Quality and speed in linear-scan register allocation

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Quality and speed in linear-scan register allocation

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Title: Quality and speed in linear-scan register allocation
Author: Traub, Omri; Holloway, Glenn H.; Smith, Michael D.

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Citation: Traub, Omri, Glenn Holloway, and Michael D. Smith. 1998. Quality and Speed in Linear-scan Register Allocation. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN 1998 Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation, Montreal, QC, June 17-19, 1998: 142-151. doi:10.1145/277650.277714
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Abstract: A linear-scan algorithm directs the global allocation of register candidates to registers based on a simple linear sweep over the program being compiled. This approach to register allocation makes sense for systems, such as those for dynamic compilation, where compilation speed is important. In contrast, most commercial and research optimizing compilers rely on a graph-coloring approach to global register allocation. In this paper, we compare the performance of a linear-scan method against a modern graph-coloring method. We implement both register allocators within the Machine SUIF extension of the Stanford SUIF compiler system. Experimental results show that linear scan is much faster than coloring on benchmarks with large numbers of register candidates. We also describe improvements to the linear-scan approach that do not change its linear character, but allow it to produce code of a quality near to that produced by graph coloring.
Published Version: doi:10.1145/277650.277714
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Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:34325454
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