Runtime System | What is Runtime System | Runtime Environment | Runtime System Example | Runtime System Basics | Runtime System Books
A runtime system, also called run-time system, primarily implements portions of an execution model. This is in contrast to the runtime lifecycle phase of a program, during which the runtime system is in operation. Most languages have some form of runtime system, which implements control over the order in which work that was specified in terms of the language gets performed. Over the years, the meaning of the term ‘runtime system’ has been expanded to include nearly any behaviors that are dynamically determined during execution.
Overview of RTS (Runtime System)
Every programming language specifies an execution model, and many implement at least part of that model in a runtime system. One, debatable, way to define a runtime system is that any behavior that is not directly the work of a program is runtime system behavior. This definition includes as part of the runtime system things such as putting parameters onto the stack before a function call, the behavior of disk I/O, and parallel execution related behaviors.
By this definition, essentially every language has a runtime system, including compiled languages, interpreted languages, and embedded domain-specific languages. Even API invoked stand alone execution models such as Pthreads have a runtime system that is the implementation of execution model’s behavior.
Most scholarly papers on runtime systems focus on the implementation details of parallel runtime systems. A notable example of a parallel runtime system is that of Cilk, a popular parallel programming model. In addition, the proto-runtime toolkit was created to simplify the creation of parallel runtime systems.
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