Major Section: OTHER
Useful Forms: (accumulated-persistence t) ; Activate statistics gathering. (accumulated-persistence :all) ; As above, ``enhanced'' (see below) (show-accumulated-persistence :frames) ; Display statistics ordered by (show-accumulated-persistence :tries) ; frames built, times tried, (show-accumulated-persistence :ratio) ; or their ratio. (accumulated-persistence nil) ; Deactivate. Advanced forms: (show-accumulated-persistence :frames-s) ; The `s', `f', and `a' suffixes (show-accumulated-persistence :frames-f) ; stand for `success' (`useful'), (show-accumulated-persistence :frames-a) ; `failure' (`useless'), and `all', (show-accumulated-persistence :tries-s) ; respectively. The only effect of (show-accumulated-persistence :tries-f) ; the `s' and `f' versions is to (show-accumulated-persistence :tries-a) ; sort first by useful or useless ; applications, respectively (see ; below). The `a' versions avoid ; showing the useful/useless ; breakdown. (show-accumulated-persistence :runes) ; Just show runes alphabetically.
set-accumulated-persistence is equivalent to
See the end of this item for a discussion of ``enhanced statistics gathering,'' which can be useful for more fine-grained proof debugging.
Generally speaking, the more ACL2 knows, the slower it runs. That is because the search space grows with the number of alternative rules. Often, the system tries to apply rules that you have forgotten were even there, if you knew about them in the first place! ``Accumulated-persistence'' is a statistic (originally developed for Nqthm) that helps you identify the rules that are causing ACL2's search space to explode.
For other proof debugging utilities, see break-rewrite and see dmr.
Accumulated persistence tracking can be turned on or off. It is generally off. When on, proofs may take perhaps 50% more time than otherwise! But some useful numbers are collected. When it is turned on, by
ACL2 !>(accumulated-persistence t)an accumulation site is initialized and henceforth data about which rules are being tried is accumulated into that site. That accumulated data can be displayed with
show-accumulated-persistence, as described in detail below. When accumulated persistence is turned off, with
(accumulated-persistence nil), the accumulation site is wiped out and the data in it is lost.
The ``accumulated persistence'' of a rune is the number of runes the system has attempted to apply (since accumulated persistence was last activated) while the given rune was being tried.
rewrite rule named
rune. For simplicity, let us
rune is tried only once in the period during which
accumulated persistence is being monitored. Recall that to apply a rewrite
rule we must match the left-hand side of the conclusion to some term we are
trying to rewrite, establish the hypotheses of
rune by rewriting, and,
if successful, then rewrite the right-hand side of the conclusion. We say
rune is ``being tried'' from the time we have matched its left-hand
side to the time we have either abandoned the attempt or finished rewriting
its right-hand side. (By ``match'' we mean to include any loop-stopper
requirement; see loop-stopper.) During that period of time other rules
might be tried, e.g., to establish the hypotheses. The rules tried while
rune is being tried are ``billed'' to
rune in the sense that they
are being considered here only because of the demands of
if no other rules are tried during that period, the accumulated persistence
1 -- we ``bill''
rune once for its own
application attempt. If, on the other hand, we tried
10 rules on behalf
of that application of
rune's accumulated persistence
One way to envision accumulated persistence is to imagine that every time a rune is tried it is pushed onto a stack. The rules tried on behalf of a given application of a rune are thus pushed and popped on the stack above that rune. A lot of work might be done on its behalf -- the stack above the rune grows and shrinks repeatedly as the search continues for a way to use the rune. All the while, the rune itself ``persists'' in the stack, until we finish with the attempt to apply it, at which time we pop it off. The accumulated persistence of a rune application is thus the number of stack frames built while that rune was on the stack.
Note that accumulated persistence is tallied whether or not the attempt to apply a rune is successful. Each of the rules tried on its behalf might have failed and the attempt to apply the rune might have also failed. The ACL2 proof script would make no mention of the rune or the rules tried on its behalf because they did not contribute to the proof. But time was spent pursuing the possible application of the rune and accumulated persistence is a measure of that time.
A high accumulated persistence might come about in two extreme ways. One is that the rule causes a great deal of work every time it is tried. The other is that the rule is ``cheap'' but is tried very often. We therefore keep track of the number of times each rule is tried as well as its persistence. The ratio between the two is the average amount of work done on behalf of the rule each time it is tried.
When the accumulated persistence totals are displayed by the function
show-accumulated-persistence we sort them so that the most expensive
runes are shown first. We can sort according to one of three basic
:frames - the number of frames built on behalf of the rune :tries - the number of times the rune was tried :ratio - frames built per tryThe key simply determines the order in which the information is presented. If no argument is supplied to
The display breaks each total into ``useful'' and ``useless'' subtotals. A
``useful'' rule try is one that is viewed as contributing to the progress of
the proof, and the rest are ``useless'' rule applications. For example, if a
rewrite rule is tried but its hypotheses are not successfully
relieved, then that rule application and all work done on behalf of those
hypotheses is ``useless'' work. In general, an attempt to apply a rune
is viewed as ``useful'' unless the attempt fails or the attempt is on the
stack (as described above) for a rune application that ultimately fails.
