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Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2021 19:31:38 -0400
From: Liam Beguin
To: Jonathan Cameron
Cc: Peter Rosin , lars@metafoo.de,
linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org, linux-iio@vger.kernel.org,
devicetree@vger.kernel.org, robh+dt@kernel.org
Subject: Re: [PATCH v8 09/14] iio: afe: rescale: fix accuracy for small
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<20210830122724.2722c086@jic23-huawei>
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On Mon, Aug 30, 2021 at 12:27:24PM +0100, Jonathan Cameron wrote:
> On Sun, 29 Aug 2021 00:41:21 -0400
> Liam Beguin wrote:
>
> > On Thu, Aug 26, 2021 at 11:53:14AM +0200, Peter Rosin wrote:
> > > On 2021-08-24 22:28, Liam Beguin wrote:
> > > > On Mon Aug 23, 2021 at 00:18:55 +0200, Peter Rosin wrote:
> > > >> [I started to write an answer to your plans in the v7 thread, but didn't
> > > >> have time to finish before v8 appeared...]
> > > >>
> > > >> On 2021-08-20 21:17, Liam Beguin wrote:
> > > >>> From: Liam Beguin
> > > >>>
> > > >>> The approximation caused by integer divisions can be costly on smaller
> > > >>> scale values since the decimal part is significant compared to the
> > > >>> integer part. Switch to an IIO_VAL_INT_PLUS_NANO scale type in such
> > > >>> cases to maintain accuracy.
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > > Hi Peter,
> > > >
> > > > Thanks for taking time to look at this in detail again. I really
> > > > appreciate all the feedback you've provided.
> > > >
> > > >> The conversion to int-plus-nano may also carry a cost of accuracy.
> > > >>
> > > >> 90/1373754273 scaled by 261/509 is 3.359e-8, the old code returns 3.348e-8,
> > > >> but the new one gets you 3.3e-8 (0.000000033, it simply cannot provide more
> > > >> digits). So, in this case you lose precision with the new code.
> > > >>
> > > >> Similar problem with 100 / 2^30 scaled by 3782/7000. It is 5.032e-8, the old
> > > >> code returns 5.029e-8, but the new one gets you the inferior 5.0e-8.
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > > I see what you mean here.
> > > > I added test cases with these values to see exactly what we get.
> > >
> > > Excellent!
> > >
> > > >
> > > > Expected rel_ppm < 0, but
> > > > rel_ppm == 1000000
> > > >
> > > > real=0.000000000
> > > > expected=0.000000033594
> > > > # iio_rescale_test_scale: not ok 42 - v8 - 90/1373754273 scaled by 261/509
> > > > Expected rel_ppm < 0, but
> > > > rel_ppm == 1000000
> > > >
> > > > real=0.000000000
> > > > expected=0.000000050318
> > > > # iio_rescale_test_scale: not ok 43 - v8 - 100/1073741824 scaled by 3782/7000
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > The main issue is that the first two examples return 0 which night be worst
> > > > that loosing a little precision.
> > >
> > > They shouldn't return zero?
> > >
> > > Here's the new code quoted from the test robot (and assuming
> > > a 64-bit machine, thus ignoring the 32-bit problem on line 56).
> > >
> > > 36 case IIO_VAL_FRACTIONAL:
> > > 37 case IIO_VAL_FRACTIONAL_LOG2:
> > > 38 tmp = (s64)*val * 1000000000LL;
> > > 39 tmp = div_s64(tmp, rescale->denominator);
> > > 40 tmp *= rescale->numerator;
> > > 41
> > > 42 tmp = div_s64_rem(tmp, 1000000000LL, &rem);
> > > 43 *val = tmp;
> > > 44
> > > 45 /*
> > > 46 * For small values, the approximation can be costly,
> > > 47 * change scale type to maintain accuracy.
> > > 48 *
> > > 49 * 100 vs. 10000000 NANO caps the error to about 100 ppm.
