Many control and access environment structures require that storage for a procedure activation exist at times when control is not nested within the procedure activated. This is straightforward to implement by dynamic storage allocation with linked blocks for each activation, but rather expensive in both time and space. This paper presents an implementation technique using a single stack to hold procedure activation storage which allows retention of that storage for durations not necessarily tied to control flow. The technique has the property that, in the simple case, it runs identically to the usual automatic stack allocation and deallocation procedure. Applications of this technique to multitasking, coroutines, backtracking, label-valued variables, and functional arguments are discussed. In the initial model, a single real processor is assumed, and the implementation assumes multiple-processes coordinate by passing control explicitly to one another. A multiprocessor implementation requires only a few changes to the basic technique, as described.
The full text of this article is premium content
No entries found
Log in to Read the Full Article
Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.
Create a Web Account
If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.
Join the ACM
Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.
Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine
Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.
Purchase the Article
Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.