Scopes describe frames: A uniform model for memory layout in dynamic semantics

Casper Bach Poulsen, Pierre Néron, Andrew Tolmach, Eelco Visser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


Semantic specifications do not make a systematic connection between the names and scopes in the static structure of a program and memory layout, and access during its execution. In this paper we introduce a systematic approach to the alignment of names in static semantics and memory in dynamic semantics, building on the scope graph framework for name resolution. We develop a uniform memory model consisting of frames that instantiate the scopes in the scope graph of a program. This provides a language-independent correspondence between static scopes and run-time memory layout, and between static resolution paths and run-time memory access paths. The approach scales to a range of binding features, supports straightforward type soundness proofs, and provides the basis for a language-independent specification of sound reachability-based garbage collection.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication30th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, ECOOP 2016
EditorsShriram Krishnamurthi, Benjamin S. Lerner
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)978-3959-77014-9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
EventECOOP 2016: 30th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming - Rome, Italy
Duration: 18 Jul 201622 Jul 2016


ConferenceECOOP 2016


  • Dynamic semantics
  • Memory layout
  • Operational semantics
  • Scope graphs
  • Type soundness


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