> > > 50 */
> > > 51 if (scale_type == IIO_VAL_FRACTIONAL)
> > > 52 tmp = *val2;
> > > 53 else
> > > 54 tmp = 1 << *val2;
> > > 55
> > > > 56 if (abs(rem) > 10000000 && abs(*val / tmp) < 100) {
> > > 57 *val = div_s64_rem(*val, tmp, &rem2);
> > > 58
> > > 59 *val2 = div_s64(rem, tmp);
> > > 60 if (rem2)
> > > 61 *val2 += div_s64(rem2 * 1000000000LL, tmp);
> > > 62
> > > 63 return IIO_VAL_INT_PLUS_NANO;
> > > 64 }
> > > 65
> > > 66 return scale_type;
> > >
> > > When I go through the above manually, I get:
> > >
> > > line
> > > 38: tmp = 90000000000 ; 90 * 1000000000
> > > 39: tmp = 176817288 ; 90000000000 / 509
> > > 40: tmp = 46149312168 ; 176817288 * 261
> > > 42: rem = 149312168 ; 46149312168 % 1000000000
> > > tmp = 46 ; 46149312168 / 1000000000
> > > 43: *val = 46
> > > 51: if () [yes]
> > > 52: tmp = 1373754273
> > > 56: if (149312168 > 10000000 && 46/1373754273 < 100) [yes && yes]
> > > 57: rem2 = 46 ; 46 % 1373754273
> > > *val = 0 ; 46 / 1373754273
> > > 59: *val2 = 0 ; 149312168 / 1373754273
> > > 60: if 46 [yes]
> > > 61: *val2 = 33 ; 0 + 46 * 1000000000 / 1373754273
> > > 63: return [0.000000033]
> > >
> > > and
> > >
> > > line
> > > 38: tmp = 100000000000 ; 100 * 1000000000
> > > 39: tmp = 14285714 ; 100000000000 / 7000
> > > 40: tmp = 54028570348 ; 176817288 * 3782
> > > 42: rem = 28570348 ; 54028570348 % 1000000000
> > > tmp = 54 ; 54028570348 / 1000000000
> > > 43: *val = 54
> > > 51: if () [no]
> > > 54: tmp = 1073741824 ; 1 << 30
> > > 56: if (28570348 > 10000000 && 54/1073741824 < 100) [yes && yes]
> > > 57: rem2 = 54 ; 54 % 1073741824
> > > *val = 0 ; 54 / 1073741824
> > > 59: *val2 = 0 ; 28570348 / 1073741824
> > > 60: if 46 [yes]
> > > 61: *val2 = 50 ; 0 + 54 * 1000000000 / 1073741824
> > > 63: return [0.000000050]
> > >
> > > Why do you get zero, what am I missing?
> >
> > So... It turns out, I swapped schan and rescaler values which gives us:
> >
> > numerator = 90
> > denominator = 1373754273
> > schan_val = 261
> > schan_val2 = 509
> >
> > line
> > 38: tmp = 261000000000 ; 261 * 1000000000
> > 39: tmp = 189 ; 261000000000 / 1373754273
> > 40: tmp = 17010 ; 189 * 90
> > 42: rem = 17010 ; 17010 % 1000000000
> > tmp = 0 ; 17010 / 1000000000
> > 43: *val = 0
> > 51: if () [yes]
> > 52: tmp = 509
> > 56: if (17010 > 10000000 && 0/509 < 100) [no && yes]
> > 66: *val = 0
> > *val2 = 509
> > return [0.000000000]
> >
> > Swapping back the values, I get the same results as you!
> >
> > Also, replacing line 56 from the snippet above with
> >
> > - if (abs(rem) > 10000000 && abs(div64_s64(*val, tmp)) < 100) {
> > + if (abs(rem)) {
> >
> > Fixes these precision errors. It also prevents us from returning
> > different scales if we swap the two divisions (schan and rescaler
> > parameters).
