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Shadow Value Analysis Library (SHVAL)

Real-valued arithmetic is crucial to the performance and accuracy of scientific computation. Although IEEE 64-bit floating-point is the standard representation, many developers are investigating the possibility of using either lower precision (for better performance) or higher precision (for more accuracy). However, exploring alternative representations often requires significant code revision.

This Pintool simulates execution with alternative real number implementations at the binary level. The tool supports x86_64 programs and a variety of alternative implementations, including IEEE single (32-bit) precision and arbitrary precision using the GNU MPFR library. It also supports tracing execution and generating a digraph of computation, optionally with the difference between single- and double-precision calculated at each operation.


Building and using this project currently requires some experience in systems development and tool infrastructure. This file includes some basic installation and compilation instructions, but they may require some manual modification on your specific platform. Contact the author if you encounter issues.

Currently this project only works on x86_64 Linux.


See the release notes for limitations on which versions of gcc are compatible. For instance, with Pin 2.14 71313 "... you cannot use gcc versions 4.5 or newer to compile Probe mode tools ..." Also, with older versions of Pin and 4.x Linux kernels, you may have to use the -ifeellucky option.

You must set your PIN_ROOT environment variable to the root of the Pin installation, and if you wish to use the shval wrapper script, you must also set the SHVAL_ROOT environment variable to the root of this repository.

To build all tools, use the ./ command in the tools directory. To run a tool, use a command similar to the following:

pin -t /path/to/obj-intel64/ -- /path/to/app

This assumes that the pin wrapper is in your PATH. Application parameters can be included at the end if necessary. In addition, most tools provide various command-line options to customize their runtime behavior. To see descriptions of each tool's options, run the tool without an app. These options must be specified after the tool library but before the -- separator.

There are a variety of tools; see tools/makefile.rules for the complete list.

Note: Pin 3.2 removed the pin_isa.H file, required by the unum tool, and the MPFR tool is incompatible with Pin 3.x because it is an external library that (currently) does not build against the Pin CRT. Both of these tools are unsupported at the moment for this reason, although I anticipate that with some work they could be made working again.

You can also use the provided shval wrapper script. Run shval -h to see the list of options.



SHVAL was originally written by Michael O. Lam,


SHVAL is released under an LGPL license. For more details see the LICENSE file.



Pintool framework for shadow value analysis of floating-point code







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