Implementing Typed Intermediate Languages
Last modified: Tue Mar 14 19:30:25 2000 GMT.
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.
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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