# source:doc/aaron_comp_II/comp_II.tex@0b1376f

aaron-thesisarm-ehcleanup-dtorsctordeferred_resndemanglerjacob/cs343-translationjenkins-sandboxmemorynew-astnew-ast-unique-exprnew-envno_listpersistent-indexerresolv-newwith_gc
Last change on this file since 0b1376f was 0b1376f, checked in by Aaron Moss <a3moss@…>, 6 years ago

Initial commit of Aaron's Comp II Research Proposal

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9\documentclass[twoside,11pt]{article}
10
11%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
12
13% Latex packages used in the document (copied from CFA user manual).
14\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}                                % allow Latin1 (extended ASCII) characters
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24\usepackage{listings}                                                                   % format program code
25\usepackage[flushmargin]{footmisc}                                              % support label/reference in footnote
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39%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
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43%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
44
45\title{\Huge
46\vspace*{1in}
47Efficient Type Resolution in \CFA \\
48\vspace*{0.25in}
49\huge
50PhD Comprehensive II Research Proposal
51\vspace*{1in}
52}
53
54\author{\huge
55\vspace*{0.1in}
56Aaron Moss \\
57\Large Cheriton School of Computer Science \\
58\Large University of Waterloo
59}
60
61\date{
62\today
63}
64
65%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
66
67\begin{document}
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75\maketitle
76\thispagestyle{empty}
77
78\clearpage
79\thispagestyle{plain}
80\pdfbookmark[1]{Contents}{section}
81\tableofcontents
82
83\clearpage
84\thispagestyle{plain}
85\pagenumbering{arabic}
86
87\section{Introduction}
88
89\CFA\footnote{Pronounced C-for-all'', and written \CFA, CFA, or \CFL.} is an evolutionary modernization of the C programming language currently being designed and built at the University of Waterloo by a team led by Peter Buhr.
90Features added to C by \CFA include name overloading, user-defined operators, parametric-polymorphic routines, and type constructors and destructors, among others.
91These features make \CFA significantly more powerful and expressive than C, but impose a significant compile-time cost to implement, particularly in the expression resolver, which must evaluate the typing rules of a much more complex type system.
92The primary goal of this proposed research project is to develop a sufficiently performant expression resolution algorithm, experimentally validate its performance, and integrate it into \Index*{CFA-CC}, the \CFA reference compiler.
93Secondary goals of this project include the development of various new language features for \CFA; parametric-polymorphic (generic'') types have already been designed and implemented, and reference types and user-defined conversions are under design consideration.
94The experimental performance-testing architecture for resolution algorithms will also be used to determine the compile-time cost of adding such new features to the \CFA type system.
95
96\section{\CFA}
97
98To make the scope of the proposed expression resolution problem more explicit, it is necessary to define the features of both C and \CFA (both current and proposed) which affect this algorithm.
99In some cases the interactions of multiple features make expression resolution a significantly more complex problem than any individual feature would; in others a feature which does not by itself add any complexity to expression resolution will trigger previously rare edge cases much more frequently.
100
101\subsection{Polymorphic Functions}
102The most significant feature \CFA adds is parametric-polymorphic functions.
103Such functions are written using a ©forall© clause, the feature that gave the language its name:
104\begin{lstlisting}
105forall(otype T)
106T identity(T x) {
107    return x;
108}
109
110int forty_two = identity(42); // T is bound to int, forty_two == 42
111\end{lstlisting}
114The current \CFA implementation passes the size and alignment of the type represented by an ©otype© parameter, as well as an assignment operator, constructor, copy constructor \& destructor.
115
116Since bare polymorphic types do not provide a great range of available operations, \CFA also provides a \emph{type assertion} mechanism to provide further information about a type:
117\begin{lstlisting}
118forall(otype T | { T twice(T); })
119T four_times(T x) {
120    return twice( twice(x) );
121}
122
123double twice(double d) { return d * 2.0; } // (1)
124
125double magic = four_times(10.5); // T is bound to double, uses (1) to satisfy type assertion
126\end{lstlisting}
127These type assertions may be either variable or function declarations which depend on a polymorphic type variable.
129
130Monomorphic specializations of polymorphic functions can themselves be used to satisfy type assertions.
132\begin{lstlisting}
133forall(otype S | { S ?+?(S, S); })
134S twice(S x) { return x + x; }  // (2)
135\end{lstlisting}
138
139Finding appropriate functions to satisfy type assertions is essentially a recursive case of expression resolution, as it takes a name (that of the type assertion) and attempts to match it to a suitable declaration in the current scope.
140If a polymorphic function can be used to satisfy one of its own type assertions, this recursion may not terminate, as it is possible that function will be examined as a candidate for its own type assertion unboundedly repeatedly.
141To avoid infinite loops, the current \Index*{CFA-CC} compiler imposes a fixed limit on the possible depth of recursion, similar to that employed by most \Index*[C++]{\CC} compilers for template expansion; this restriction means that there are some semantically well-typed expressions which cannot be resolved by {CFA-CC}.
142One area of potential improvement this project proposes to investigate is the possibility of using the compiler's knowledge of the current set of declarations to make a more precise judgement of when further type assertion satisfaction recursion will not produce a well-typed expression.
143
145In C, no more than one function or variable in the same scope may share the same name, and function or variable declarations in inner scopes with the same name as a declaration in an outer scope hide the outer declaration.
146This makes finding the proper declaration to match to a function application or variable expression a simple matter of symbol table lookup, which can be easily and efficiently implemented.
147\CFA, on the other hand, allows overloading of variable and function names % TODO talk about uses for this
148
149\subsection{Implicit Conversions}
150% TODO also discuss possibility of user-generated implicit conversions here
151
152\subsection{Generic Types}
153
154\subsection{Multiple Return Values}
155
156\subsection{Reference Types}
157% TODO discuss rvalue-to-lvalue conversion here
158
159\section{Expression Resolution}
160% TODO cite Baker, Cormack, etc.
161
162\subsection{Symbol Table}
163% TODO not sure this is sufficiently novel, but it is an improvement to CFA-CC
164
165\section{Completion Timeline}
166
167\section{Conclusion}
168
169\newpage
170
171\bibliographystyle{plain}
172\bibliography{cfa}
173
174