## Friday 14 September 2012

### Calculating the upper bound of the bitwise OR of two bounded variables

This post is the closely related the previous one, so I strongly suggest you read that one first.

The only difference with the previous post, is that this time, we're interested in the upper bound instead of the lower bound. In other words, evaluate
$$\max _{x \in [a, b], y \in [c, d]} x | y$$ The algorithm given by Warren in Hackers Delight is
unsigned maxOR(unsigned a, unsigned b,
unsigned c, unsigned d) {
unsigned m, temp;

m = 0x80000000;
while (m != 0) {
if (b & d & m) {
temp = (b - m) | (m - 1);
if (temp >= a) {b = temp; break;}
temp = (d - m) | (m - 1);
if (temp >= c) {d = temp; break;}
}
m = m >> 1;
}
return b | d;
}
And it's really the same sort of idea as the algorithm to calculate the minimum, except this time we're looking for a place where both b and d are one, so we can try to reset that bit and set all the bits to the right of it.

Warren notes that m can start at 0x80000000 >> nlz(b & d), and once again the same principle holds: it's enough to only look at those bits which are one in b & d, and they can be visited from high to low with bsr
static uint maxOR(uint a, uint b, uint c, uint d)
{
uint bits = b & d;
while (bits != 0)
{
uint m = 1u << bsr(bits);

uint temp;
temp = (b - m) | (m - 1);
if (temp >= a) { b = temp; break; }
temp = (d - m) | (m - 1);
if (temp >= c) { d = temp; break; }

bits ^= m;
}
return b | d;
}
And also, again, we can use that the bit we're looking for in b must be at or to the right of the leftmost bit in a ^ b (c ^ d for d), and that the selected bit doesn't actually have to be changed.
static uint maxOR(uint a, uint b, uint c, uint d)
{
uint resettableb = (a ^ b) == 0 ? 0 : 0xFFFFFFFF >> nlz(a ^ b);
uint resettabled = (c ^ d) == 0 ? 0 : 0xFFFFFFFF >> nlz(c ^ d);
uint candidatebits = b & d & (resettableb | resettabled);
uint target = candidatebits == 0 ? 0 : 1u << bsr(candidatebits);
uint targetb = target & resettableb;
uint targetd = target & resettabled & ~resettableb;
uint newb = b | (targetb == 0 ? 0 : targetb - 1);
uint newd = d | (targetd == 0 ? 0 : targetd - 1);
return newb | newd;
}
Most of the code should be obvious after a moments thought, but something interesting and non-symmetric happens for targetd. There, I had to make sure that a change is not made to both bounds (that would invalidate the whole idea of "being able to make the change without affecting that bit in the result"). In minOR that happened automatically because it looked at positions where the bits were different, so both targets couldn't both be non-zero. Here, one of the bounds has to be explicitly prioritized before the other.

Next post, maybe the same sort of thing but for bitwise AND. Then again, maybe not. I'll see what I can come up with.
edit: bitwise AND it is.