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

Casper Bach Poulsen, Pierre NĂ©ron, Andrew P. Tolmach, Eelco Visser. Scopes Describe Frames: A Uniform Model for Memory Layout in Dynamic Semantics. In Shriram Krishnamurthi, Benjamin S. Lerner, editors, 30th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, ECOOP 2016, July 18-22, 2016, Rome, Italy. Volume 56 of LIPIcs, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum fuer Informatik, 2016. [doi]


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.

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