Engineering a Simple, Efficient Code-Generator Generator

Christopher W. Fraser, David R. Hanson, Todd A. Proebsting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Many code-generator generators use tree pattern matching and dynamic programming. This paper describes a simple program that generates matchers that are fast, compact, and easy to understand. It is simpler than common alternatives: 200–700 lines of Icon or 950 lines of C versus 3000 lines of C for Twig and 5000 for burg. Its matchers run up to 25 times faster than Twig's. They are necessarily slower than burg's BURS 1992 matchers, but they are more flexible and still practical.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-226
Number of pages14
JournalACM Letters on Programming Languages and Systems (LOPLAS)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 9 1992


  • Icon programming language
  • code generation
  • code-generator generator
  • dynamic programming
  • tree pattern matching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • General Engineering


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