# Bit tables

author | David Jones |

copyright | See Copyright and License. |

date | 1997-03-04 |

index terms | pair: bit tables; design |

revision | //info.ravenbrook.com/project/mps/master/design/bt.txt#12 |

status | incomplete design |

tag | design.mps.bt |

# Introduction

.intro: This is the design of the Bit Tables module. A Bit Table is
a linear array of bits. A Bit Table of length *n* is indexed using an
integer from 0 up to (but not including) *n*. Each bit in a Bit Table
can hold either the value 0 (`FALSE`) or 1 (`TRUE`). A variety of
operations are provided including: get, set, and reset individual
bits; set and reset a contiguous range of bits; search for a
contiguous range of reset bits; making a "negative image" copy of a
range.

.readership: MPS developers.

# Definitions

.def.set: **Set**

Used as a verb meaning to assign the value 1 orTRUEto a bit. Used descriptively to denote a bit containing the value 1. Note 1 andTRUEare synonyms in MPS C code (seeBool).

.def.reset: **Reset**

Used as a verb meaning to assign the value 0 orFALSEto a bit. Used descriptively to denote a bit containing the value 0. Note 0 andFALSEare synonyms in MPS C code (seeBool).

Note

Consider using "fill/empty" or "mark/clear" instead of "set/reset", set/reset is probably a hangover from drj's z80 hacking days -- drj 1999-04-26

.def.bt: **Bit Table**

A Bit Table is a mapping from [0,

n) to {0,1} for somen, represented as a linear array of bits..def.bt.justify: They are called

Bit Tablesbecause a single bit is used to encode whether the image of a particular integer under the map is 0 or 1.

.def.range: **Range**

A contiguous sequence of bits in a Bit Table. Ranges are typically specified as abase--limitpair where the range includes the position specified by the base, but excludes that specified by the limit. The mathematical interval notation for half-open intervals, [base,limit), is used.

# Requirements

.req.bit: The storage for a Bit Table of *n* bits shall take no
more than a small constant addition to the storage required for *n*
bits. .req.bit.why: This is so that clients can make some
predictions about how much storage their algorithms use. A small
constant is allowed over the minimal for two reasons: inevitable
implementation overheads (such as only being able to allocate storage
in multiples of 32 bits), extra storage for robustness or speed (such
as signature and length fields).

.req.create: A means to create Bit Tables. .req.create.why: Obvious.

.req.destroy: A means to destroy Bit Tables. .req.destroy.why: Obvious.

.req.ops: The following operations shall be supported:

- .req.ops.get:
**Get**. Get the value of a bit at a specified index. - .req.ops.set:
**Set**. Set a bit at a specified index. - .req.ops.reset:
**Reset**. Reset a bit at a specified index.

.req.ops.minimal.why: Get, Set, Reset, are the minimal operations. All possible mappings can be created and inspected using these operations.

- .req.ops.set.range:
**SetRange**. Set a range of bits. .req.ops.set.range.why: It's expected that clients will often want to set a range of bits; providing this operation allows the implementation of the BT module to make the operation efficient. - .req.ops.reset.range:
**ResetRange**. Reset a range of bits. .req.ops.reset.range.why: as for SetRange, see .req.ops.set.range.why. - .req.ops.test.range.set:
**IsSetRange**. Test whether a range of bits are all set. .req.ops.test.range.set.why: Mostly for checking. For example, often clients will know that a range they are about to reset is currently all set, they can use this operation to assert that fact. - .req.ops.test.range.reset:
**IsResetRange**. Test whether a range of bits are all reset. .req.ops.test.range.reset.why As for IsSetRange, see .req.ops.test.range.set.why. - .req.ops.find: Find a range, which we'll denote [
*i*,*j*), of at least*L*reset bits that lies in a specified subrange of the entire Bit Table. Various find operations are required according to the (additional) properties of the required range:- .req.ops.find.short.low:
**FindShortResetRange**. Of all candidate ranges, find the range with least*j*(find the leftmost range that has at least*L*reset bits and return just enough of that). .req.ops.find.short.low.why: Required by client and VM arenas to allocate segments. The arenas implement definite placement policies (such as lowest addressed segment first) so they need the lowest (or highest) range that will do. It's not currently useful to allocate segments larger than the requested size, so finding a short range is sufficient. - .req.ops.find.short.high:
**FindShortResetRangeHigh**. Of all candidate ranges, find the range with greatest*i*(find the rightmost range that has at least*L*reset bits and return just enough of that). .req.ops.find.short.high.why: Required by arenas to implement a specific segment placement policy (highest addressed segment first). - .req.ops.find.long.low:
**FindLongResetRange**. Of all candidate ranges, identify the ranges with least*i*and of those find the one with greatest*j*(find the leftmost range that has at least*L*reset bits and return all of it). .req.ops.find.long.low.why Required by the mark and sweep Pool Classes (AMS, AWL, LO) for allocating objects (filling a buffer). It's more efficient to fill a buffer with as much memory as is conveniently possible. There's no strong reason to find the lowest range but it's bound to have some beneficial (small) cache effect and makes the algorithm more predictable. - .req.ops.find.long.high:
**FindLongResetRangeHigh**. Provided, but not required, see .non-req.ops.find.long.high.

