Explain Various Forms Of Intermediate Code Used By Compiler.

Subject: system programming and compiler construction

Topic: Intermediate Code Generation

Difficulty: Medium

1 Answer

The following are commonly used intermediate code representation :

Postfix notation Syntax tree Three-address code

Postfix Notation

The ordinary (infix) way of writing the sum of a and b is with operator in the middle : a + b The postfix notation for the same expression places the operator at the right end as ab +. In general, if e1 and e2 are any postfix expressions, and + is any binary operator, the result of applying + to the values denoted by e1 and e2 is postfix notation by e1e2 +. No parentheses are needed in postfix notation because the position and arity (number of arguments) of the operators permit only one way to decode a postfix expression. In postfix notation the operator follows the operand.

Eg : the postfix representation of the expression (a – b) * (c + d) + (a – b) is : ab – cd + ab -+*.

Three-Address Code: A statement involving no more than three references(two for operands and one for result) is known as three address statement. A sequence of three address statements is known as three address code. Three address statement is of the form x = y op z , here x, y, z will have address (memory location). Sometimes a statement might contain less than three references but it is still called three address statement.

Eg: the three address code for the expression a + b * c + d :

T 1 = b * c T 2 = a + T 1 T 3 = T 2 + d

T 1 , T 2 , T 3 are temporary variables.

Syntax Tree Syntax tree is nothing more than condensed form of a parse tree. The operator and keyword nodes of the parse tree are moved to their parents and a chain of single productions is replaced by single link in syntax tree the internal nodes are operators and child nodes are operands. To form syntax tree put parentheses in the expression, this way it's easy to recognize which operand should come first.

Example : x = (a + b * c) / (a – b * c)

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