A control flow graph (CFG) is a data structure built on top of the
intermediate code representation (the RTL or
stream) abstracting the control flow behavior of a function that is
being compiled. The CFG is a directed graph where the vertices
represent basic blocks and edges represent possible transfer of
control flow from one basic block to another. The data structures
used to represent the control flow graph are defined in
In GCC, the representation of control flow is maintained throughout
the compilation process, from constructing the CFG early in
pass_free_cfg (see passes.def).
The CFG takes various different modes and may undergo extensive
manipulations, but the graph is always valid between its construction
and its release. This way, transfer of information such as data flow,
a measured profile, or the loop tree, can be propagated through the
passes pipeline, and even from
Often the CFG may be better viewed as integral part of instruction chain, than structure built on the top of it. Updating the compiler's intermediate representation for instructions can not be easily done without proper maintenance of the CFG simultaneously.