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ID  Project  Category  View Status  Date Submitted  Last Update  
0005021  OCaml  otherlibs  public  20100408 00:37  20170307 18:36  
Reporter  Pascal Cuoq  
Assigned To  
Priority  normal  Severity  feature  Reproducibility  always  
Status  closed  Resolution  fixed  
Platform  OS  OS Version  
Product Version  3.11.2  
Target Version  Fixed in Version  4.03.0  
Summary  0005021: Big_int.float_of_big_int is slightly unportable (was: Int64.to_float is slightly unportable)  
Description  Int64.to_float is implemented in byterun/ints.c as: CAMLprim value caml_int64_to_float(value v) { int64 i = Int64_val(v); return caml_copy_double(I64_to_double(i)); } where I64_to_double is defined by #define I64_to_double(x) ((double)(x)) This is implementationdefined when the int64 cannot be represented exactly as a double. Unfortunately, Mac OS X Snow Leopard has made the choice of using the FPU rounding mode for the choice of the resulting double, whereas most other platforms seem always to use the nearesteven double regardless of the FPU rounding mode. This means OCaml programs behave differently on Snow Leopard than elsewhere.. I think that one way to obtain the same behavior everywhere is to mask the int64 with 0x00000000FFFFFFFF and with 0xFFFFFFFF00000000, convert the two results to doubles separately (the result of each conversion is then specified because each conversion is exact), and add the two resulting doubles. This gives FPUrounding everywhere, at a slight cost for all platforms, including the one that didn't need it. I can't think of a better way at the moment. The same applies to native ints when those are 63bit.  
Tags  patch  
Attached Files  
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Notes  
(0005340) xleroy (administrator) 20100419 09:57 
Hi Pascal, As far as I know, all x8664 code generators (gcc, ocamlopt, etc) use the "cvtsi2sdq" instruction to convert from 64bit int to 64bit float, and this instruction rounds according to the current rounding mode. So, this behavior is not new with Snow Leopard; the same code is generated e.g. in MacOS 10.4 or in Linux. I haven't yet checked what other processors do. The workaround you propose is clever (as usual) but I'm concerned about two things: 1 It's slower than the default long>double conversion. Probably not a big deal for Int64.to_float and Nativeint.to_float, but a bit of a concern for floatofint. 2 Crossplatform compatibility is good, but compatibility between ocamloptgenerated code and C compiled code on the same platform is also desirable. If the C compiler chooses to round towards zero, your code sequence behaves differently. What do you think? 
(0005347) pascal_cuoq (reporter) 20100419 14:47 
I am really sorry, I think I got sidetracked when I was investigating the portability issue I was having. I have not been able to produce any problem with Int64.to_float, which rounds according to rounding mode everywhere I tried. It is Big_int.float_of_big_int I meant to complain about. Here is this time a bona fide bug report: conv.ml: external round_up: unit > unit = "round_up" ;; let b = 2000000001L ;; let b = Big_int.big_int_of_int64 (Int64.mul b b) ;; round_up () ;; Format.printf "%Ld@." (Int64.bits_of_float (Big_int.float_of_big_int b)) ;; stub.c: #include <fenv.h> #include <float.h> #include <math.h> #include <caml/mlvalues.h> value round_up(value dummy) { fesetround(FE_UPWARD); return Val_unit; } Commandline: ocamlopt nums.cmxa stub.o conv.ml Result on Snow Leopard: 4885210896450059669 Result on Leopard on an Intel mac (and pretty much everywhere else where people run FramaC's regression tests): 4885210896450059668 Note that Mac OS X started to use the FPU rounding mode for displaying floatingpoint numbers in Snow Leopard, unlike every other platform. This other change may be part of the same wave. According to Stephen Canon from stackoverflow.com, Snow Leopard's behavior is correct and every other platform is wrong to systematically use roundtonearest for displaying floats. 
