Version 31 (modified by chak, 6 years ago) (diff)


The VECTORISE pragma

The vectoriser needs to know about all types and functions whose vectorised variants are directly implemented by the DPH library (instead of generated by the vectoriser), and it needs to know what the vectorised versions are. That is the purpose of the VECTORISE pragma (which comes in in number of flavours).

The basic VECTORISE pragma for values

Given a function f, the vectoriser generates a vectorised version f_v, which comprises the original, scalar version of the function and a second version lifted into array space. The lifted version operates on arrays of inputs and produces arrays of results in one parallel computation. The original function name is, then, rebound to use the scalar version referred to by f_v. This differs from the original in that it uses vectorised versions for any embedded parallel array computations.

However, if a variable f is accompanied by a pragma of the form

{-# VECTORISE f = e #-}

then the vectoriser defines f_v = e and refrains from rebinding f. This implies that for f :: t, e's type is the t vectorised (in particular), e's type uses the array closure type (:->) instead of the vanilla function space (->). The vectoriser checks that e has the appropriate type.

This pragma can also be used for imported functions f. In this case, f_v and a suitable vectorisation mapping of f to f_v is exported implicitly — just like RULES applied to imported identifiers. By vectorising imported functions, we can vectorise functions of modules that have not been compiled with -fvectorise. This is crucial to using the standard Prelude in vectorised code.

IMPLEMENTATION RESTRICTION: Currently the right-hand side of the equation —i.e., e— may only be a simple identifier and it must be at the correct type instance. More precisely, the Core type of the right-hand side must be identical to the vectorised version of t.

The NOVECTORISE pragma for values

If a variable f is accompanied by a pragma


then it is ignored by the vectoriser — i.e., no function f_v is generated and f is left untouched.

This pragma can only be used for bindings in the current module (exactly like an INLINE pragma).

Caveat: If f's definition contains bindings that are being floated to the toplevel, those bindings will still be vectorised.

The VECTORISE SCALAR pragma for functions

Functions that contain no array computations, especially if they are cheap (such as (+)), should not be vectorised, but applied by simply mapping them over an array. This could be achieved by using the VECTORISE pragma with an appropriate right-hand side, but leads to repetitive code that we rather like the compiler to generate.

If a unary function f is accompanied by a pragma


then the vectoriser generates

f_v = closure1 f (scalar_map f)

and keeps f unchanged.

For a binary function, it generates

f_v = closure2 f (scalar_zipWith f)

for a tertiary function, it generates

f_v = closure3 f (scalar_zipWith3 f)

and so on. (The variable f must have a proper function type.)

This pragma can also be used on imported functions f, in the same manner as the plain VECTORISE pragma.

The basic VECTORISE pragma for type constructors

Without right-hand side

For a type constructor T, the pragma

{-# VECTORISE type T #-}

indicates that the type T should be automatically vectorised even if it is imported. This is the default for all data types declared in the current module. If the type embeds no parallel arrays, no special vectorised representation will be generated.

The type constructor T must be in scope, but it may be imported. 'PData' and 'PRepr' instances are automatically generated by the vectoriser.

Examples are the vectorisation of types, such as Ordering and [], defined in the Prelude.

With right-hand side

For a type constructor T, the pragma

{-# VECTORISE type T = T' #-}

directs the vectoriser to replace T by T' in vectorised code and to use the corresponding data constructors of T' instead of those of T. This implies that the two type constructors must be of the same kind and that the data constructors of T and T' need to be of the same number and type.

The type constructor T must be in scope, but it may be imported. 'PData' and 'PRepr' instances must be explicitly defined — they are not automatically generated.

An example is the handling of Bool, where we represent Bool by itself in vectorised code, but want to use the custom instances of 'PData' and 'PRepr' defined in the DPH libraries.

The VECTORISE SCALAR pragma for type constructors

For a type constructor T, the pragma


indicates that the type is scalar; i.e., it has no embedded arrays and its constructors can *only* be used in scalar code. Note that the type cannot be parameterised (as we would not be able to rule out that a type parameter is instantiated with an array type at a usage site.)

Due to this pragma declaration, T that may be used in vectorised code, where T represents itself. However, the representation of T is opaque in vectorised code. An example is the treatment of Int. Ints can be used in vectorised code and remain unchanged by vectorisation. However, the representation of Int by the I# data constructor wrapping an Int# is not exposed in vectorised code. Instead, computations involving the representation need to be confined to scalar code.

The type constructor T must be in scope, but it may be imported. The PData and PRepr instances for T need to be manually defined. (For types that the vectoriser automatically determines that they don't need a vectorised version, instances for PData and PRepr are still generated automatically.)

NB: The crucial difference between {-# VECTORISE SCALAR type T1 #-} and {-# VECTORISE type T2 #-}, where T2 embeds no parallel arrays, is that the *representation* (i.e., the constructors) of the former can only be used in scalar code. However, neither the representation of T1 nor T2 does get vectorised — so, both types are suitable for code that does not get vectorised due to vectorisation avoidance.


  • Maybe {-# VECTORISE SCALAR type T = T' #-} can be useful for, e.g., mapping (->) to (:->)???
  • For type constructors identified with this pragma, can we generate an instance of the Scalar type class automatically (instead of relying on it being in the library)?

Vectorising imported definitions

The various VECTORISE pragmas can be applied to imported identifiers (both variables and types). The resulting vectorisation mappings and the vectorised version of the identifier will be implicitly exported — much like it is the case for RULES defined on imported identifiers.