A large number of ``useless''
:tries along with
correspondingly small ``useful'' counts may suggest runes to consider
disabling (see disable and see in-theory). Thus, here is a more complete
list of the arguments that may be supplied to
show-accumulated-persistence. Suffixes ``s'', ``f'', and ``a'' are
intended to suggest ``success'' (``useful''), ``failure'' (``useless''), and
:frames - sort by the number of frames built on behalf of the rune :frames-s - as above, but sort by useful applications :frames-f - as above, but sort by useless applications :frames-a - as above, but inhibit display of ``useful'' and ``useless'' subtotals :tries - sort by the number of times the rune was tried :tries-s - as above, but sort by useful applications :tries-f - as above, but sort by useless applications :tries-a - as above, but inhibit display of ``useful'' and ``useless'' subtotals :ratio - sort by frames built per try :useless - show only the runes tried whose tries were all ``useless''
For a given line of the report, every frame credited to a ``useful'' (respectively, ``useless'') rule application is considered ``useful'' (respectively, ``useless''). We illustrate with the following example.
(progn (defstub hyp (x) t) (defstub concl (x) t) (defstub bad (x) t) (defstub good (x) t) (defaxiom good-ax (implies (good x) (hyp x))) (defaxiom bad-ax (implies (bad x) (hyp x))) (defaxiom hyp-implies-concl (implies (hyp x) (concl x))) ) (accumulated-persistence t) (thm (implies (good x) (concl x))) (show-accumulated-persistence)To prove the
thmform, ACL2 attempts to rewrite
(concl x)to true by applying rule
hyp-implies-concl. It then attempts to establish
(hyp x)first by trying rule
bad-ax, which fails, and second by trying rule
good-ax, which succeeds. As expected, the report labels as ``useless'' the failure of the attempt to establish the hypothesis,
-------------------------------- 1 1 ( 1.00) (:REWRITE BAD-AX) 0 0 [useful] 1 1 [useless] --------------------------------Now consider the top-level application of rule
hyp-implies-concl. Even though the above report shows the application of
bad-axas ``useless'', note that this rule was applied on behalf of the successful (``useful'') application of
hyp-implies-concl, and hence is incorporated into the ``useful'' line for
hyp-implies-concl, as follows.
-------------------------------- 3 1 ( 3.00) (:REWRITE HYP-IMPLIES-CONCL) 3 1 [useful] 0 0 [useless] --------------------------------In summary: categorization of
:framesas ``useful'' or ``useless'' is based on whether they support ``useful'' or ``useless''
Note that a rune with high accumulated persistence may not actually be
the ``culprit.'' For example, suppose
rune1 is reported to have a
101, meaning that on the average a hundred and one frames
were built each time
rune1 was tried. Suppose
rune2 has a
100. It could be that the attempt to apply
rune1 resulted in the
attempted application of
rune2 and no other rune. Thus, in some
rune1 is ``cheap'' and
rune2 is the ``culprit'' even though it
costs less than
If a proof is aborted, then in general,
will only display totals for runes whose attempted application is complete:
that is, if the rewriter was in the process of relieving hypotheses for a
rule, then information for that rule will not be included in the tally. We
say ``in general'' because, as indicated near the top of the output from
show-accumulated-persistence when such incomplete information is
omitted, you can get this information by using argument
There are other subtleties in how rune applications are tallied, documented elsewhere: see accumulated-persistence-subtleties.
We conclude with a discussion of ``enhanced'' statistics gathering, which is
enabled by supplying
accumulated-persistence the argument
(accumulated-persistence :all)At some additional performance expense (but probably well under a factor of 2 altogether), ACL2 then gathers additional statistics for individual hypotheses of rules as well as their conclusions. To understand how this works, suppose
rnis a rune. Then we prepend the keyword
rnto form what we call its ``conclusion xrune'', and for its
I-th hypothesis we prepend
rnto form its
I-th ``hypothesis xrune.'' Here, ``xrune'' is pronounced ``ex rune'', and is mnemonic for ``extended rune.'' For example, if
(REWRiTE FOO)is a rune then
(:CONC REWRiTE FOO)is its conclusion xrune, and
(:HYP 2 REWRiTE FOO)is a hypothesis xrune corresponding to the second hypothesis of the corresponding rewrite rule.
(accumulated-persistence :all), we instruct ACL2 to track not only
runes but also xrunes. Then,
(show-accumulated-persistence) will display
information for all xrunes in a format that we consider to be ``raw'', in the
sense that data for xrunes are displayed just as for runes. But a ``merged''
format is also available. Here is a summary of display commands, followed
below by further discussion.
