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Jones Optimality and Hardware Virtualization (A Report on Work in Progress)

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The growing adoption of hardware virtualization solutions (VMware and Xen being two prominent examples) leads us to examine the common ground between this yet-again vibrant technology and partial evaluation. A virtual machine executes on host hardware and presents to its guest program a replica of that host environment, complete with CPU , memory, and I/O devices. A virtual machine can be seen as a self-interpreter.

A program specializer is considered Jones-optimal if it is capable of removing a layer of interpretational overhead. Can efficient virtualization be understood in terms of Jones-optimal specialization?

A fully abstract programming language translation is one that preserves equivalences. Should a virtual machine be ``fully abstract’’?

We hope that this discussion will encourage wider exchange of ideas between the virtualization and partial evaluation communities.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Programming Research Group Seminar series.

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