> >
> > >
> > > > At the same time, I wonder how "real" these values would be. Having such a
> > > > small scale would mean having a large raw value. With 16-bits of resolution,
> > > > that would still give about (1 << 16) * 3.3594e-08 = 0.002201616 mV.
> > >
> > > If we cap at 16 bits it sounds as if we probably erase some precision
> > > provided by 24-bit ADCs. We have drivers for those. I didn't really
> > > dig that deep in the driver offerings, but I did find a AD7177 ADC
> > > (but no driver) which is 32-bit. If we don't have any 32-bit ADC driver
> > > yet, it's only a matter of time, methinks. I have personally worked
> > > with 24-bit DACs, and needed every last bit...
> > >
> >
> > I was only using 16-bits as an example, but I guess you're right, these
> > values do start to make sense when you're looking at 24-bit and 32-bit
> > ADCs.
>
> I'd be tempted to be cynical on this. High resolution devices are rare
> as frankly building a low enough noise board to take advantage is hard.
> Known users of the AFE infrastructure also rare and so as long as we don't
> break any 'current' users via loss of accuracy I'm not that bothered if
> we aren't perfect for 32 bit devices.
Hi Jonathan,
> I'm guessing we can sometimes sanity check if an overflow will occur
> at probe? Perhaps do that where possible and print something obvious
> to the log. Then someone who needs it can figure out the magic maths
> to do this for those high resolution devices!
Good point, I'll see if I can add a check that could help for this.
> > > > We could try to get more precision out of the first division
> > > >
> > > > tmp = (s64)*val * 1000000000LL;
> > > > tmp = div_s64(tmp, rescale->denominator);
> > > > tmp *= rescale->numerator;
> > > > tmp = div_s64_rem(tmp, 1000000000LL, &rem);
> > > >
> > > > But then, we'd be more likely to overflow. What would be a good middle
> > > > ground?
> > >
> > > I don't think we can settle for anything that makes any existing case
> > > worse. That's a regression waiting to happen, and what to do then?
> > >
> >
> > Agreed, and looking at this more, there's still ways to improve without
> > having to compromise.
> > Hopefully adding the test suite will make it easier to catch potential
> > regressions in the future :-)
>
> Absolutely. Have that test suite is great :)
>
> >
> > > >> I'm also wondering if it is wise to not always return the same scale type?
> > > >> What happens if we want to extend this driver to scale a buffered channel?
> > > >> Honest question! I don't know, but I fear that this patch may make that
> > > >> step more difficult to take??
> > > >
> > > > That's a fair point, I didn't know it could be a problem to change
> > > > scale.
> > >
> > > I don't *know* either? But it would not be completely alien to me if
> > > the buffered case assumes "raw" numbers, and that there is little room
> > > for "meta-data" with each sample.
>
> Spot on. Meta data is a pain so an early design decision in IIO was to
> not support it in band.
>
> > >
> > > >>
> > > >> Jonathan, do you have any input on that?
> > > >>
> > > >> Some more examples of problematic properties of this patch:
> > > >>
> > > >> 21837/24041 scaled by 427/24727 is 0.01568544672, you get 0.015685446. Ok.
> > > >> But if you reduce the input number, gcd(21837, 24041) -> 29, you have:
> > > >> 753/829 scaled by 427/24727 which still is 0.01568544672 of course, but in
> > > >> this case you get 0.01568154403. Which is less precise. It is unfortunate
> > > >> that input that should be easier to scale may yield worse results.
> > > >
> > > > Expected rel_ppm < 0, but
> > > > rel_ppm == 0
> > > >
> > > > real=0.015685445
> > > > expected=0.015685446719
> > > > # iio_rescale_test_scale: not ok 44 - v8 - 21837/24041 scaled by 427/24727
> > > > Expected rel_ppm < 0, but
> > > > rel_ppm == 0
> > > >
> > > > real=0.015685445
> > > > expected=0.015685446719
> > > > # iio_rescale_test_scale: not ok 45 - v8 - 753/829 scaled by 427/24727
> > > >
> > > > It seems like both cases are rounded and give the same result. I do get
> > > > your point though, values that could be simplified might loose more
> > > > precision because of this change in scale type.
