.

Canonicalization of the Source Buffer of the Clone Operation 

In this case, the source of the clone operation can be used instead of its target. The unused allocation and deallocation operations that are defined for this clone operation are also removed. Here is a working example generated by the BufferDeallocation pass that allocates a buffer with dynamic size. A deeper analysis of this sample reveals that the highlighted operations are redundant and can be removed.

func @dynamic_allocation(%arg0: index, %arg1: index) -> memref<?x?xf32> {
  %1 = memref.alloc(%arg0, %arg1) : memref<?x?xf32>
  %2 = memref.clone %1 : (memref<?x?xf32>) -> (memref<?x?xf32>)
  memref.dealloc %1 : memref<?x?xf32>
  return %2 : memref<?x?xf32>
}

Will be transformed to:

func @dynamic_allocation(%arg0: index, %arg1: index) -> memref<?x?xf32> {
  %1 = memref.alloc(%arg0, %arg1) : memref<?x?xf32>
  return %1 : memref<?x?xf32>
}

In this case, the additional copy %2 can be replaced with its original source buffer %1. This also applies to the associated dealloc operation of %1.

Canonicalization of the Target Buffer of the Clone Operation 

In this case, the target buffer of the clone operation can be used instead of its source. The unused deallocation operation that is defined for this clone operation is also removed.

Consider the following example where a generic test operation writes the result to %temp and then copies %temp to %result. However, these two operations can be merged into a single step. Canonicalization removes the clone operation and %temp, and replaces the uses of %temp with %result:

func @reuseTarget(%arg0: memref<2xf32>, %result: memref<2xf32>){
  %temp = memref.alloc() : memref<2xf32>
  test.generic {
    args_in = 1 : i64,
    args_out = 1 : i64,
    indexing_maps = [#map0, #map0],
    iterator_types = ["parallel"]} %arg0, %temp {
  ^bb0(%gen2_arg0: f32, %gen2_arg1: f32):
    %tmp2 = exp %gen2_arg0 : f32
    test.yield %tmp2 : f32
  }: memref<2xf32>, memref<2xf32>
  %result = memref.clone %temp : (memref<2xf32>) -> (memref<2xf32>)
  memref.dealloc %temp : memref<2xf32>
  return
}

Will be transformed to:

func @reuseTarget(%arg0: memref<2xf32>, %result: memref<2xf32>){
  test.generic {
    args_in = 1 : i64,
    args_out = 1 : i64,
    indexing_maps = [#map0, #map0],
    iterator_types = ["parallel"]} %arg0, %result {
  ^bb0(%gen2_arg0: f32, %gen2_arg1: f32):
    %tmp2 = exp %gen2_arg0 : f32
    test.yield %tmp2 : f32
  }: memref<2xf32>, memref<2xf32>
  return
}

Known Limitations 

BufferDeallocation introduces additional clones from “memref” dialect (“memref.clone”). Analogous, all deallocations use the “memref” dialect-free operation “memref.dealloc”. The actual copy process is realized using “test.copy”. Furthermore, buffers are essentially immutable after their creation in a block. Another limitations are known in the case using unstructered control flow.