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Fast FloatingPoint Processing in Common Lisp
 ACM Trans. on Math. Software
, 1995
"... this paper we explore an approach which enables all of the problems listed above to be solved at a single stroke: use Lisp as the source language for the numeric and graphical code! This is not a new idea  it was tried at MIT and UCB in the 1970's. While these experiments were modestly succe ..."
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this paper we explore an approach which enables all of the problems listed above to be solved at a single stroke: use Lisp as the source language for the numeric and graphical code! This is not a new idea  it was tried at MIT and UCB in the 1970's. While these experiments were modestly successful, the particular systems are obsolete. Fortunately, some of those ideas used in Maclisp [37], NIL [38] and Franz Lisp [20] were incorporated in the subsequent standardization of Common Lisp (CL) [35]. In this new setting it is appropriate to reexamine the theoretical and practical implications of writing numeric code in Lisp. The popular conceptions of Lisp's inefficiency for numerics have been based on rumor, supposition, and experience with early and (in fact) inefficient implementations. It is certainly possible to continue to write inefficient programs: As one example of the results of deemphasizing numerics in the design, consider the situation of the basic arithmetic operators. The definitions of these functions require that they are generic, (e.g. "+" must be able to add any combination of several precisions of floats, arbitraryprecision integers, rational numbers, and complexes), The very simple way of implementing this arithmetic  by subroutine calls  is also very inefficient. Even with appropriate declarations to enable more specific treatment of numeric types, compilers are free to ignore declarations and such implementations naturally do not accommodate the needs of intensive numbercrunching. (See the appendix for further discussion of declarations). Be this as it may, the situation with respect to Lisp has changed for the better in recent years. With the advent of ANSI standard Common Lisp, several active vendors of implementations and one active universi...
University ofWaikato
"... Lisp, one of the oldest higherlevel programming languages [29] [21] has rarely been used for fast numerical ( oatingpoint) computation. We explore the bene ts of Common Lisp [35], an emerging new language standard with some excellent implementations, for numerical computation. We compare it to For ..."
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Lisp, one of the oldest higherlevel programming languages [29] [21] has rarely been used for fast numerical ( oatingpoint) computation. We explore the bene ts of Common Lisp [35], an emerging new language standard with some excellent implementations, for numerical computation. We compare it to Fortran in terms of the speed of e ciency of generated code, as well as the structure and convenience of the language. There are a surprising number of advantages to Lisp, especially in cases where a mixture of symbolic and numeric processing is needed. Categories and Subject Descriptors: G.4 [Mathematics of Computing]: MathematicalSoftware{ e ciency, portability � D.3.4 [Programming Languages]: Processors{compilers, interpreters,