The DIdactic VAnity REgister MAchine

This is a pet-project interpreter which implements a random access machine as described by Cook and Reckhow.

divarema only implements the machine's basic instructions; the paper linked above also includes a proof regarding a VM built with these instructions which can execute arbitrary programs stored in main memory within some time bounds (so an arbitrarily large program can be executed with a space-bounded instruction and ROM program).


This is a pet project to help me learn about models of computation and about Rust (hence didactic and vanity). It's not intended for any other application, but if you get something from it that's great :)

The Machine

divarema reads instructions form a file and executes them. The machine has eight instructions and two kinds of memory. Program memory stores the program being executed and is immutable. Main memory is available to the program and consists of a number (by default, 8) of mutable registers that can hold signed 32-bit integers. Main memory is indexed by integers, starting from 0.

Two special registers control operation and implement arithmetic:

  • The accumulator ACC is the target and source of arithmetic and copy operations
  • The instruction counter IC holds the address (in program-memory) of the next instruction to execute, manipulated by control-flow operations

Instruction Set

Programs for divarema can include the following instructions:

Operation Description Mnemonic
LOAD j ACC <- j ; IC <- IC+2 load
ADD j ACC <- [ACC] + [Xj] ; IC <- IC+2 add
SUB j ACC <- [ACC] - [Xj] ; IC <- IC+2 subtract
STORE j Xj <- [ACC] ; IC <- IC+2 store
JGZ j if AC > 0 then IC <- j else IC <- IC+2 jump-greather-than-zero
READ j Xj <- next input read
PRINT j output [Xj] print
HALT _ stop execution halt


This software is licensed under the GNU General Public License v3.0. See LICENSE or license's website for details.