- .req.ops.find.short.low:
- .req.ops.copy: Copy a range of bits from one Bit Table to another
Bit Table. Various copy operations are required:
- .req.ops.copy.simple: Copy a range of bits from one Bit Table to
the same position in another Bit Table.
.req.ops.copy.simple.why: Required to support copying of the
tables for the "low" segment during segment merging and splitting,
for pools using tables (for example,
`PoolClassAMS`). - .req.ops.copy.offset: Copy a range of bits from one Bit Table to an offset position in another Bit Table. .req.ops.copy.offset.why: Required to support copying of the tables for the "high" segment during segment merging and splitting, for pools which support this (currently none, as of 2000-01-17).
- .req.ops.copy.invert: Copy a range of bits from one Bit Table to
the same position in another Bit Table inverting all the bits in
the target copy. .req.ops.copy.invert.why: Required by colour
manipulation code in
`PoolClassAMS`and`PoolClassLO`.

- .req.ops.copy.simple: Copy a range of bits from one Bit Table to
the same position in another Bit Table.
.req.ops.copy.simple.why: Required to support copying of the
tables for the "low" segment during segment merging and splitting,
for pools using tables (for example,

.req.speed: Operations shall take no more than a few memory operations per bit manipulated. .req.speed.why: Any slower would be gratuitous.

.req.speed.fast: The following operations shall be very fast:

.req.speed.fast.find.short: FindShortResRange (the operation used to meet .req.ops.find.short.low) FindShortResRangeHigh (the operation used to meet .req.ops.find.short.high).

.req.speed.fast.find.short.why: These two are used by the client arena (design.mps.arena.client) and the VM arena (design.mps.arena.vm) for finding segments in page tables. The operation will be used sufficiently often that its speed will noticeably affect the overall speed of the MPS. They will be called with a length equal to the number of pages in a segment. Typical values of this length depend on the pool classes used and their configuration, but we can expect length to be small (1 to 16) usually. We can expect the Bit Table to be populated densely where it is populated at all, that is set bits will tend to be clustered together in subranges.

.req.speed.fast.find.long: FindLongResRange (the operation used to meet .req.ops.find.long.low)

.req.speed.fast.find.long.why: Used in the allocator for

`PoolClassAWL`(design.mps.poolawl),`PoolClassAMS`(design.mps.poolams),`PoolClassEPVM`(design.mps.poolepvm(0)). Of these AWL and EPVM have speed requirements. For AWL the length of range to be found will be the length of a Dylan table in words. According to mail.tony.1999-05-05.11-36, only`<entry-vector>`objects are allocated in AWL (though not all`<entry-vector>`objects are allocated in AWL), and the mean length of an`<entry-vector>`object is 486 Words. No data for EPVM alas.

.req.speed.fast.other.why: We might expect mark and sweep pools to make use of Bit Tables, the MPS has general requirements to support efficient mark and sweep pools, so that imposes general speed requirements on Bit Tables.

# Non requirements

The following are not requirements but the current design could support them with little modification or does support them. Often they used to be requirements, but are no longer, or were added speculatively or experimentally but aren't currently used.

