Adding equations to NU-Prolog

Lee Naish

This paper describes an extension to NU-Prolog which allows evaluable functions to be defined using equations. We consider it to be the most pragmatic way of combining functional and relational programming. The implementation consists of several hundred lines of Prolog code and the underlying Prolog implementation was not modified at all. However, the system is reasonably efficient and supports coroutining, optional lazy evaluation, higher order functions and parallel execution. Efficiency is gained in several ways. First, we use some new implementation techniques. Second, we exploit some of the unique features of NU-Prolog, though these features are not essential to the implementation. Third, the language is designed so that we can take advantage of implicit mode and determinism information. Although we have not concentrated on the semantics of the language, we believe that our language design decisions and implementation techniques will be useful in the next generation of combined functional and relational languages.

Keywords: logic programming, equations, functions, parallelism, indexing, lazy evaluation, higher order.