Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages | VOL. 6
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Searching entangled program spaces

Publication Date Aug 29, 2022

Abstract

Many problem domains, including program synthesis and rewrite-based optimization, require searching astronomically large spaces of programs. Existing approaches often rely on building specialized data structures—version-space algebras, finite tree automata, or e-graphs—to compactly represent such spaces. At their core, all these data structures exploit independence of subterms; as a result, they cannot efficiently represent more complex program spaces, where the choices of subterms are entangled. We introduce equality-constrained tree automata (ECTAs), a new data structure, designed to compactly represent large spaces of programs with entangled subterms. We present efficient algorithms for extracting programs from ECTAs, implemented in a performant Haskell library, ecta. Using the ecta library, we construct Hectare, a type-driven program synthesizer for Haskell. Hectare significantly outperforms a state-of-the-art synthesizer Hoogle+—providing an average speedup of 8×—despite its implementation being an order of magnitude smaller.

Concepts

Finite Tree Automata Tree Automata Data Structures Problem Domains Complex Spaces Specialized Data Structures Haskell Library Finite Tree Program Synthesis Average Speedup

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