> > >
> > > I aimed at this:
> > >
> > > line
> > > 38: tmp = 21837000000000 ; 21837 * 1000000000
> > > 39: tmp = 883123710 ; 21837000000000 / 24727
> > > 40: tmp = 377093824170 ; 883123710 * 427
> > > 42: rem = 93824170 ; 377093824170 % 1000000000
> > > tmp = 377 ; 377093824170 / 1000000000
> > > 43: *val = 377
> > > 51: if () [yes]
> > > 52: tmp = 24041
> > > 56: if (149312168 > 10000000 && 377/24041 < 100) [yes && yes]
> > > 57: rem2 = 377 ; 377 % 24041
> > > *val = 0 ; 377 / 24041
> > > 59: *val2 = 3902 ; 93824170 / 24041
> > > 60: if 377 [yes]
> > > 61: *val2 = 15685446 ; 3902 + 377 * 1000000000 / 24041
> > > 63: return [0.0015685446]
> > >
> > > Why does the test output a 5 at the end and not a 6? It's all
> > > integer arithmetic so there is no room for rounding issues.
> > >
> > > and
> > >
> > > line
> > > 38: tmp = 753000000000 ; 753 * 1000000000
> > > 39: tmp = 30452541 ; 753000000000 / 24727
> > > 40: tmp = 13003235007 ; 30452541 * 427
> > > 42: rem = 3235007 ; 13003235007 % 1000000000
> > > tmp = 13 ; 13003235007 / 1000000000
> > > 43: *val = 13
> > > 51: if () [yes]
> > > 52: tmp = 829
> > > 56: if (3235007 > 10000000 && 13/829 < 100) [no && yes]
> > > 66: return [13/829 ~= 0.015681544]
> > >
> > > 0.015681544 is pretty different from 0.015685446
> > >
> > > Again, I don't understand what's going on.
> > >
> > > >>
> > > >> 760/1373754273 scaled by 427/2727 is 8.662580e-8, and 8.662393e-8 is
> > > >> returned. Which is perhaps not great accuracy, but such is life. However.
> > > >> 761/1373754273 scaled by 427/2727 is 8.673978e-8, which is of course
> > > >> greater, but 8.6e-8 is returned. Which is less than what was returned for
> > > >> the smaller 760/1373754273 value above.
> > > >
> > > > Expected rel_ppm < 0, but
> > > > rel_ppm == 1000000
> > > >
> > > > real=0.000000000
> > > > expected=0.000000086626
> > > > # iio_rescale_test_scale: not ok 46 - v8 - 760/1373754273 scaled by 427/2727
> > > > Expected rel_ppm < 0, but
> > > > rel_ppm == 1000000
> > > >
> > > > real=0.000000000
> > > > expected=0.000000086740
> > > > # iio_rescale_test_scale: not ok 47 - v8 - 761/1373754273 scaled by 427/2727
> > > >
> > > > We fall into the same case as the first two examples where the real value is
> > > > null.
