A Survey of JIT-Compilation Technologies

Sergey Postnov


This survey focuses on the principles of JIT compilation ("just-in-time" compilation) of programs. Briefly discusses the history of the development of technologies for dynamic compilation of programs in different programming languages. The implementation of JIT compilation technology in Java virtual machines is discussed in detail. The classification of JIT compilers is given. The basic JIT compilation technology, its features, and examples of its implementation in compilers for the Java language are described. The potentially achievable complexity and degree of optimization of the compilation order are discussed. A comparison is made between JIT compilation and binary dynamic compilation. Attention is paid to the security risks inherent in the JIT compiler. In particular, we analyze vulnerabilities of JIT compilers in relation to code implementation and reuse attacks. Measures to counter this type of attack are described. An overview of modern principles for developing JIT compilers, including using machine learning methods, is given.

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