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Activation Record

  • Control stack is a run time stack which is used to keep track of the live procedure activations i.e. it is used to find out the procedures whose execution have not been completed.
  • When it is called (activation begins) then the procedure name will push on to the stack and when it returns (activation ends) then it will popped.
  • Activation record is used to manage the information needed by a single execution of a procedure.
  • An activation record is pushed into the stack when a procedure is called and it is popped when the control returns to the caller function.

The diagram below shows the contents of activation records:

Activation Record

Return Value: It is used by calling procedure to return a value to calling procedure.

Actual Parameter: It is used by calling procedures to supply parameters to the called procedures.

Control Link: It points to activation record of the caller.

Access Link: It is used to refer to non-local data held in other activation records.

Saved Machine Status: It holds the information about status of machine before the procedure is called.

Local Data: It holds the data that is local to the execution of the procedure.

Temporaries: It stores the value that arises in the evaluation of an expression.


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