Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


An Analysis of Graph Coloring Register Allocation

David Koes, Seth Copen Goldstein

March 2006

Keywords: Compilers, register allocation

Graph coloring is the de factor standard technique for register allocation wihtin a compiler. In this paper we examine the importance of the quality of the coloring algorithm and various extensions of the basic graph coloring technique by replacing the coloring phase of the CNU compiler's register allocator with an optimal coloring algorithm. We then extend this optimal algorithm to incorporate various extensions such as coalescing and preferential register assignment. We find that using an optimal coloring algorithm has suprisingly little benefit and empirically demonstate the benefit of the various extensions.

10 pages

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