[FFmpeg-devel] [PATCH 0/2] first steps to resolving float to int undefined behavior

Ganesh Ajjanagadde gajjanagadde at gmail.com
Mon Nov 2 00:15:48 CET 2015

On Sun, Nov 1, 2015 at 6:12 PM, Ronald S. Bultje <rsbultje at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> On Sun, Nov 1, 2015 at 1:03 PM, Ganesh Ajjanagadde <gajjanagadde at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Floating point to integer conversion is well defined when the float lies
>> within
>> the representation bounds of the integer after discarding the fractional
>> part.
>> However, in other cases, unfortunately the standard leaves it undefined.
>> In particular, assuming that it saturates in a sane way is a dangerous
>> assumption.
>> In light of recent events, I would not have bothered if this was a merely
>> theoretical
>> issue, and that common environments saturate correctly. Sadly, x86 (for
>> example)
>> converts casts to a cvttsd2si instruction which saturates numbers >
>> INT64_MAX to
>> INT64_MIN. This is mathematically completely bogus.
>> http://blog.frama-c.com/index.php?post/2013/10/09/Overflow-float-integer
>> gives
>> a nice overview of the issue.
>> 1/2 adds an av_clipd64 API for this purpose to clip a float to an integral
>> range.
>> Obviously it will be slower than a cvttsd2si, but there is no option if
>> one wants
>> safe and well-defined behavior. Of course, if one knows a priori that a
>> float
>> lives in the integral type's range, then there is no issue. Safe speedups
>> are
>> entirely possible, but API should be finalized first IMHO.
>> Most common anticipated usages are clipping to [INT64_MIN, INT64_MAX] or
>> I have given some thought as to whether a separate av_clipd32 API (for
>> example)
>> is necessary. It seems to me to not be the case, since an IEEE-754 double
>> is
>> guaranteed to represent exactly integers up to ~ 2^53.
>> Similarly, av_clipf64 and the like also seem unnecessary, since a double
>> is guaranteed
>> to represent all the values a float does. Such an API may be useful for
>> performance
>> though; I do not know how/what float to double conversions entail and at
>> the
>> moment ignore such complications.
>> 1/2 also accordingly documents av_clipd64.
> So, is this a bug in llrint, or is this a failure to use llrint, or is this
> different from llrint? It sounds to me that llrint should be used, not our
> own alternative.

Not a bug, just a standard "undefined behavior" cop-out from the
standards committee. We need to roll our own: all standard functions
cop out when it does not fit in the integer range, and Intel (and
others) have wonderfully exploited the cop-out: see e.g the link I
gave and my other reply.

> Ronald

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