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A Type-Based Compiler for Standard ML

Last modified: Tue Mar 14 19:34:40 2000 GMT.


Zhong Shao
Andrew Appel


Compile-time type information should be valuable in efficient compilation of statically typed functional languages such as Standard ML. But how should type-directed compilation work in real compilers, and how much performance gain will type-based optimizations yield? In order to support more efficient data representations and gain more experience about type-directed compilation, we have implemented a new type-based middle end and back end for the Standard ML of New Jersey compiler. We describe the basic design of the new compiler, identify a number of practical issues, and then compare the performance of our new compiler with the old non-type-based compiler. Our measurement shows that a combination of several simple type-based optimizations reduces heap allocation by 36%; and improves the already-efficient code generated by the old non-type-based compiler by about 19% on a DECstation 5000.


In Proc. 1995 ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation, La Jolla, CA, pages 116-129, June 1995. ©1995 ACM.


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