- .non-req.ops.test.range.same:
**RangesSame**. Test whether two ranges that occupy the same positions in different Bit Tables are the same. This used to be required by`PoolClassAMS`, but is no longer. Currently (1999-05-04) the functionality still exists. - .non-req.ops.find.long.high:
**FindLongResetRangeHigh**. (see .req.ops.find) Of all candidate ranges, identify the ranges with greatest*j*and of those find the one with least*i*(find the rightmost range that has at least*L*reset bits and return all of it). Provided for symmetry but only currently used by the BT tests and`cbstest.c`.

# Background

.background: Originally Bit Tables were used and implemented
by `PoolClassLO` (design.mps.poollo). It was
decided to lift them out into a separate module when designing the
Pool to manage Dylan Weak Tables which is also a mark and sweep pool
and will make use of Bit Tables (see design.mps.poolawl).

.background.analysis: analysis.mps.bt(0) contains some of the analysis of the design decisions that were and were not made in this document.

# Clients

.clients: Bit Tables are used throughout the MPS but the important
uses are in the client and VM arenas (design.mps.arena.client(0) and
design.mps.arena.vm) a bit table is used to record whether each
page is free or not; several pool classes (`PoolClassLO`,
`PoolClassEPVM`, `PoolClassAMS`) use bit tables to record which
locations are free and also to store colour.

# Overview

.over: Mostly, the design is as simple as possible. The significant complications are iteration (see .iteration below) and searching (see .fun.find-res-range below) because both of these are required to be fast.

# Interface

`typedef Word *BT`

.if.representation.abstract: A Bit Table is represented by the type
`BT`.

.if.declare: The module declares a type `BT` and a prototype for
each of the functions below. The type is declared in impl.h.mpmtypes,
the prototypes are declared in impl.h.mpm. Some of the functions are
in fact implemented as macros in the usual way
(doc.mps.ref-man.if-conv(0).macro.std).

.if.general.index: Many of the functions specified below take
indexes. If otherwise unspecified an index must be in the interval [0,
*n*) (note, up to, but not including, *n*) where *n* is the number of
bits in the relevant Bit Table (as passed to the `BTCreate()`
function).

.if.general.range: Where a range is specified by two indexes (*base*
and *limit*), the index *base*, which specifies the beginning of the
range, must be in the interval [0, *n*), and the index *limit*, which
specifies the end of the range, must be in the interval [1, *n*] (note
can be *n*), and *base* must be strictly less than *limit* (empty
ranges are not allowed). Sometimes *i* and *j* are used instead of
*base* and *limit*.

`Res BTCreate(BT *btReturn, Arena arena, Count n)`

.if.create: Attempts to create a table of length `n` in the arena
control pool, putting the table in `*btReturn`. Returns `ResOK` if
and only if the table is created OK. The initial values of the bits in
the table are undefined (so the client should probably call
`BTResRange()` on the entire range before using the `BT`). Meets
.req.create.

`void BTDestroy(BT t, Arena arena, Count n)`

.if.destroy: Destroys the table `t`, which must have been created
with `BTCreate()`. The value of argument `n` must be same as the
value of the argument passed to `BTCreate()`. Meets
.req.destroy.

`size_t BTSize(Count n)`

.if.size: `BTSize(n)` returns the number of bytes needed for a Bit
Table of `n` bits. `BTSize()` is a macro, but `(BTSize)(n)` will
assert if `n` exceeds `COUNT_MAX - MPS_WORD_WIDTH + 1`. This is
used by clients that allocate storage for the `BT` themselves.
Before `BTCreate()` and `BTDestroy()` were implemented that was the
only way to allocate a Bit Table, but is now deprecated.

`int BTGet(BT t, Index i)`

.if.get: `BTGet(t, i)` returns the `i`-th bit of the table `t`
(that is, the image of `i` under the mapping). Meets
.req.ops.get.

`void BTSet(BT t, Index i)`

.if.set: `BTSet(t, i)` sets the `i`-th bit of the table `t` (to
1). `BTGet(t, i)` will now return 1. Meets .req.ops.set.

`void BTRes(BT t, Index i)`

.if.res: `BTRes(t, i)` resets the `i`-th bit of the table `t`
(to 0). `BTGet(t, i)` will now return 0. Meets .req.ops.reset.

