Evaluation transformers — A model for the parallel evaluation of functional languages (extended abstract)

  • Geoffrey L. Burn
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 274)


If we are not careful, a parallel machine may become swamped with the computation of the expressions whose values are not needed in order to produce the result from a program. We give a semantic criterion which ensures that this does not happen.

An abstract interpretation can be developed which gives the definedness of a function in terms of the definedness of its arguments. Traditionally this has been used to give a strictness analysis which has been interpreted to say how much the argument in an application can be evaluated in parallel with the application while still satisfying the semantic criterion. Strictness analysis however only takes into account local information.

By taking into account contextual information of an application, we are able to find that in many cases more evaluation of the argument is allowed. This information is available from the same abstract interpretation that is used for strictness analysis. Given how much evaluation is allowed of a function application, an evaluation transformer says how much evaluation of the argument in the application is allowed. This leads to a natural model of the parallel evaluation of functional languages.


Functional Languages Parallel Reduction Abstract Interpretation Strictness Analysis Evaluation Transformers 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey L. Burn
    • 1
  1. 1.GEC Research LtdHirst Research CentreWembleyUnited Kingdom

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