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Scopes Describe Frames: A Uniform Model for Memory Layout in Dynamic Semantics

Authors Casper Bach Poulsen, Pierre Néron, Andrew Tolmach, Eelco Visser

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Casper Bach Poulsen
Pierre Néron
Andrew Tolmach
Eelco Visser

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Casper Bach Poulsen, Pierre Néron, Andrew Tolmach, and Eelco Visser. Scopes Describe Frames: A Uniform Model for Memory Layout in Dynamic Semantics. In 30th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP 2016). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 56, pp. 20:1-20:26, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)


Semantic specifications do not make a systematic connection between the names and scopes in the static structure of a program and memory layout, and access during its execution. In this paper, we introduce a systematic approach to the alignment of names in static semantics and memory in dynamic semantics, building on the scope graph framework for name resolution. We develop a uniform memory model consisting of frames that instantiate the scopes in the scope graph of a program. This provides a language-independent correspondence between static scopes and run-time memory layout, and between static resolution paths and run-time memory access paths. The approach scales to a range of binding features, supports straightforward type soundness proofs, and provides the basis for a language-independent specification of sound reachability-based garbage collection.
  • Dynamic semantics
  • scope graphs
  • memory layout
  • type soundness
  • operational semantics


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