`void BTSetRange(BT t, Index base, Index limit)`

.if.set-range: `BTSetRange(t, base, limit)` sets the range of bits
[`base`, `limit`) in the table `t`. `BTGet(t, x)` will now
return 1 for `base` ≤ `x` < `limit`. Meets
.req.ops.test.range.set.

`void BTResRange(BT t, Index base, Index limit)`

.if.res-range: `BTResRange(t, base, limit)` resets the range of
bits [`base`, `limit`) in the table `t`. `BTGet(t, x)` will
now return 0 for `base` ≤ `x` < `limit`. Meets
.req.ops.test.range.reset.

`Bool BTIsSetRange(BT bt, Index base, Index limit)`

.if.test.range.set: Returns `TRUE` if all the bits in the range
[`base`, `limit`) are set, `FALSE` otherwise. Meets
.req.ops.test.range.set.

`Bool BTIsResRange(BT bt, Index base, Index limit)`

.if.test.range.reset: Returns `TRUE` if all the bits in the range
[`base`, `limit`) are reset, `FALSE` otherwise. Meets
.req.ops.test.range.reset.

`Bool BTRangesSame(BT BTx, BT BTy, Index base, Index limit)`

.if.test.range.same: returns `TRUE` if `BTGet(BTx,i)` equals
`BTGet(BTy,i)` for `i` in [`base`, `limit`), and `FALSE`
otherwise. Meets .non-req.ops.test.range.same.

.if.find.general: There are four functions (below) to find reset ranges. All the functions have the same prototype (for symmetry):

Bool find(Index *baseReturn, Index *limitReturn, BT bt, Index searchBase, Index searchLimit, Count length);

where `bt` is the Bit Table in which to search. `searchBase` and
`searchLimit` specify a subset of the Bit Table to use, the
functions will only find ranges that are subsets of [`searchBase`,
`searchLimit`) (when set, `*baseReturn` will never be less than
`searchBase` and `*limitReturn` will never be greater than
`searchLimit`). `searchBase` and `searchLimit` specify a range
that must conform to the general range requirements for a range [*i*,
*j*), as per .if.general.range modified appropriately. `length`
is the number of contiguous reset bits to find; it must not be bigger
than `searchLimit - searchBase` (that would be silly). If a suitable
range cannot be found the function returns `FALSE` (0) and leaves
`*baseReturn` and `*limitReturn` untouched. If a suitable range is
found then the function returns the range's base in `*baseReturn`
and its limit in `*limitReturn` and returns `TRUE` (1).

`Bool BTFindShortResRange(Index *baseReturn, Index *limitReturn, BT bt, Index searchBase, Index searchLimit, Count length)`

.if.find-short-res-range: Finds a range of reset bits in the table,
starting at `searchBase` and working upwards. This function is
intended to meet .req.ops.find.short.low so it will find the
leftmost range that will do, and never finds a range longer than the
requested length (the intention is that it will not waste time
looking).

`Bool BTFindShortResRangeHigh(Index *baseReturn, Index *limitReturn, BT bt, Index searchBase, Index searchLimit, Count length)`

.if.find-short-res-range-high: Finds a range of reset bits in the
table, starting at `searchLimit` and working downwards. This
function is intended to meet .req.ops.find.short.high so it will
find the rightmost range that will do, and never finds a range longer
than the requested length.

`Bool BTFindLongResRange(Index *baseReturn, Index *limitReturn, BT bt, Index searchBase, Index searchLimit, Count length)`

.if.find-long-res-range: Finds a range of reset bits in the table,
starting at `searchBase` and working upwards. This function is
intended to meet .req.ops.find.long.low so it will find the
leftmost range that will do and returns all of that range (which can
be longer than the requested length).

`Bool BTFindLongResRangeHigh(Index *baseReturn, Index *limitReturn, BT bt, Index searchBase, Index searchLimit, Count length)`

.if.find-long-res-range-high: Finds a range of reset bits in the
table, starting at `searchLimit` and working downwards. This
function is intended to meet .req.ops.find.long.high so it will
find the rightmost range that will do and returns all that range
(which can be longer than the requested length).

