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A Type Theory for Memory Allocation and Data Layout (Extended Version)

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.1967, 00:00 by Leaf Petersen, Robert Harper, Karl Crary, Frank Pfenning
Ordered type theory is an extension of linear type theory in which variables in the context may be neither dropped nor re-ordered. This restriction gives rise to a natural notion of adjacency. We show that a language based on ordered types can use this property to give an exact account of the layout of data in memory. The fuse constructor from ordered logic describes adjacency of values in memory, and the mobility modal describes pointers into the heap. We choose a particular allocation model based on a common implementation scheme for copying garbage collection and show how this permits us to separate out the allocation and initialization of memory locations in such a way as to account for optimizations such as the coalescing of multiple calls to the allocator.

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01/01/1967