An Analysis of Graph Coloring Register Allocation
CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV PITTSBURGH PA SCHOOL OF COMPUTER SCIENCE
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Graph coloring is the de facto standard technique for register allocation within 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 GNU 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 surprisingly little benefit and empirically demonstrate the benefit of the various extensions.