`void BTCopyRange(BT fromBT, BT toBT, Index base, Index limit)`

.if.copy-range: Overwrites the `i`-th bit of `toBT` with the
`i`-th bit of `fromBT`, for all `i` in [`base`, `limit`).
Meets .req.ops.copy.simple.

`void BTCopyOffsetRange(BT fromBT, BT toBT, Index fromBase, Index fromLimit, Index toBase, Index toLimit)`

.if.copy-offset-range: Overwrites the `i`-th bit of `toBT` with
the `j`-th bit of `fromBT`, for all `i` in [`toBase`,
`toLimit`) and corresponding `j` in [`fromBase`, `fromLimit`).
Each of these ranges must be the same size. This might be
significantly less efficient than `BTCopyRange()`. Meets
.req.ops.copy.offset.

`void BTCopyInvertRange(BT fromBT, BT toBT, Index base, Index limit)`

.if.copy-invert-range: Overwrites the `i`-th bit of `toBT` with
the inverse of the `i`-th bit of `fromBT`, for all `i` in
[`base`, `limit`). Meets .req.ops.copy.invert.

# Detailed design

## Data structures

.datastructure: Bit Tables will be represented as (a pointer to) an
array of `Word`. A plain array is used instead of the more usual
design convention of implementing an abstract data type as a structure
with a signature (see guide.impl.c.adt(0)).
.datastructure.words.justify: The type `Word` is used as it will
probably map to the object that can be most efficiently accessed on
any particular platform. .datastructure.non-adt.justify: The usual
abstract data type convention was not followed because (i) The initial
design (drj) was lazy, (ii) Bit Tables are more likely to come in
convenient powers of two with the extra one or two words overhead.
However, the loss of checking is severe. Perhaps it would be better to
use the usual abstract data type style.

## Functions

.fun.size: `BTSize()`. Since a Bit Table is an array of `Word`, the
size of a Bit Table of *n* bits is simply the number of words that it
takes to store *n* bits times the number of bytes in a word. This is
`ceiling(n/MPS_WORD_WIDTH)*sizeof(Word).` .fun.size.justify: Since
there can be at most `MPS_WORD_WIDTH - 1` unused bits in the entire
table, this satisfies .req.bit.

.index: The designs for the following functions use a decomposition
of a bit-index, `i`, into two parts, `iw`, `ib`.

- .index.word:
`iw`is the "word-index" which is the index into the word array of the word that contains the bit referred to by the bit-index.`iw = i / MPS_WORD_WIDTH`. Since`MPS_WORD_WIDTH`is a power of two, this is the same as`iw = i >> MPS_WORD_SHIFT`. The latter expression is used in the code. .index.word.justify: The compiler is more likely to generate good code without the divide. - .index.sub-word:
`ib`is the "sub-word-index" which is the index of the bit referred to by the bit-index in the above word.`ib = i % MPS_WORD_WIDTH`. Since`MPS_WORD_WIDTH`is a power of two, this is the same as`ib = i & ~((Word)-1<<MPS_WORD_SHIFT)`. The latter expression is used in the code. .index.sub-word.justify: The compiler is more likely to generate good code without the modulus.

.index.justify.dubious: The above justifications are dubious; gcc 2.7.2 (with -O2) running on a sparc (zaphod) produces identical code for the following two functions:

unsigned long f(unsigned long i) { return i/32 + i%32; } unsigned long g(unsigned long i) { return (i>>5) + (i&31); }

`ACT_ON_RANGE(base, limit, single_action, bits_action, word_action)`
`ACT_ON_RANGE_HIGH(base, limit, single_action, bits_action, word_action)`

.iteration: Many of the following functions involve iteration over
ranges in a Bit Table. This is performed on whole words rather than
individual bits, whenever possible (to improve speed). This is
implemented internally by the macros `ACT_ON_RANGE()` and
`ACT_ON_RANGE_HIGH()` for iterating over the range forwards and
backwards respectively. These macros do not form part of the interface
of the module, but are used extensively in the implementation. The
macros are often used even when speed is not an issue because it
simplifies the implementation and makes it more uniform. The iteration
macros take the parameters `base`, `limit`, `single_action`,
`bits_action`, and `word_action`:

