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Authors: Hermann, Michael Johann
Keywords: Computer Science
Issue Date: 1-May-1992
Abstract: Functional languages have enjoyed increasing popularity over the last few years, due to their advantage from the viewpoint of user, verifier, and implementer. There has likewise been an increase in the demand for special purpose architectures to efficiently execute them. The abstract functional architecture TIM (Three Instruction Machine) is a developmental culmination in both sides of the dichotomy formed by notational representation for functional languages and procedural evaluation for functional architecture. TIM was proposed by Jon Fairbairn and Stuart Wray at Cambridge University, and is a compact and efficient frame-based graph reduction processor which executes SuperCombinators. This thesis is an attempt to give TIM a concrete architectural form, with particular emphasis on the general design issues and methods of attack to be addressed in designing a functional architecture for practical application. Improvements in speed, efficiency, and implementability of the abstract machine are made, via changes to the organisation of memory, the structure of physical objects, and the contents of the instruction set. Finally, I make some arguments as to the accessibility of the architecture, its merits as a research tool and a representative of a new sub-class of functional machine.
Appears in Collections:Technical Reports

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