I read this in my Operating System textbook. Does it mean that the logical addresses generated by compile-time binding scheme are the same as the logical addresses generated by load-time binding? Or does it mean that the logical addresses and the physical addresses generated are the same in both compile-time binding as well as load-time binding?

If the first interpretation is correct, then how is it possible to generate same logical addresses in both compile-time and load-time? AFAIK in compile-time binding, we already have a fixed location in the memory where we'll load our program, so we can generate absolute addresses. But in load-time scheme, we do not know where the program will be loaded in memory. So we put relative addresses. How can absolute and relative addresses be the same?

  • $\begingroup$ How old is that textbook? Even on your iPhone, they make quite sure that libraries will be loaded to random locations (because that prevents lots of attacks against an application). $\endgroup$
    – gnasher729
    Jan 22, 2020 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ The book is from 2007. But it does mention that compile time binding was only used in MS-DOS .COM files. $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2020 at 5:31
  • $\begingroup$ Please clearly identify sources of quotes. (Couldn't tell the context (a multiple choice "answer"?), seems to be from Silberschatz/Galvin/Gagne Operating System Concepts, Wiley) $\endgroup$
    – greybeard
    Dec 18, 2020 at 7:00
  • $\begingroup$ @greybeard The textbook I was using at that time was written by some local college professor but I am 100% sure the content was completely plagiarized from Operating System Conepts by Silberschatz, Galvin and Gagne. You can find the quoted statement here in these notes boron.physics.metu.edu.tr/ozdogan/OperatingSystems/week9/… which are based on the same text book. $\endgroup$ Dec 19, 2020 at 18:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately worded, to say the least. $\endgroup$
    – greybeard
    Dec 19, 2020 at 21:59

2 Answers 2


What your TB says is absolutely correct & the answer is the latter i.e. the second interpretation.

More particularly:

  • The logical address & the physical address generated in the compile-time address binding scheme are the same.
  • The logical address & the physical address generated in the load-time address binding scheme are the same.



Definition of Logical address: A logical address or virtual address is an address that is generated by the CPU during program execution. - afteracademy

Definition of Physical address: physical address refers to a memory address or the location of a memory cell in the main memory - Techopedia

The compile-time binding is used when the base address of the process memory allocation is known before hand i.e. " a priori ". This never happens in real-life because you never know any mechanism/system to predict what the addresses will be at the time of writing the program itself.

However, in case that really happens (How? Static allocation / magic), the address generated by compiler (i.e. the logical address/virtual address) is indeed the actual physical address because the programmer hard-coded the addresses.

Similar (but not same) is the case with Load-time binding.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to COMPUTER SCIENCE @SE. You use a block quote for definitions: Please tell who originated the contents and where to find it (& make it a habit). $\endgroup$
    – greybeard
    Dec 18, 2020 at 6:51
  • $\begingroup$ (Static allocation used to be common with embedded computers. The extent to which OS concepts like process apply stands to argue.) $\endgroup$
    – greybeard
    Dec 18, 2020 at 7:01
  • $\begingroup$ Hey @greybeard, thanks for letting me know. $\endgroup$
    – schegu
    Dec 19, 2020 at 15:36
  • $\begingroup$ But doesn't the programmer use the symbolic address in the source program? $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2021 at 3:20

Silberschatz defined "logical address" as the address leaving the CPU. In this case, the address leaving the CPU is the same as the address sent to memory. But in execution-time binding, the addresses may differ.


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