What Is Data Structure of Assembler?


Larry Thompson

What Is Data Structure of Assembler?

Assemblers are essential tools used in computer programming to convert assembly language code into machine code. The data structure of an assembler plays a crucial role in organizing and manipulating the data during the translation process.

In this article, we will explore the various elements that make up the data structure of an assembler and understand their significance.

Symbol Table

One of the key components of an assembler’s data structure is the symbol table. The symbol table acts as a central repository for storing information about labels, variables, and constants used in the assembly code.

It associates each symbol with its corresponding memory address or value, allowing for easy retrieval and usage during translation.

Literals Table

Another important element is the literals table. It maintains a record of all literal values specified in the assembly code.

Literals are constant values embedded directly into the code, such as numeric constants or character strings. The literals table stores these values along with their addresses, enabling efficient access and substitution when generating machine code.

Instruction Table

The instruction table holds information about each instruction supported by the assembler. It includes details like opcode, operand types, addressing modes, and machine code representations for different architectures.

The instruction table facilitates proper decoding of assembly instructions and ensures accurate translation into machine instructions.

Macro Table

Some assemblers support macros – reusable blocks of code that can be expanded at compile-time. The macro table maintains a catalog of all defined macros along with their respective definitions.

It allows efficient retrieval and expansion of macros during assembly to generate repetitive sections of code easily.

Error Handling Mechanism

To handle syntax errors and other issues encountered during assembly, assemblers incorporate an error handling mechanism. The data structure includes an error table or a similar construct to log errors, warnings, and other diagnostic messages.

This helps the programmer identify and rectify mistakes in the assembly code effectively.


In conclusion, the data structure of an assembler encompasses vital components such as the symbol table, literals table, instruction table, macro table, and error handling mechanism. These elements work together to ensure efficient translation of assembly code into machine code.

Understanding the data structure helps programmers gain insight into how assemblers organize and process data during compilation.

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