Journal of Functional Programming | VOL. 32
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Iterating on multiple collections in synchrony

Publication Date Jan 1, 2022

Abstract

Abstract Modern programming languages typically provide some form of comprehension syntax which renders programs manipulating collection types more readable and understandable. However, comprehension syntax corresponds to nested loops in general. There is no simple way of using it to express efficient general synchronized iterations on multiple ordered collections, such as linear-time algorithms for low-selectivity database joins. Synchrony fold is proposed here as a novel characterization of synchronized iteration. Central to this characterization is a monotonicisBeforepredicate for relating the orderings on the two collections being iterated on and an antimonotoniccanSeepredicate for identifying matching pairs in the two collections to synchronize and act on. A restriction is then placed on Synchrony fold, cutting its extensional expressive power to match that of comprehension syntax, giving us Synchrony generator. Synchrony generator retains sufficient intensional expressive power for expressing efficient synchronized iteration on ordered collections. In particular, it is proved to be a natural generalization of the database merge join algorithm, extending the latter to more general database joins. Finally, Synchrony iterator is derived from Synchrony generator as a novel form of iterator. While Synchrony iterator has the same extensional and intensional expressive power as Synchrony generator, the former is better dovetailed with comprehension syntax. Thereby, algorithms requiring synchronized iterations on multiple o...

Concepts

Comprehension Syntax Expressive Power Sufficient Power Matching Pairs Linear-time Algorithms Programming Languages

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