> > >
> > > I aimed at
> > >
> > > line
> > > 38: tmp = 760000000000 ; 760 * 1000000000
> > > 39: tmp = 278694536 ; 760000000000 / 2727
> > > 40: tmp = 119002566872 ; 278694536 * 427
> > > 42: rem = 2566872 ; 119002566872 % 1000000000
> > > tmp = 119 ; 119002566872 / 1000000000
> > > 43: *val = 119
> > > 51: if () [yes]
> > > 52: tmp = 1373754273
> > > 56: if (2566872 > 10000000 && 119/1373754273 < 100) [no && yes]
> > > 66: return [119/1373754273 ~= 0.000000086624]
> > >
> > > and
> > >
> > > line
> > > 38: tmp = 761000000000 ; 761 * 1000000000
> > > 39: tmp = 279061239 ; 761000000000 / 2727
> > > 40: tmp = 119159149053 ; 279061239 * 427
> > > 42: rem = 159149053 ; 119159149053 % 1000000000
> > > tmp = 119 ; 119159149053 / 1000000000
> > > 43: *val = 119
> > > 51: if () [yes]
> > > 52: tmp = 1373754273
> > > 56: if (159149053 > 10000000 && 119/1373754273 < 100) [yes && yes]
> > > 57: rem2 = 119 ; 119 % 1373754273
> > > *val = 0 ; 119 / 1373754273
> > > 59: *val2 = 0 ; 159149053 / 1373754273
> > > 60: if 119 [yes]
> > > 61: *val2 = 86 ; 0 + 119 * 1000000000 / 1373754273
> > > 63: return [0.000000086]
> > >
> > > > Considering these null values and the possible issue of not always having the
> > > > same scale type, would it be better to always return an IIO_VAL_INT_PLUS_NANO
> > > > scale?
> > >
> > > No, that absolutely kills the precision for small values that are much
> > > better off as-is. The closer you get to zero, the more the conversion
> > > to int-plus-nano hurts, relatively speaking.
> >
> > I'm not sure I understand what you mean. The point of switching to
> > IIO_VAL_INT_PLUS_NANO at the moment is to get more precision on small
> > values. Am I missing something?
> >
> > >
> > > >>
> > > >> Some of these objections are related to what I talked about in v7, i.e.:
> > > >>
> > > >> Also, changing the calculation so that you get more precision whenever that is
> > > >> possible feels dangerous. I fear linearity breaks and that bigger input cause
> > > >> smaller output due to rounding if the bigger value has to be rounded down, but
> > > >> that this isn't done carefully enough. I.e. attempting to return an exact
> > > >> fraction and only falling back to the old code when that is not possible is
> > > >> still not safe since the old code isn't careful enough about rounding. I think
> > > >> it is really important that bigger input cause bigger (or equal) output.
> > > >> Otherwise you might trigger instability in feedback loops should a rescaler be
> > > >> involved in a some regulator function.
> > > >
> > > > I think I didn't read this closely enought the first time around. I agree that
> > > > bigger inputs should cause bigger outputs, especially with these rounding
> > > > errors. My original indention was to have all scales withing a tight margin,
> > > > that's why I ended up going with ppm for the test cases.
> > > >
> > > >>
> > > >> Sadly, I see no elegant solution to your problem.
> > > >>
> > > >> One way forward may be to somehow provide information on the expected
> > > >> input range, and then determine the scaling method based on that
> > > >> instead of the individual values. But, as indicated, there's no real
> > > >> elegance in that. It can't be automated...
> > > >
> > > > I guess the issue with that is that unless it's a user parameter, we're
> > > > always going go have these little islands you mentioned in v7...
> > > >
> > > > Would it be viable to guaranty a MICRO precision instead of NANO, and
> > > > not have the range parameter?
> > >
> > > I don't get what you mean here? Returning int-plus-micro can't be it,
> > > since that would be completely pointless and only make it easier to
> > > trigger accuracy problems of the conversion. However, I feel that any
> > > attempt to shift digits but still having the same general approch will
> > > just change the size and position of the islands, and thus not fix the
> > > fundamental problematic border between land and water.
> >
> > My apologies, discard this last comment. I was suggesting to guaranty
> > less precision, but consistent over the full range. I don't believe
> > that's a viable option.
>
> Keep up the good work! I'm looking forward to this going in (hopefully
> shortly!)
Thanks again for the encouragement, it's been really nice working with
all of you!
Liam
> Jonathan
>
> >
> > Thanks again for your time,
> > Liam
> >
> > >
> > > Cheers,
> > > Peter
*snip*