Purely functional lazy nondeterministic programming

Sebastian Fischer, Oleg Kiselyov, Chung Chieh Shan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Functional logic programming and probabilistic programming have demonstrated the broad benefits of combining laziness (nonstrict evaluation with sharing of the results) with nondeterminism. Yet these benefits are seldom enjoyed in functional programming because the existing features for nonstrictness, sharing, and nondeterminism in functional languages are tricky to combine. We present a practical way to write purely functional lazy nondeterministic programs that are efficient and perspicuous. We achieve this goal by embedding the programs into existing languages (such as Haskell, SML, and OCaml) with high-quality implementations, by making choices lazily and representing data with nondeterministic components, by working with custom monadic data types and search strategies, and by providing equational laws for the programmer to reason about their code.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-465
Number of pages53
JournalJournal of Functional Programming
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Sep 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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