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LFCS seminar: Jennifer Hackett: How to Replace Sharing with Fortune-Telling

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  • LFCS Seminar
  • Upcoming events
When Dec 12, 2018
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where MF2
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Lazy evaluation gives us two main benefits: compositional programming and
infinite data. However, these benefits come at a cost, and one of the main
reasons given in favour of strict (non-lazy) functional languages is that their
operational behaviour is easier to understand. The key issue with understanding
lazy evaluation is that while the external interface provided to the programmer
is declarative and pure, the internal implementation is stateful. As a result,
modelling lazy evaluation requires us to thread state through everything we do,
vastly complicating our reasoning.
In this talk, I will show how to avoid this problem by replacing the internal
state of lazy evaluation with an external nondeterminism.  This allows us to
construct a much simplified semantics for lazy evaluation that still faithfully
models concerns like efficiency.  This talk is based on work currently in
progress and is aimed at a broad audience of computer scientists, assuming a
basic knowledge of operational semantics and the lambda calculus.
Bio: Jennifer Hackett is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of
Nottingham working on the Mind the Gap project, developing techniques for
reasoning about the efficiency of lazy functional programs. She also has an
interest in computer creativity and human-computer collaboration, particularly
for language-based art forms such as literature, poetry and interactive
fiction. She is currently serving as Workshops Co-Chair for the International
Conference on Functional Programming for the years 2019--2020, as well as on
the programme committee for Mathematics of Program Construction 2019. In her
spare time, she writes stories and songs with too many feelings in them.
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