(0005348) xleroy (administrator) 20100419 15:19 
If you look at the definition of float_of_big_int, you'll see that it is really a hack: let float_of_big_int bi = float_of_string (string_of_big_int bi) So, what you observe is the behavior of float_of_string, nee strtod(). And, no, I'm not surprised that the last bit of the mantissa differs from platform to platform; I wouldn't even be surprised if several low bits were wrong... If you're using float_of_big_int in a context where every bit matters, it's time to reimplement it better, perhaps along the lines you mentioned. (Extract the top two 32bit ints from the bigint, then convert to float, then combine and scale by the appropriate power of 2.) Sounds like a job for a floatingpoint expert :) Are you interested in giving it a try? 
(0005349) pascal_cuoq (reporter) 20100419 17:01 
You are not giving the current implementation of float_of_big_int enough credit. The only two behaviors we have seen so far are "using the current rounding mode", and "using nearesteven", which is better than what you get if you adapt my suggestion (which was originally for int64s only). First, a bit of context: I had solved my problem by setting the rounding mode to nearesteven before calling float_of_big_int. But that's not good enough for going into OCaml, because OCaml currently does not depend on the C99only, sometimes missing, fenv.h functions, because a programmer who sets the rounding mode does not expect float_of_big_int to change it, because setting the rounding mode can be a bit slow, ... Also for context, I am only interested in converting to big_ints those floats that would fit into an int64, so I still had plenty of circumvention possibilities, I realize now that I understand what was happening. Now, let us assume someone wants to implement a better version, and can choose a (reasonable) specification as long as he documents it. The better version is not allowed to get or set the current rounding mode, but it can specify that it does not take it into account and always rounds to nearest or truncates.  there is a floatingpoint addition in the algorithm we have so far, so the only choice seems to be to specify that float_of_big_int uses the current rounding mode.  if the current rounding mode is nearesteven, any algorithm that does not read all the bigint's digits at least some of the times cannot be correct (incidentally, in the other cases the top three digits are often necessary, because the top digit may contain many leading zeroes).  if the current rounding mode is a directed one, scaling and combining more than two digits will produce a result that is wrong by more than 1ULP. That still doesn't mean it can't be done, and I will give it a try, but the more I think about it, the more the current implementation seems elegant. 
(0005350) pascal_cuoq (reporter) 20100419 22:46 
Xavier said: "Sounds like a job for a floatingpoint expert" Well, let me put it this way: if you give yourself the objective of producing a conversion function from Ocaml nats to IEEE 754 doubles, IEEE 754 doubles are going to be the least of your problems. In the reasoning above, the wisest path was to backtrack to the point where we were using floatingpoint addition, and to decide not to use it. From there it is simply a matter of specifying that the function always rounds towards zero and the rest is simple. The function below seems to do the job for nats at least for 64bit OCaml. It tried to write it so it would work in 32bit. I do not know if OCaml supports architectures where doubles and ints have a different endianness, but this function surely won't work there. Please, please, please, if you decide to use it for a float_of_big_int lookalike, give it a name other than "float_of_big_int" and preserve the old function for a while, otherwise it will be impossible to write code that is portable across 3.11 and 3.12. I vaguely inferred the documentation of Nat functions from the type and random google results. If I may, keeping around the nonnativeint digit access functions when the digits are 64 (or presumably 32) bit is particularly vicious. open Nat;; let float_of_nat_truncate n = if is_zero_nat n 0 (length_nat n) then 0. (* special case because 0. is denormalized *) else let num_digits = num_digits_nat n 0 (length_nat n) in let current_digit = ref (pred num_digits) in let num_leading_zeroes = num_leading_zero_bits_in_digit n !current_digit in let m = ref (Int64.of_nativeint (nth_digit_nat_native n !current_digit)) in let bits_to_go = ref (53  (length_of_digit  num_leading_zeroes)) in let e = (length_of_digit * num_digits  num_leading_zeroes) in let m = if !bits_to_go < 0 then Int64.shift_right_logical !m ((!bits_to_go)) else begin while (!bits_to_go) > 0 && !current_digit != 0 do decr current_digit; let bits = Int64.of_nativeint (nth_digit_nat_native n !current_digit) in let length, bits = if !bits_to_go >= length_of_digit then length_of_digit, bits else !bits_to_go, Int64.shift_right_logical bits (length_of_digit  !bits_to_go) in bits_to_go := !bits_to_go  length; m := Int64.logor (Int64.shift_left !m length) bits done; Int64.shift_left !m !bits_to_go end; in let e = e + 1022 in let e = Int64.shift_left (Int64.of_int e) 52 in let m = Int64.sub m (Int64.shift_left 1L 52) in Int64.float_of_bits (Int64.logor m e) 
(0005359) pascal_cuoq (reporter) 20100422 09:37 edited on: 20100422 09:37 
The function above does not handle overflows for nats of more than ~ 308 decimal digits. 
