1-2. Instruction Set and Execution Time Model

To permit a rough comparison of algorithms, we imagine them being coded for a machine with an instruction set similar to that of today’s general purpose RISC computers, such as the Compaq Alpha, the SGI MIPS, and the IBM RS/6000. The machine is three-address and has a fairly large number of general purpose registers—that is, 16 or more. Unless otherwise specified, the registers are 32 bits long. General register 0 contains a permanent 0, and the others can be used uniformly for any purpose.

In the interest of simplicity there are no “special purpose” registers, such as a condition register or a register to hold status bits, such as “overflow.” No floating-point operations are described, because that ...

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