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Telescoping languages: A system for automatic generation of domain languages
 Proceedings of the IEEE
"... The software gap—the discrepancy between the need for new software and the aggregate capacity of the workforce to produce it—is a serious problem for scientific software. Although users appreciate the convenience (and, thus, improved productivity) of using relatively highlevel scripting languages, ..."
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Cited by 29 (3 self)
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The software gap—the discrepancy between the need for new software and the aggregate capacity of the workforce to produce it—is a serious problem for scientific software. Although users appreciate the convenience (and, thus, improved productivity) of using relatively highlevel scripting languages, the slow execution speeds of these languages remain a problem. Lower level languages, such as C and Fortran, provide better performance for production applications, but at the cost of tedious programming and optimization by experts. If applications written in scripting languages could be routinely compiled into highly optimized machine code, a huge productivity advantage would be possible. It is not enough, however, to simply develop excellent compiler technologies for scripting languages (as a number of projects have succeeded in doing for MATLAB). In practice, scientists typically extend these languages with their own domaincentric components,
Algebra of logic programming
 International Conference on Logic Programming
, 1999
"... At present, the field of declarative programming is split into two main areas based on different formalisms; namely, functional programming, which is based on lambda calculus, and logic programming, which is based on firstorder logic. There are currently several language proposals for integrating th ..."
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Cited by 20 (3 self)
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At present, the field of declarative programming is split into two main areas based on different formalisms; namely, functional programming, which is based on lambda calculus, and logic programming, which is based on firstorder logic. There are currently several language proposals for integrating the expressiveness of these two models of computation. In this thesis we work towards an integration of the methodology from the two research areas. To this end, we propose an algebraic approach to reasoning about logic programs, corresponding to the approach taken in functional programming. In the first half of the thesis we develop and discuss a framework which forms the basis for our algebraic analysis and transformation methods. The framework is based on an embedding of definite logic programs into lazy functional programs in Haskell, such that both the declarative and the operational semantics of the logic programs are preserved. In spite of its conciseness and apparent simplicity, the embedding proves to have many interesting properties and it gives rise to an algebraic semantics of logic programming. It also allows us to reason about logic programs in a simple calculational style, using rewriting and the algebraic laws of combinators. In the embedding, the meaning of a logic program arises compositionally from the meaning of its constituent subprograms and the combinators that connect them. In the second half of the thesis we explore applications of the embedding to the algebraic transformation of logic programs. A series of examples covers simple program derivations, where our techniques simplify some of the current techniques. Another set of examples explores applications of the more advanced program development techniques from the Algebra of Programming by Bird and de Moor [18], where we expand the techniques currently available for logic program derivation and optimisation. To my parents, Sandor and Erzsebet. And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.
Theoretical Foundations for Practical ‘Totally Functional Programming’
, 2007
"... Interpretation is an implicit part of today’s programming; it has great power but is overused and has
significant costs. For example, interpreters are typically significantly hard to understand and hard
to reason about. The methodology of “Totally Functional Programming” (TFP) is a reasoned
attempt ..."
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Interpretation is an implicit part of today’s programming; it has great power but is overused and has
significant costs. For example, interpreters are typically significantly hard to understand and hard
to reason about. The methodology of “Totally Functional Programming” (TFP) is a reasoned
attempt to redress the problem of interpretation. It incorporates an awareness of the undesirability
of interpretation with observations that definitions and a certain style of programming appear to
offer alternatives to it. Application of TFP is expected to lead to a number of significant outcomes,
theoretical as well as practical. Primary among these are novel programming languages to lessen or
eliminate the use of interpretation in programming, leading to betterquality software. However,
TFP contains a number of lacunae in its current formulation, which hinder development of these
outcomes. Among others, formal semantics and typesystems for TFP languages are yet to be
discovered, the means to reduce interpretation in programs is to be determined, and a detailed
explication is needed of interpretation, definition, and the differences between the two. Most
important of all however is the need to develop a complete understanding of the nature of
interpretation. In this work, suitable typesystems for TFP languages are identified, and guidance
given regarding the construction of appropriate formal semantics. Techniques, based around the
‘fold’ operator, are identified and developed for modifying programs so as to reduce the amount of
interpretation they contain. Interpretation as a means of languageextension is also investigated.
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Finally, the nature of interpretation is considered. Numerous hypotheses relating to it considered in
detail. Combining the results of those analyses with discoveries from elsewhere in this work leads
to the proposal that interpretation is not, in fact, symbolbased computation, but is in fact something
more fundamental: computation that varies with input. We discuss in detail various implications of
this characterisation, including its practical application. An often moreuseful property, ‘inherent
interpretiveness’, is also motivated and discussed in depth. Overall, our inquiries act to give
conceptual and theoretical foundations for practical TFP.
Calculating modules in contextual logic program refinement
, 2006
"... The refinement calculus for logic programs is a framework for deriving logic programs from specifications. It is based on a widespectrum language that can express both specifications and code, and a refinement relation that models the notion of correct implementation. In this paper we extend and ge ..."
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The refinement calculus for logic programs is a framework for deriving logic programs from specifications. It is based on a widespectrum language that can express both specifications and code, and a refinement relation that models the notion of correct implementation. In this paper we extend and generalise earlier work on contextual refinement. Contextual refinement simplifies the refinement process by abstractly capturing the context of a subcomponent of a program, which typically includes information about the values of the free variables. This paper also extends and generalises module refinement. A module is a collection of procedures that operate on a common data type; module refinement between a specification module A and an implementation module C allows calls to the procedures of A to be systematically replaced with calls to the corresponding procedures of C. Based on the conditions for module refinement, we present a method for calculating an implementation module from a specification module. Both contextual and module refinement within the refinement calculus have been generalised from earlier work and the results are presented in a unified framework.