Single Static Assignment

Single Static Assignment-4
For context, I was involved for a bit in writing this book, and I was at the conference that spawned it, and I wrote chapter 25.That said, it's been a few years and my memory is poor, so I may have some details below wrong.

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This is a great question, and its one that isn't really made clear anywhere iin compiler books that teach it.

The tl;dr is that you get lots of nice properties for free, and that it makes writing analysis algorithms much simpler with fewer edge cases.

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Does anyone have thoughts/opinions on the algorithm presented in "Simple and Efficient Construction of Static Single Assignment Form"[1] by Braun, et al?

In English: When storing the results of your analysis, you can save them much more cheaply in SSA form, from a CPU and memory perspective.

Without SSA, you need a hashtable of variables, with a list of values each.

SSA form allows a sparse analysis, where an analysis must store information only for every assignment in the program.

With a unique version per assignment, the memory usage of storing the results of an analysis can be considerably lower than using bit-vector or set-based approaches.

Flow-sensitivity: A flow-insensitive algorithm performed on an SSA form is much more precise than if SSA form were not used.

The flow-insensitive problem of multiple definitions to the same variable is solved by the single assignment property.


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