A formal approach to code optimization

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 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)
Pages (from-to)86-100
Number of pages15
JournalSIGPLAN Notices (ACM Special Interest Group on Programming Languages)
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 1970

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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