Sun Studio 12 Update 1: Fortran User's Guide The ASSUME Directives

The ASSUME directive gives the compiler hints about conditions at certain points in the program. These assertions can help the compiler to guide its optimization strategies. The programmer can also use these directives to check the validity of the program during execution. There are two formats for ASSUME.

The syntax of the “point assertion” ASSUME is

C$PRAGMA ASSUME (expression [,probability])

Alternatively, the “range assertion” ASSUME is:

C$PRAGMA BEGIN ASSUME [expression [, probability)
     block of statements

Use the point assertion form to state a condition that the compiler can assume at that point in the program. Use the range assertion form to state a condition that holds over the enclosed range of statements. The BEGIN and END pairs in a range assertion must be properly nested.

The required expression is a boolean expression that can be evaluated at that point in the program that does not involve user-defined operators or function calls except for those listed below.

The optional probability value is a real number from 0.0 to 1.0, or an integer 0 or 1, giving the probability of the expression being true. A probability of 0.0 (or 0) means never true, and 1.0 (or 1) means always true. If not specified, the expression is considered to be true with a high probability, but not a certainty. An assertion with a probability other than exactly 0 or 1 is a non-certain assertion. Similarly, an assertion with a probability expressed exactly as 0 or 1 is a certain assertion.

For example, if the programmer knows that the length of a DO loop is always greater than 10,000, giving this hint to the compiler can enable it to produce better code. The following loop will generally run faster with the ASSUME pragma than without it.

C$PRAGMA BEGIN ASSUME(__tripcount().GE.10000,1) !! a big loop
        do i = j, n
           a(i) = a(j) + 1
        end do

Two intrinsic functions are available for use specifically in the expression clause of the ASSUME directive. (Note that their names are prefixed by two underscores.)


Use in point assertions placed immediately before a branching statement with a boolean controlling expression. It yields the same result as the boolean expression controlling the branching statement. 


Yields the trip count of the loop immediately following or enclosed by the directive. When used in a point assertion, the statement following the directive must be the first line of a DO. When used in a range assertion, it applies to the outermost enclosed loop.

This list of special intrinsics might expand in future releases.

Use with the -xassume_control compiler option. (See 3.4.111 –xassume_control[=keywords]) For example, when compiled with -xassume_control=check, the example above would produce a warning if the trip count ever became less than 10,000.

Compiling with -xassume_control=retrospective will generate a summary report at program termination of the truth or falsity of all assertions. See the f95 man page for details on -xassume_control.

Another example:

C$PRAGMA ASSUME(__tripcount.GT.0,1)
       do i=n0, nx

Compiling the above example with -xassume_control=check will issue a runtime warning should the loop not be taken because the trip count is zero or negative.