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Communications of the ACM


Multiword list items

The list concept as originally proposed by Newell, Simon and Shaw specified single computer words as elements of a list. This report describes the use of two or more consecutive words as one element. Such use results in a considerable saving in both the space required to hold a given amount of data, and in the execution time required to perform a given process on the data.Following a brief description of standard list structures with single-word items, the multiword items are introduced. Then variable-length items are described, along with the corresponding space-utilization problems. Finally, several examples are given to illustrate the use of multiword lists.This paper attempts to draw together various recent papers which have applied some of these concepts in different ways, and indicate how they relate to the more general problem.

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