It seems Dybvig's thesis is unmentioned so far. It is a delight to read. The heap based model is the easiest to implement, but the stack based is more efficient. Ignore the string based model.
R. Kent Dybvig. "Three Implementation Models for Scheme". http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~dyb/papers/3imp.pdf
Also check out the implementation papers on ReadScheme.org. https://web.archive.org/http://library.readscheme.org/page8.html
The abstract is as follows:
This dissertation presents three implementation models for the Scheme Programming Language. The first is a heap-based model used in some form in most Scheme implementations to date; the second is a new stack-based model that is considerably more efficient than the heap-based model at executing most programs; and the third is a new string-based model intended for use in a multiple-processor implementation of Scheme.
The heap-based model allocates several important data structures in a heap, including actual parameter lists, binding environments, and call frames.
The stack-based model allocates these same structures on a stack whenever possible. This results in less heap allocation, fewer memory references, shorter instruction sequences, less garbage collection, and more efficient use of memory.
The string-based model allocates versions of these structures right in the program text, which is represented as a string of symbols. In the string-based model, Scheme programs are translated into an FFP language designed specifically to support Scheme. Programs in this language are directly executed by the FFP machine, a multiple-processor string-reduction computer.
The stack-based model is of immediate practical benefit; it is the model used by the author's Chez Scheme system, a high-performance implementation of Scheme. The string-based model will be useful for providing Scheme as a high-level alternative to FFP on the FFP machine once the machine is realized.