A formal approach to code optimization

Alfred V. Aho, Ravi Sethi, J. D. Ullman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

1 Scopus citations


We examine from a formal point of view some problems which arise in code optimization and present some of the results which can come from such an approach. Specifically, a set of transformations which characterize optimization algorithms for straight line code is presented. Then we present an algorithm which produces machine code for evaluating arithmetic expressions on machines with N > 1 general purpose registers. We can prove that this algorithm produces optimal code when the cost criterion is the length of machine code generated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages15
StatePublished - Jul 27 1970
Externally publishedYes
Event1970 Symposium on Compiler Optimization - Urbana-Champaign, United States
Duration: Jul 27 1970Jul 28 1970


Other1970 Symposium on Compiler Optimization
CountryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A formal approach to code optimization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Aho, A. V., Sethi, R., & Ullman, J. D. (1970). A formal approach to code optimization. 86-100. Paper presented at 1970 Symposium on Compiler Optimization, Urbana-Champaign, United States. https://doi.org/10.1145/800028.808486