`base`and`limit`are of type`Index`and define the range of the iteration.`single_action`is the name of a macro which will be used for iterating over bits in the table individually. This macro must take a single`Index`parameter corresponding to the index for the bit. The expansion of the macro must not contain`break`or`continue`because it will be called from within a loop from the expansion of`ACT_ON_RANGE()`.`bits_action`is the name of a macro which will be used for iterating over part-words. This macro must take parameters`wordIndex`,`base`,`limit`where`wordIndex`is the index into the array of words, and`base`and`limit`define a range of bits within the indexed word.`word_action`is the name of a macro which will be used for iterating over whole-words. This macro must take the single parameter`wordIndex`which is the index of the whole-word in the array. The expansion of the macro must not contain`break`or`continue`because it will be called from within a loop from the expansion of`ACT_ON_RANGE()`.

.iteration.exit: The expansion of the `single_action`,
`bits_action`, and `word_action` macros is allowed to contain
`return` or `goto` to terminate the iteration early. This is used
by the test (.fun.test.range.set) and find (.fun.find)
operations.

.iteration.small: If the range is sufficiently small only the
`single_action` macro will be used, as this is more efficient in
practice. The choice of what constitutes a small range is made
entirely on the basis of experimental performance results (and
currently, 1999-04-27, a "small range" is 6 bits or fewer. See
change.mps.epcore.brisling.160181 for some justification). Otherwise
(for a bigger range) `bits_action` is used on the part words at
either end of the range (or the whole of the range it if it fits in a
single word), and `word_action` is used on the words that comprise
the inner portion of the range.

The implementation of `ACT_ON_RANGE()` (and `ACT_ON_RANGE_HIGH()`) is
simple enough. It decides which macros it should invoke and invokes
them. `single_action` and `word_action` are invoked inside loops.

.fun.get: `BTGet()`. The bit-index will be converted in the usual
way, see .index. The relevant `Word` will be read out of the Bit
Table and shifted right by the sub-`Word` index (this brings the
relevant bit down to the least significant bit of the `Word`), the
`Word` will then be masked with 1, producing the answer.

.fun.set: `BTSet()`.

.fun.res: `BTRes()`.

In both `BTSet()` and `BTRes()` a mask is constructed by shifting 1
left by the sub-word-index (see .index). For `BTSet()` the mask is
or-ed into the relevant word (thereby setting a single bit). For
`BTRes()` the mask is inverted and and-ed into the relevant word
(thereby resetting a single bit).

.fun.set-range: `BTSetRange()`. `ACT_ON_RANGE()` (see .iteration
above) is used with macros that set a single bit (using `BTSet()`),
set a range of bits in a word, and set a whole word.

.fun.res-range: `BTResRange()` This is implemented similarly to
`BTSetRange()` (.fun.set-range) except using `BTRes()` and reverse
bit-masking logic.

.fun.test.range.set: `BTIsSetRange()`. `ACT_ON_RANGE()` (see
.iteration above) is used with macros that test whether all the
relevant bits are set; if some of the relevant bits are not set then
`return FALSE` is used to terminate the iteration early and return
from the `BTIsSetRange()` function. If the iteration completes then
`TRUE` is returned.

.fun.test.range.reset: `BTIsResRange()`. As for `BTIsSetRange()`
(.fun.test.range.set above) but testing whether the bits are reset.

.fun.test.range.same: `BTRangesSame()`. As for `BTIsSetRange()`
(.fun.test.range.set above) but testing whether corresponding
ranges in the two Bit Tables are the same. Note there are no speed
requirements, but `ACT_ON_RANGE()` is used for simplicity and
uniformity.

.fun.find: The four external find functions (`BTFindShortResRange()`,
`BTFindShortResRangeHigh()`, `BTFindLongResRange()`,
`BTFindLongResRangeHigh()`) simply call through to one of the two
internal functions: `BTFindResRange()` and `BTFindResRangeHigh()`.

