Compiling With Constraints (long) (
from to on 19 Mar 2024 01:17

Constraint programming is a general method to solve logic problems, which models the problem as a set of constraints (e.g. 0 < x, y > 10, x + 2y = 24) then uses a constraint solver to find possible solutions (x = 1 & y = 11). Constraint solving is used very often in compilers. This article focuses on compiler backends like LLVM which generate assembly from low-level IR (a process called “lowering”). It presents multiple examples of constraint solvers being used with code and goes into great detail, reflecting on the author’s personal experience.

* Constraint solving is also used in the frontend, particularly in type inference (including Hindley-Milner)


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