Authors/Contributors

Klaus Berkling

Document Type

Report

Date

5-1990

Embargo Period

5-1-2012

Keywords

Array processing, functional programming, lambda calculus, reduction machines

Language

English

Disciplines

Computer Sciences

Description/Abstract

Why do functional languages have more difficulties with arrays than procedural languages? The problems arising in the designing of functional languages with arrays and in their implementations are manifold. They can be classified according to 1) first principles, 2) semantics, 3) pragmatics, and 4) performance. This paper attempts to give an outline of the issues in this area, and their relation to the lambda calculus. The lambda calculus is a formal system and as such seemingly remote from practical applications. However, specific representations and implementations of that system may be utilized to realize arrays such that progress is made towards a compromise of 1) adhering to first principles, 2) clear semantics, 3) obvious pragmatics, and 4) high performance. To be more specific, a form of the lambda calculus which uses a particular representation of variables, namely De Bruijn indices, may be a vehicle to represent arrays and the functions to manipulate them.

Additional Information

School of Computer and Information Science, Syracuse University, SU-CIS-90-22

Source

local

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