(show-accumulated-persistence :frames t) ; t is optional, i.e., the default ; Display enhanced statistics sorted by frames, in a ``raw'' format. (show-accumulated-persistence :frames :merge) ; Display enhanced statistics sorted by frames, in a ``merged'' format. (show-accumulated-persistence :frames nil) ; Display regular statistics sorted by frames, without the enhancements. ; More generally, the descriptions just above apply for any legal first ; argument: (show-accumulated-persistence KEY t) (show-accumulated-persistence KEY :merge) (show-accumulated-persistence KEY nil) ; Note also these alternate forms, equivalent to the first of the two forms ; just above, i.e., the form with second argument of t: (show-accumulated-persistence KEY :raw) (show-accumulated-persistence KEY)
There is a significant difference between how runes are tracked and how ACL2
tracks hypothesis and conclusion xrunes: unlike regular runes, these xrunes
do not contribute to the accumulated
:frames counts. Rather, they serve
as accumulation sites without contributing their
:tries to any
accumulation. Consider for example the snippet below, taken from a report
created with the
:merge option (to be discussed further below), i.e., by
evaluating the form
(show-accumulated-persistence :frames :merge).
:frames :tries :ratio rune -------------------------------- 462 211 ( 2.18) (:REWRITE PERM-MEM) 13 6 [useful] 449 205 [useless] ............................. 251 47 ( 5.34) (:HYP 2 :REWRITE PERM-MEM) 6 6 [useful] 245 41 [useless] ............................. 0 211 ( 0.00) (:HYP 1 :REWRITE PERM-MEM) 0 6 [useful] 0 205 [useless] ............................. 0 7 ( 0.00) (:CONC :REWRITE PERM-MEM) 0 6 [useful] 0 1 [useless] --------------------------------Notice that while
:triesare recorded for the xrune
(:HYP 1 :REWRITE PERM-MEM), no
:framesare recorded. This is because no stack frames were built for runes while this xrune was on the stack -- only for the xrune itself, which as we explained above is not accumulated into the total
:framescounts. As it turns out, this lack of stack frames is explained by the fact that the rewrite rule
PERM-MEMhas a free variable in the first hypothesis.
ACL2 !>:pe perm-mem 18 (DEFTHM PERM-MEM (IMPLIES (AND (PERM X Y) (MEM A X)) (MEM A Y)) :RULE-CLASSES ((:REWRITE :MATCH-FREE :ONCE))) ACL2 !>The second hypothesis, however, does cause additional rewriting in order to rewrite it to true, resulting in 251 stack frames for runes. We see that the conclusion does not lead to creation any rune stack frames, which might seem to suggest that only 251 stack frames for runes were created on behalf of this rule application -- yet, we see that 462 frames were actually created. The difference is the 211 frames created for the rewrite rule itself. Even if the total had been a bit more than 462, one need not be surprised, as there could be some work recorded during application of the rewrite rule, such as type-prescription reasoning, that is not done during rewriting of a hypothesis or the conclusion.
Now suppose we have executed
(accumulated-persistence :all) and attempted
some proofs, and now we are ready to see statistics. The form
(show-accumulated-persistence) displays statistics exactly as described
above, treating these extra xrunes just as though they are runes; similarly
for the form
(show-accumulated-persistence KEY), for any legal
A second optional argument may however be supplied to
show-accumulated-persistence. The default for that second argument is
t, and a second argument of
:raw is treated the same as
these arguments provide the behavior just described, where data for xrunes
are displayed just as for runes. You may restrict output to runes, ignoring
hypothesis and conclusion xrunes, by giving a second argument of
(This gives the same behavior as if we had started with the command
(accumulated-persistence t) instead of the command
(accumulated-persistence :all).) Finally, you may give a second argument
:merge, in which case output will be sorted and displayed as though
only runes were tracked (not the extra xrunes), but each data item for a
non-rune xrune will be merged so that it is displayed in suitable order just
below its corresponding rune, as in the
PERM-MEM example displayeda
We close by mentioning two aspect of enhanced statistics display for
:CONC xrunes that have potential to be confusing. First consider the
:frames :tries :ratio rune -------------------------------- 14 4 ( 3.50) (:REWRITE DEFAULT-+-2) 0 0 [useful] 14 4 [useless] ............................. 10 4 ( 2.50) (:HYP 1 :REWRITE DEFAULT-+-2) 0 0 [useful] 10 4 [useless] --------------------------------It may be surprising that no data is displayed for the corresponding
:CONCxrune. The explanation, however, is simple: the hypothesis never rewrote to true, so the conclusion was never rewritten. This is consistent with the marking as ``useless'' of all
:triesfor the rune and the hypothesis xrune. Note by the way, once again, that the hypothesis xrune does not contribute to any
Another reason not to see data displayed for a
:CONC xrune is that if a
rule has no hypotheses, then no such data is collected. This decision was
made because in the case of no hypotheses, we expect it to be very rare that
information for the
:CONC xrune will add any useful insight.
On a final note:
(show-accumulated-persistence :runes) may be used simply
to see a list of all runes (or xrunes) displayed alphabetically.
Users are encouraged to think about other meters we could install in ACL2 to help diagnose performance problems.