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  1. This paper proposes an automated method to check the cor- rectness of range analysis used in the Linux kernel’s eBPF verifier. We provide the specification of soundness for range analysis performed by the eBPF verifier. We automatically generate verification conditions that encode the operation of the eBPF verifier directly from the Linux kernel’s C source code and check it against our specification. When we discover instances where the eBPF verifier is unsound, we propose a method to generate an eBPF program that demonstrates the mismatch between the abstract and the concrete semantics. Our prototype automatically checks the soundness of 16 versions of the eBPF verifier in the Linux kernel versions ranging from 4.14 to 5.19. In this process, we have discovered new bugs in older versions and proved the soundness of range analysis in the latest version of the Linux kernel. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 17, 2024
  2. This paper proposes fast polynomial evaluation methods for correctly rounded elementary functions generated using our RLibm approach. The resulting functions produce correct results for all inputs with multiple representations and rounding modes. Given an oracle, the RLibm approach approximates the correctly rounded result rather than the real value of an elementary function. A key observation is that there is an interval of real values around the correctly rounded result such that any real value in it rounds to the correct result. This interval is the maximum freedom available to RLibm’s polynomial generation procedure. Subsequently, the problem of generating correctly rounded elementary functions using these intervals can be structured as a linear programming problem. Our prior work on the RLibm approach uses Horner’s method for polynomial evaluation. This paper explores polynomial evaluation techniques such as Knuth’s coefficient adaptation procedure, parallel execution of operations using Estrin’s procedure, and the use of fused multiply-add operations in the context of the RLibm approach. If we take the polynomial generated by the RLibm approach and subsequently perform polynomial evaluation optimizations, it results in incorrect results due to rounding errors during polynomial evaluation. Hence, we propose to integrate the fast polynomial evaluation procedure in the RLibm’s polynomial generation process. Our new polynomial evaluation procedure that combines parallel execution with fused multiply-add operations outperforms the Horner’s method used by RLibm’s correctly rounded functions. We show the resulting polynomials for 32-bit float are not only correct but also faster than prior functions in RLibm by 24% 
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  3. This paper proposes, EFTSanitizer, a fast shadow execution framework for detecting and debugging numerical errors during late stages of testing especially for long-running applications. Any shadow execution framework needs an oracle to compare against the floating point (FP) execution. This paper makes a case for using error free transformations, which is a sequence of operations to compute the error of a primitive operation with existing hardware supported FP operations, as an oracle for shadow execution. Although the error of a single correctly rounded FP operation is bounded, the accumulation of errors across operations can result in exceptions, slow convergences, and even crashes. To ease the job of debugging such errors, EFTSanitizer provides a directed acyclic graph (DAG) that highlights the propagation of errors, which results in exceptions or crashes. Unlike prior work, DAGs produced by EFTSanitizer include operations that span various function calls while keeping the memory usage bounded. To enable the use of such shadow execution tools with long-running applications, EFTSanitizer also supports starting the shadow execution at an arbitrary point in the dynamic execution, which we call selective shadow execution. EFTSanitizer is an order of magnitude faster than prior state-of-art shadow execution tools such as FPSanitizer and Herbgrind. We have discovered new numerical errors and debugged them using EFTSanitizer. 
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  4. This paper presents a novel method for generating a single polynomial approximation that produces correctly rounded results for all inputs of an elementary function for multiple representations. The generated polynomial approximation has the nice property that the first few lower degree terms produce correctly rounded results for specific representations of smaller bitwidths, which we call progressive performance. To generate such progressive polynomial approximations, we approximate the correctly rounded result and formulate the computation of correctly rounded polynomial approximations as a linear program similar to our prior work on the RLIBM project. To enable the use of resulting polynomial approximations in mainstream libraries, we want to avoid piecewise polynomials with large lookup tables. We observe that the problem of computing polynomial approximations for elementary functions is a linear programming problem in low dimensions, i.e., with a small number of unknowns. We design a fast randomized algorithm for computing polynomial approximations with progressive performance. Our method produces correct and fast polynomials that require a small amount of storage. A few polynomial approximations from our prototype have already been incorporated into LLVM’s math library. 
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  5. Extended Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF) is a language and run-time system that allows non-superusers to extend the Linux and Windows operating systems by downloading user code into the kernel. To ensure that user code is safe to run in kernel context, BPF relies on a static analyzer that proves properties about the code, such as bounded memory access and the absence of operations that crash. The BPF static analyzer checks safety using abstract interpretation with several abstract domains. Among these, the domain of tnums (tristate numbers) is a key domain used to reason about the bitwise uncertainty in program values. This paper formally specifies the tnum abstract domain and its arithmetic operators. We provide the first proofs of soundness and optimality of the abstract arithmetic operators for tnum addition and subtraction used in the BPF analyzer. Further, we describe a novel sound algorithm for multiplication of tnums that is more precise and efficient (runs 33% faster on average) than the Linux kernel's algorithm. Our tnum multiplication is now merged in the Linux kernel. 
