# Difference: CS255Spring08Discussions (9 vs. 10)

#### Revision 102008-02-14 - XiaomingGu

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 META TOPICPARENT name="CS255Spring08"

# CS255/455 Spring 2008 Questions and Answers

This page is intended for anyone to post questions and everyone to answer them. Please insert questions at the beginning and separate each question with a horizontal rule separator. For other formatting instructions read the answer to this question.

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Q: How to get the number of parameters of a function call?

A: Suppose `stmt` is the function call, then do the following and `num_parms` is the number .

```      tree parms = TREE_OPERAND (stmt, 1);
int num_parms;
tree p;
for (p = parms, num_parms = 0; p; p = TREE_CHAIN (p))
num_parms++;
```

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R: More of remarks and vague ideas than questions: in class we discussed about Chris' idea to perform the a=b-c <=> b=c+1 analysis. I had doubts about the idea because I was thinking "=" more of as an assignment operator, rather than the algebraic equality alternative, which pretty much is what it is in this analysis step. I guess thus, that at this level we can perform an even wider variety of symbolic analysis (something that would resemble what Maple does for the common mathematical notations, but in our case solely for Algebra) and generate an even wider range of possible optimizations one cannot possible expect at first sight. I was wondering though to what extent this actually happens, since the way we program brakes down the simplest algebraic expressions into difficult to track simplified steps. I was also wondering whether one can run any optimizations as (syntax) tree-data structure operations, i.e whether instead of a hash there exists an advanced data structure that keeps the tree-like structure of the syntax tree and optimizations are realized as (for example) rotations, insertions/deletions/pruning etc. After all, after the optimizations we should be able to build a new syntax tree from an optimized version of the code ; does there exist a possible repetitive transformation that does not need intermediate hash-based analysis (maybe I 'm making a hard problem impossible here)?
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Q: More of remarks and vague ideas than questions: in class we discussed about Chris' idea to perform the a=b-c <=> b=c+1 analysis. I had doubts about the idea because I was thinking "=" more of as an assignment operator, rather than the algebraic equality alternative, which pretty much is what it is in this analysis step. I guess thus, that at this level we can perform an even wider variety of symbolic analysis (something that would resemble what Maple does for the common mathematical notations, but in our case solely for Algebra) and generate an even wider range of possible optimizations one cannot possible expect at first sight. I was wondering though to what extent this actually happens, since the way we program brakes down the simplest algebraic expressions into difficult to track simplified steps. I was also wondering whether one can run any optimizations as (syntax) tree-data structure operations, i.e whether instead of a hash there exists an advanced data structure that keeps the tree-like structure of the syntax tree and optimizations are realized as (for example) rotations, insertions/deletions/pruning etc. After all, after the optimizations we should be able to build a new syntax tree from an optimized version of the code ; does there exist a possible repetitive transformation that does not need intermediate hash-based analysis (maybe I 'm making a hard problem impossible here)?

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R: Okay let's add a category for remarks and begin them with symbol R. You are right that the optimization of algebraic expressions is not different from the classic problem of mathematics. When we start talking about the equivalence between programs we need to understand the basic semantics of programming languages, which we'll discuss in the last two weeks of the course. (added by ChenDing, 10pm, 1/31)
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A: Okay let's add a category for remarks and begin them with symbol R. You are right that the optimization of algebraic expressions is not different from the classic problem of mathematics. When we start talking about the equivalence between programs we need to understand the basic semantics of programming languages, which we'll discuss in the last two weeks of the course. (added by ChenDing, 10pm, 1/31)

Q: Is there only one immediate dominator for every block, or might it be the case that there are more?

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