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Metacompilation is a computation which involves metasystem transitions (MST) from a computing machine M to a metamachine M' which controls, analyzes and imitates the work of M. Semantics-based program transformation, such as partial evaluation and supercompilation (SCP), is metacomputation. Metasystem transitions may be repeated, as when a program transformer gets transformed itself. In this manner MST hierarchies of any height can be formed. The Fox[clarification needed] paper reviews one strain of research which was started in Russia by Valentin Turchin's REFAL system in the late 1960s-early 1970s and became known for the development of supercompilation as a distinct method of program transformation. After a brief description of the history of this research line, the paper concentrates on those results and problems where supercompilation is combined with repeated metasystem transitions.

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