Concurrent Circular Reference Attribute Grammars

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceedingpeer-review


Reference Attribute Grammars (RAGs) is a declarative executable formalism used for constructing compilers and related tools. Existing implementations support concurrent evaluation only with global evaluation locks. This may lead to long latencies in interactive tools, where interactive and background threads query attributes concurrently.

We present lock-free algorithms for concurrent attribute evaluation, enabling low latency in interactive tools. Our algorithms support important extensions to RAGs like circular (fixed-point) attributes and higher-order attributes.

We have implemented our algorithms in Java, for the JastAdd metacompiler. We evaluate the implementation on a JastAdd-specified compiler for the Java language, demonstrating very low latencies for interactive attribute queries, on the order of milliseconds. Furthermore, initial experiments show a speedup of about a factor 2 when using four parallel compilation threads.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Software Language Engineering
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-5525-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 23
Event10th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Software Language Engineering (SLE 2017) - Vancouver, BC, Canada — October 23 - 24, 2017, Vancouve, Canada
Duration: 2017 Oct 232017 Oct 24


Conference10th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Software Language Engineering (SLE 2017)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Computer Science

Free keywords

  • reference attribute grammar
  • concurrency
  • parallelization
  • memoization
  • circular attributes


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