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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A virtual machine for interpreting programs in Static Single Assignment Form


Optimizing compilers, including those in virtual machines, commonly utilize Static Single Assignment Form as their intermediate representation, but interpreters typically implement stack-oriented virtual machines. This paper introduces an easily interpreted variant of Static Single Assignment Form. Each instruction of this Interpretable Static Single Assignment Form, including the Phi Instruction, has self-contained operational semantics facilitating efficient interpretation. Even the array manipulation instructions possess directly-executable single-assignment semantics. In addition, this paper describes the construction of a prototype virtual machine realizing Interpretable Static Single Assignment Form and reports on its performance.

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