TIL: A Type-Directed Optimizing Compiler for ML

  • David Tarditi ,
  • Chris Stone ,
  • Greg Morrisett ,
  • Perry Cheng ,
  • ,
  • Robert Harper

PLDI '96 Proceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN 1996 conference on Programming language design and implementation |

Published by Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.

Selected in 2004 as one of the 50 most influential papers published in PLDI from 1979 to 1999.

We describe a new compiler for Standard ML called TIL, that is based on four technologies; intensional polymorphism, tag-free garbage collection, conventional functional language optimization, and loop optimization. We use intensional polymorphism and tag-free garbage collection to provide specialized representations, even though SML is a polymorphic language. We use conventional functional language optimization to reduce the cost of intensional polymorphism, and loop optimization to generate good code for recursive functions. We present an example of TIL compiling an SML function to machine code, and compare the performance of TIL code against that of a widely used compiler, Standard ML of New Jersey.