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An investigation of nondeterminism in functional programming languages

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.
Date January 1997
CreatorsGraham, Gwyneth Clare
PublisherRhodes University, Faculty of Science, Computer Science
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeThesis, Masters, MSc
Format120 p., pdf
RightsGraham, Gwyneth Clare

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