Using Peephole Optimization on Intermediate Code

A.S. Tanenbaum, H. van Staveren, J.W. Stevenson

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Many portable compilers generate an intermediate code that is subsequently translated into the target machine's assembly language. In this paper a stack-machine-based intermediate code suitable for algebraic languages (e.g., PASCAL, C, FORTRAN) and most byte-addressed mini- and microcomputers is described. A table-driven peephole optimizer that improves this intermediate code is then discussed in detail and compared with other local optimization methods. Measurements show an improvement of about 15 percent, depending on the precise metric used. © 1982, ACM. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-36
Number of pages16
JournalACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1982


  • abstract machine
  • intermediate code
  • peephole optimizer


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