Accession Number : AD0715513

Title :   An Empirical Study of Fortran Programs

Corporate Author : STANFORD UNIV CA DEPT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE

Personal Author(s) : Knuth, Donald E.

PDF Url : AD0715513

Report Date : 1970

Pagination or Media Count : 45

Abstract : A sample of programs, written in FORTRAN by a wide variety of people for a wide variety of applications, was chosen 'at random' in an attempt to discover quantitatively 'what programmers really do.' Statistical results of this survey are presented here, together with some of their apparent implications for future work in compiler design. The principal conclusion which may be drawn is the importance of a program 'profile,' namely a table of frequency counts which record how often each statement is performed in a typical run; there are strong indications that profile-keeping should become a standard practice in all computer systems, for casual users as well as system programmers. The paper is the report of a three month study undertaken by the author and about a dozen students and representatives of the software industry during the summer 1970. It is hoped that a reader who studies the report will obtain a fairly clear conception of how FORTRAN is being used, and what compilers can do about it.

Descriptors :   *COMPUTER PROGRAMMING, *COMPILERS, DATA PROCESSING, PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES, EFFICIENCY, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, STATISTICAL ANALYSIS, JOB ANALYSIS, CYBERNETICS.

Subject Categories : Personnel Management and Labor Relations
      Computer Programming and Software

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE