An investigation of nondeterminism in functional programming languages

Graham, Gwyneth Clare (1997) An investigation of nondeterminism in functional programming languages. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates nondeterminism in functional programming languages. To establish a precise understanding of nondeterministic language properties, Sondergaard and Sestoft's analysis and definitions of functional language properties are adopted as are the characterizations of weak and strong nondeterminism. This groundwork is followed by a denotational semantic description of a nondeterministic language (suggested by Sondergaard and Sestoft). In this manner, a precise characterization of the effects of strong nondeterminism is developed. Methods used to hide nondeterminism to in order to overcome or sidestep the problem of strong nondeterminism in pure functional languages are defined. These different techniques ensure that functional languages remain pure but also include some of the advantages of nondeterminism. Lastly, this discussion of nondeterminism is applied to the area of functional parallel language implementation to indicate that the related problem and the possible solutions are not purely academic. This application gives rise to an interesting discussion on optimization of list parallelism. This technique relies on the ability to decide when a bag may be used instead of a list.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Functional programming languages
Subjects:Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Computer Science
Supervisors:Wentworth, E. P.
ID Code:3234
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:29 Aug 2012 07:53
Last Modified:29 Aug 2012 07:53
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