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Title:Instruction Set Design for Support of High-Level Languages
Author(s):Bose, Pradip
Department / Program:Electrical Engineering
Discipline:Electrical Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Engineering, Electronics and Electrical
Abstract:Conventional instruction sets or directly interpretable languages (DILs) have not been designed with high-level languages (HLLs) in mind. The resulting semantic gap is known to cause significant inefficiencies in space and time resources in execution. Direct interpretation of HLLs is not the solution, because it is too complex and inefficient. The alternative is to precede the interpretation phase by a compilation phase in which the HLL is translated to a "suitable" DIL which is then directly interpreted. The current trend is toward the use of HLLs for all programming tasks. It is no longer appopriate to design a machine which presupposes a user interface to the DIL, but only to the HLL. The modern design problem is to derive a space-time efficient DIL for a HLL processing system.
In this dissertation, we present our approach to the problem of designing well-matched, space-time efficient DILs. A systematic, syntax- and semantics-directed DIL design methodology is presented. It calls for an incremental transformation of the source HLL, until a suitable target DIL is obtained. The "suitability" of a DIL is determined by a set of space, time and interpretability metrics. At the heart of the methodology is a canonic set of language transformations. A selectable subset of the transformations may be applied to the source HLL specification to derive a target DIL. Such a systematically derived DIL conforms to a syntax-directed translation scheme during the compilation phase.
An experimental study, involving several systematically derived DILs is carried out in order to characterize the relative merits and disadvantages of various sequences of transformations. Various space, time and interpretability trade-offs implied by the transformations are studied. As a result of this study, it is apparent that various features in a DIL, e.g., the existence of tags and stacks, can be directly linked to the semantic requirements of the HLL. Our study indicates that a good DIL is one which is a relatively low level DIL, with little or no syntax. In such a DIL, context-sensitivity of semantic tokens is totally absent, with attributes for semantic actions available precisely at points where they are needed.
A new method of encoding DILs, called syntax-based encoding, is proposed. This scheme offers substantial code compaction without adding substantially to the complexity of the decoding process.
Issue Date:1983
Description:187 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8409867
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1983

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