What Not to Do When Writing an Interpreter for Specialisation

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What Not to Do When Writing an Interpreter for Specialisation
A partial evaluator, given a program and a known "static" part of its input data, outputs a specialised or residual program in which computations depending only on the static data have been performed in advance. Ideally the partial evaluator would be a "black box" able to extract nontrivial static computations whenever possible; which never fails to terminate; and which always produces residual programs of reasonable size and maximal efficiency, so all possible static computations have been done. Practically speaking, partial evaluators often fall short of this goal; they sometimes loop, sometimes pessimise, and can explode code size. A partial evaluator is analogous to a spirited horse: while impressive results can be obtained when used well, the user must know what he/she is doing. Our thesis is that this knowledge can be communicated to new users of these tools. This paper presents a series of examples, concentrating on a quite broad and on the whole quite succes...
Neil D. Jones
Added 02 Nov 2010
Updated 02 Nov 2010
Type Conference
Year 1996
Authors Neil D. Jones
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