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Implementing Typed Intermediate Languages

Last modified: Tue Mar 14 19:30:25 2000 GMT.

Authors

Zhong Shao
Christopher League
Stefan Monnier

Abstract

Recent advances in compiler technology have demonstrated the benefits of using strongly typed intermediate languages to compile richly typed source languages (e.g., ML). A type-preserving compiler can use types to guide advanced optimizations and to help generate provably secure mobile code. Types, unfortunately, are very hard to represent and manipulate efficiently; a naive implementation can easily add exponential overhead to the compilation and execution of a program. This paper describes our experience with implementing the FLINT typed intermediate language in the SML/NJ production compiler. We observe that a type-preserving compiler will not scale to handle large types unless all of its type-preserving stages preserve the asymptotic time and space usage in representing and manipulating types. We present a series of novel techniques for achieving this property and give empirical evidence of their effectiveness.

Published

In Proc. 1998 ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming (ICFP'98), Baltimore, Maryland, pages 313-323, September 1998. ©1998 ACM.

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Copyright Notice

Copyright © 1998 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from Publications Dept, ACM Inc., fax +1(212)869-0481, or permissions@acm.org.

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