`Bool BTFindResRange(Index *baseReturn, Index *limitReturn, BT bt, Index searchBase, Index searchLimit, Count minLength, Count maxLength)`
`Bool BTFindResRangeHigh(Index *baseReturn, Index *limitReturn, BT bt, Index searchBase, Index searchLimit, Count minLength, Count maxLength)`

There are two length parameters, one specifying the minimum length of
the range to be found, the other the maximum length. For
`BTFindShort()` and `BTFindShortHigh()`, `maxLength` is equal to
`minLength` when passed; for `BTFindLong()` and `BTFindLongHigh()`,
`maxLength` is equal to the maximum possible range, namely
``searchLimit - searchBase`.

.fun.find-res-range: `BTFindResRange()`. Iterate within the search
boundaries, identifying candidate ranges by searching for a reset bit.
The Boyer–Moore algorithm [Boyer_Moore_1977] is used (it's particularly
easy to implement when there are only two symbols, 0 and 1, in the
alphabet). For each candidate range, iterate backwards over the bits
from the end of the range towards the beginning. If a set bit is
found, this candidate has failed and a new candidate range is
selected. If when scanning for the set bit a range of reset bits was
found before finding the set bit, then this (small) range of reset
bits is used as the start of the next candidate. Additionally the end
of this small range of reset bits (the end of the failed candidate
range) is remembered so that we don't have to iterate over this range
again. But if no reset bits were found in the candidate range, then
iterate again (starting from the end of the failed candidate) to look
for one. If during the backwards search no set bit is found, then we
have found a sufficiently large range of reset bits; now extend the
valid range as far as possible up to the maximum length by iterating
forwards up to the maximum limit looking for a set bit. The iterations
make use of the `ACT_ON_RANGE()` and `ACT_ON_RANGE_HIGH()` macros,
which can use `goto` to effect an early termination of the iteration
when a set/reset (as appropriate) bit is found. The macro
`ACTION_FIND_SET_BIT()` is used in the iterations. It efficiently
finds the first (that is, with lowest index or weight) set bit in a
word or subword.

.fun.find-res-range.improve: Various other performance improvements have been suggested in the past, including some from request.epcore.170534. Here is a list of potential improvements which all sound plausible, but which have not led to performance improvements in practice:

- .fun.find-res-range.improve.step.partial: When the top index in a candidate range fails, skip partial words as well as whole words, using, for example, lookup tables.
- .fun.find-res-range.improve.lookup: When testing a candidate run, examine multiple bits at once (for example, 8), using lookup tables for (for example) index of first set bit, index of last set bit, number of reset bits, length of maximum run of reset bits.

.fun.find-res-range-high: `BTFindResRangeHigh()`. Exactly the same
algorithm as in `BTFindResRange()` (see .fun.find-res-range above),
but moving over the table in the opposite direction.

.fun.copy-simple-range: `BTCopyRange()`. Uses `ACT_ON_RANGE()` (see
.iteration above) with the obvious implementation. Should be fast.

.fun.copy-offset-range: `BTCopyOffsetRange()`. Uses a simple
iteration loop, reading bits with `BTGet()` and setting them with
`BTSet()`. Doesn't use `ACT_ON_RANGE()` because the two ranges will
not, in general, be similarly word-aligned.

.fun.copy-invert-range: `BTCopyInvertRange()`. Uses `ACT_ON_RANGE()`
(see .iteration above) with the obvious implementation. Should be
fast---although there are no speed requirements.

# Testing

.test: The following tests are available or have been used during development.

.test.btcv: `btcv.c`. This is supposed to be a coverage test,
intended to execute all of the module's code in at least some minimal
way.

.test.landtest: `landtest.c`. This is a test of the `Land`
module (design.mps.land) and its concrete implementations. It
compares the functional operation of a `Land` with that of a `BT`
so is a good functional test of either module.

.test.mmqa.120: MMQA_test_function!210.c. This is used because it has a fair amount of segment allocation and freeing so exercises the arena code that uses Bit Tables.

.test.bttest: `bttest.c`. This is an interactive test that can be
used to exercise some of the `BT` functionality by hand.

.test.dylan: It is possible to modify Dylan so that it uses Bit Tables more extensively. See change.mps.epcore.brisling.160181 TEST1 and TEST2.

# References

[Boyer_Moore_1977] | "A Fast String Searching Algorithm"; Robert S. Boyer and J. Strother Moore; Communications of the ACM 20(10):762–772; 1977; <http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~moore/publications/fstrpos.pdf>. |

# Document History

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