Subtype checking is common in computer programs to determine whether an object or an array is a subtype of a class. This check is typically performed at runtime. Traditional techniques for subtype checking are slow since such techniques often need to traverse an entire class hierarchy to return a result. The techniques of this disclosure offer a faster alternative. Each class in the hierarchy is encoded. Leading bits or prefix in the encoding are used to determine, during dynamic class loading, whether a subclass relationship exists between a source class and a target class.

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