[Haskell-cafe] SCC accounting

Andrew Pimlott andrew at pimlott.net
Wed Feb 1 03:28:59 EST 2006

We've been trying to track down a memory leak, and by adding SCC
annotations, pinned it down to a very brief expression.  Unfortunately,
the expression is just a variable!  We even looked at the generated

     (case ([Soutei.Term Logic.BodyVar]
            -> (...)
            -> Logic.Frame
            -> Logic.QState
            -> FBackTrackT.Stream m_aYsk Logic.QState) lookup_aYPK
      of wild_B1 {
        Data.Maybe.Nothing ->
          GHC.Err.patError ...
        Data.Maybe.Just x_aXVL -> __scc {pqzifoozq Assertions} x_aXVL

Note the __scc annotation just before x_aXVL at the end of the
expression.  Yet in the time and allocation profile, this SCC is charged
for a lot of time and allocations in the "individual" column;

                                         individual     inherited
    COST CENTRE        no.    entries  %time %alloc   %time %alloc
    pq.foo'            466       50001   8.0   12.1     8.0   13.2

and in the heap profile, it is a major memory leak.  The Haskell code
looks like

  predQuery pred = case lookup pred ctxIdx of Just f -> {-# SCC "pq.foo'" #-} f

Note that f is a function, which we expect to be expensive when it is
called.  However, that should be charged to the definition of the
function, right?  We tried pretty hard to reproduce this in a small test
case, but never succeeded.  Always, the cost was accounted to the
definition of the function in the intuitive way.

We're using ghc 6.4.1 and compiling without optimization.  Can any ghc
hacker suggest how this could happen, or give us any hints on what to
try next?


[1] http://haskell.org/ghc/docs/latest/html/users_guide/profiling.html

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list