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Processing an Intermediate Representation Written in Lisp


In the context of designing the verification platform CAVI-ART, we arrived to the need of deciding a textual format for our intermediate representation of programs. After considering several options, we finally decided to use S-expressions for that textual representation, and Common Lisp for processing it in order to obtain the verification conditions. In this paper, we discuss the benefits of this decision. S-expressions are homoiconic, i.e. they can be both considered as data and as code. We exploit this duality, and extensively use the facilities of the Common Lisp environment to make different processing with these textual representations. In particular, using a common compilation scheme we
show that program execution, and verification condition generation, can be seen as two instantiations of the same generic process.

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