A Formal Model for Procedure Calling Conventions

Authors:Bailey, Mark, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia Davidson, Jack, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Virginia

Procedure calling conventions are used to provide uniform procedure-call interfaces. Applications, such as compilers and debuggers, which generate, or process procedures at the machine-language abstraction level require knowledge of the calling convention. In this paper, we develop a formal model for procedure calling conventions called P-FSA's. Using this model, we are able to ensure a number of completeness and consistency properties of calling conventions. Currently, applications that manipulate procedures implement conventions in an ad-hoc manner. The resulting code is complicated with details, difficult to maintain, and often riddled with errors. To alleviate the situation, we introduce a calling convention specification language, called CCL. The combination of CCL and P-FSA's facilitates the accurate specification of conventions that can be shown to be both consistent and complete.

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Source Citation:

Bailey, Mark, and Jack Davidson. "A Formal Model for Procedure Calling Conventions." University of Virginia Dept. of Computer Science Tech Report (1994).

University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science
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