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In computer science, ahead-of-time compilation (AOT compilation) is the act of compiling an (often) higher-level programming language into an (often) lower-level language before execution of a program, usually at build-time, to reduce the amount of work needed to be performed at run time.
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Most often, it is associated with the act of compiling a higher-level programming language such as C or C++, or an intermediate representation such as Java bytecode or .NET Framework Common Intermediate Language (CIL) code, into a native (system-dependent) machine code so that the resulting binary file can execute natively, just like a standard native compiler. When being used in this specific context, it is often seen as an opposite of just-in-time (JIT) compiling.
In fact, since all static compilation is technically performed ahead of time, this particular wording is often used to emphasize some kind of performance advantages over the act of such pre-compiling. The act of compiling Java to Java bytecode is hence rarely referred to as AOT since it is usually a requirement, not an optimization.
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