# SICP Solutions

### Chapter 5, Computing with Register Machines

#### Exercise 5.33

This exercise is kind of interesting after attempting ex-5.31.

The difference between two versions of factorial is just the order of operands:

(* n (factorial-alt (- n 1))) vs (* (factorial (- n 1)) n))).

So, to check the performance difference, we can think similar to ex-5.31, that what saves and restores can be avoided in first case vs the second case.

But, There is one important thing we should consider which is different here from ex-5.31. Now we are comparing the outputs from compiler! And the compiler unlike evaluator, causes the evaluation of arguments from right to left instead of left to right.

#### First consider the factorial-alt version:

• It evaluates arguments to * from right, thus evaluating (factorial-alt (- n 1)). Since this is a procedure, this can change env which will be needed to evaluate the next argument, so we save env. This is apparent from the code generated:
• Now, we evaluate the next argument which is n. Since this is just a variable, it does not change any registers apart from val. Thus we can avoid saving and restoring register argl while evaluating this. This is again apparent from the code generated:

#### Now consider the orginal factorial version:

• Here, we first evaluate n. Since this can not change env, we do not save or restore env as is apparent from the code generated:
• Now, we evaluate (factorial-val (- n 1)). Even though this can change env we donâ€™t need to save n restore env because this is last argument and we do not need env after this argument. But here we need to save and restore argl since this can change argl. This can also be seen in the generated code shown above.

Thus in the first case we save and restore env while in the second case we save and restore argl. Thus the number of operations in both cases turn out to be equal!

So, they are equally efficient.