ACM Sigplan Workshop on Partial Evaluation and Semantics-based Program Manipulation (PEPM 2002), Portland (USA). ACM Press, pp. 56-62, 2002.
The aim of many program transformers is to improve efficiency while preserving program meaning. Correctness issues have been dealt with extensively. However, very little attention has been paid to formally establish the improvements achieved by these transformers. In this work, we introduce the scheme of a narrowing-driven partial evaluator enhanced with abstract costs. They are "abstract" in the sense that they measure the number of basic operations performed during a computation rather than actual execution times. Thus, we have available a setting in which one can discuss the effects of the program transformer in a precise framework and, moreover, to quantify these effects. Our scheme may serve as a basis to develop speedup analyses and cost-guided transformers. An implementation of the cost-augmented specializer has been undertaken, which demonstrates the practicality of our approach.
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