ECOOP 2015
Sun 5 - Fri 10 July 2015 Prague, Czech Republic
Wed 8 Jul 2015 14:00 - 14:30 at Bohemia - Implementation Chair(s): Christian Hammer

Dynamically typed programming languages such as JavaScript and Python defer type checking to run time. In order to maximize performance, dynamic language VM implementations must attempt to eliminate redundant dynamic type checks. However, type inference analyses are often costly and involve tradeoffs between compilation time and resulting precision. This has lead to the creation of increasingly complex multi-tiered VM architectures.

This paper introduces lazy basic block versioning, a simple JIT compilation architecture which effectively removes redundant type checks from critical code paths. Our approach lazily generates type-specialized versions of basic blocks on-the-fly while propagating context-dependent type information. This does not require the use of costly program analyses, is not restricted by the precision limitations of traditional type analyses and avoids the implementation complexity of speculative optimization techniques.

We have implemented intraprocedural lazy basic block versioning in a JavaScript JIT compiler. This approach is compared with a classical flow-based type analysis. Lazy basic block versioning performs as well or better on all benchmarks. On average, 71% of type tests are eliminated, yielding speedups of up to 47%. We also show that our implementation generates more efficient machine code than TraceMonkey, a tracing JIT compiler for JavaScript, on several benchmarks. The combination of implementation simplicity, low algorithmic complexity and good run time performance makes basic block versioning attractive for baseline JIT compilers.

Wed 8 Jul