(0005360) xleroy (administrator) 20100422 09:49 
If you're (mostly) happy with the current implementation of float_of_big_int, we can go on with it for a while, it's not urgent to reimplement. I still think a better implementation is possible (better = more predictable w.r.t. rounding + faster), but at this point it's just a feature wish. GMP takes the same approach as the implementation you proposed: synthesize the IEEE float directly, and always round toward zero. But such rounding is inconsistent with other inttofloat conversions (that's the starting point of this PR, isn't it?). > if the current rounding mode is nearesteven, any algorithm that does not > read all the bigint's digits at least some of the times cannot be correct > (incidentally, in the other cases the top three digits are often necessary, > because the top digit may contain many leading zeroes). The latter issue is easily avoided by leftshifting the big int so that the most significant bit is 1, then converting the top 64 bits to a float, then compensating for the shift via exponent scaling. The former issue (with nearesteven) is more troublesome... >  if the current rounding mode is a directed one, scaling and combining more > than two digits will produce a result that is wrong by more than 1ULP. Leftshifting ensures that we would combine at most 2 float values (if we convert the top 64 bits of the bigint as two 32bit conversions combined). 
(0017598) xleroy (administrator) 20170307 18:36 
Fixed 20150724 by commit 16247: complete reimplementation of float_of_big_int that does not go through strings. 
Issue History  
Date Modified  Username  Field  Change 
20100408 00:37  Pascal Cuoq  New Issue  
20100419 09:57  xleroy  Note Added: 0005340  
20100419 09:57  xleroy  Status  new => feedback 
20100419 14:47  pascal_cuoq  Note Added: 0005347  
20100419 15:19  xleroy  Note Added: 0005348  
20100419 15:19  xleroy  Summary  Int64.to_float is slightly unportable => Big_int.float_of_big_int is slightly unportable (was: Int64.to_float is slightly unportable) 
20100419 17:01  pascal_cuoq  Note Added: 0005349  
20100419 22:46  pascal_cuoq  Note Added: 0005350  
20100422 09:37  pascal_cuoq  Note Added: 0005359  
20100422 09:37  pascal_cuoq  Note Edited: 0005359  
20100422 09:49  xleroy  Note Added: 0005360  
20100422 09:49  xleroy  Severity  tweak => feature 
20100422 09:49  xleroy  Status  feedback => acknowledged 
20130905 11:48  doligez  Tag Attached: patch  
20170223 16:36  doligez  Category  OCaml general => OCaml general 
20170303 16:43  doligez  Category  OCaml general => otherlibs 
20170307 18:34  xleroy  Relationship added  related to 0006896 
20170307 18:36  xleroy  Note Added: 0017598  
20170307 18:36  xleroy  Status  acknowledged => closed 
20170307 18:36  xleroy  Resolution  open => fixed 
20170307 18:36  xleroy  Fixed in Version  => 4.03.0 
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