Improved Compilation of Prolog to C Using Moded Types and Determinism Information

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We describe the current status of and provide performance results for a prototype compiler of Prolog to C, ciaocc. ciaocc is novel in that it is designed to accept different kinds of high-level information, typically obtained via an automatic analysis of the initial Prolog program and expressed in a standardized language of assertions. This information is used to optimize the resulting C code, which is then processed by an off-the-shelf C compiler. The basic translation process essentially mimics the unfolding of a bytecode emulator with respect to the particular bytecode corresponding to the Prolog program. This is facilitated by a flexible design of the instructions and their lower-level components. This approach allows reusing a sizable amount of the machinery of the bytecode emulator: predicates already written in C, data definitions, memory management routines and areas, etc., as well as mixing emulated bytecode with native code in a relatively straightforward way. We report on the performance of programs compiled by the current version of the system, both with and without analysis information.