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What is restrict qualifier in C? please provide detail with example?

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What is restrict qualifier in C? please provide detail with example?
posted Mar 6, 2015 by anonymous

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1 Answer

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Each individual type in the C type system has several qualified versions of that type, corresponding to one, two, or all three of the const, volatile, and, for pointers to object types, restrict qualifiers.
As of the C99 standard, restrict is a keyword that can be used in pointer declarations. The restrict keyword is a declaration of intent given by the programmer to the compiler. It says that for the lifetime of the pointer, only the pointer itself or a value directly derived from it (such as pointer + 1) will be used to access the object to which it points. This limits the effects of pointer aliasing, aiding optimizations. If the declaration of intent is not followed and the object is accessed by an independent pointer, this will result in undefined behavior. The use of the restrict keyword in C, in principle, allows non-obtuse C to achieve the same performance as the same program written in Fortran.
During each execution of a block in which a restricted pointer P is declared (typically each execution of a function body in which P is a function parameter), if some object that is accessible through P (directly or indirectly) is modified, by any means, then all accesses to that object (both reads and writes) in that block must occur through P (directly or indirectly), otherwise the behavior is undefined:

void f(int n, int * restrict p, int * restrict q)
{
    while(n-- > 0)
        *p++ = *q++; // none of the objects modified through *p is the same
                     // as any of the objects read through *q
                     // compiler free to optimize, vectorize, page map, etc.
}
void g(void)
{
    extern int d[100];
    f(50, d + 50, d); // OK
    f(50, d + 1, d); // Undefined behavior: d[1] is accessed through both p and q in f
}

Reference: http://en.cppreference.com/w/c/language/restrict

answer Apr 27, 2016 by Shivam Kumar Pandey
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