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  6. Mainstream math libraries for floating point (FP) do not produce correctly rounded results for all inputs. In contrast, CR-LIBM and RLIBM provide correctly rounded implementations for a specific FP representation with one rounding mode. Using such libraries for a representation with a new rounding mode or with different precision will result in wrong results due to double rounding. This paper proposes a novel method to generate a single polynomial approximation that produces correctly rounded results for all inputs for multiple rounding modes and multiple precision configurations. To generate a correctly rounded library for n -bits, our key idea is to generate a polynomial approximation for a representation with n +2-bits using the round-to-odd mode. We prove that the resulting polynomial approximation will produce correctly rounded results for all five rounding modes in the standard and for multiple representations with k -bits such that | E | +1 < k ≤ n , where | E | is the number of exponent bits in the representation. Similar to our prior work in the RLIBM project, we approximate the correctly rounded result when we generate the library with n +2-bits using the round-to-odd mode. We also generate polynomial approximations by structuring it as a linear programming problem but propose enhancements to polynomial generation to handle the round-to-odd mode. Our prototype is the first 32-bit float library that produces correctly rounded results with all rounding modes in the IEEE standard for all inputs with a single polynomial approximation. It also produces correctly rounded results for any FP configuration ranging from 10-bits to 32-bits while also being faster than mainstream libraries. 
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  7. null (Ed.)
    This paper proposes a new approach for debugging errors in floating point computation by performing shadow execution with higher precision in parallel. The programmer specifies parts of the program that need to be debugged for errors. Our compiler creates shadow execution tasks, which execute on different cores and perform the computation with higher precision. We propose a novel method to execute a shadow execution task from an arbitrary memory state, which is necessary because we are creating a parallel shadow execution from a sequential program. Our approach also ensures that the shadow execution follows the same control flow path as the original program. Our runtime automatically distributes the shadow execution tasks to balance the load on the cores. Our prototype for parallel shadow execution, PFPSanitizer, provides comprehensive detection of errors while having lower performance overheads than prior approaches. 
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  8. null (Ed.)
    This paper proposes a set of techniques to develop correctly rounded math libraries for 32-bit float and posit types. It enhances our RLIBM approach that frames the problem of generating correctly rounded libraries as a linear programming problem in the context of 16-bit types to scale to 32-bit types. Specifically, this paper proposes new algorithms to (1) generate polynomials that produce correctly rounded outputs for all inputs using counterexample guided polynomial generation, (2) generate efficient piecewise polynomials with bit-pattern based domain splitting, and (3) deduce the amount of freedom available to produce correct results when range reduction involves multiple elementary functions. The resultant math library for the 32-bit float type is faster than state-of-the-art math libraries while producing the correct output for all inputs. We have also developed a set of correctly rounded elementary functions for 32-bit posits. 
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  9. null (Ed.)
    Given the importance of floating point (FP) performance in numerous domains, several new variants of FP and its alternatives have been proposed (e.g., Bfloat16, TensorFloat32, and posits). These representations do not have correctly rounded math libraries. Further, the use of existing FP libraries for these new representations can produce incorrect results. This paper proposes a novel approach for generating polynomial approximations that can be used to implement correctly rounded math libraries. Existing methods generate polynomials that approximate the real value of an elementary function 𝑓 (𝑥) and produce wrong results due to approximation errors and rounding errors in the implementation. In contrast, our approach generates polynomials that approximate the correctly rounded value of 𝑓 (𝑥) (i.e., the value of 𝑓 (𝑥) rounded to the target representation). It provides more margin to identify efficient polynomials that produce correctly rounded results for all inputs. We frame the problem of generating efficient polynomials that produce correctly rounded results as a linear programming problem. Using our approach, we have developed correctly rounded, yet faster, implementations of elementary functions for multiple target representations. 
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  10. Posit is a recently proposed alternative to the floating point representation (FP). It provides tapered accuracy. Given a fixed number of bits, the posit representation can provide better precision for some numbers compared to FP, which has generated significant interest in numerous domains. Being a representation with tapered accuracy, it can introduce high rounding errors for numbers outside the above golden zone. Programmers currently lack tools to detect and debug errors while programming with posits. This paper presents PositDebug, a compile-time instrumentation that performs shadow execution with high pre- cision values to detect various errors in computation using posits. To assist the programmer in debugging the reported error, PositDebug also provides directed acyclic graphs of instructions, which are likely responsible for the error. A contribution of this paper is the design of the metadata per memory location for shadow execution that enables productive debugging of errors with long-running programs. We have used PositDebug to detect and debug errors in various numerical applications written using posits. To demonstrate that these ideas are applicable even for FP programs, we have built a shadow execution framework for FP programs that is an order of magnitude faster than Herbgrind. 
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