Optimisation Validation

David Aspinall, Lennart Beringer, Alberto Momigliano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We introduce the idea of optimisation validation, which is to formally establish that an instance of an optimising transformation indeed improves with respect to some resource measure. This is related to, but in contrast with, translation validation, which aims to establish that a particular instance of a transformation undertaken by an optimising compiler is semantics preserving. Our main setting is a program logic for a subset of Java bytecode, which is sound and complete for a resource-annotated operational semantics. The latter employs resource algebras for measuring dynamic costs such as time, space and more elaborate examples. We describe examples of optimisation validation that we have formally verified in Isabelle/HOL using the logic. We also introduce a type and effect system for measuring static costs such as code size, which is proved consistent with the operational semantics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-59
Number of pages23
JournalElectronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science
Issue number3 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Jul 19 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


  • Compiler Optimisation
  • Cost Modelling
  • Java Virtual Machine Language
  • Lightweight Verification
  • Program Logic
  • Resource Algebras
  • Translation Validation


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