Publication
POPL 1988
Conference paper

Polymorphic effect systems

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Abstract

We present a new approach to programming languages for parallel computers that uses an effect system to discover expression scheduling constraints. This effect system is part of a 'kinded' type system with three base kinds: types, which describe the value that an expression may return; effects, which describe the side-effects that an expression may have; and regions, which describe the area of the store in which side-effects may occur. Types, effects and regions are collectively called descriptions. Expressions can be abstracted over any kind of description variable - this permits type, effect and region polymorphism. Unobservable side-effects can be masked by the effect system; an effect soundness property guarantees that the effects computed statically by the effect system are a conservative approximation of the actual side-effects that a given expression may have. The effect system we describe performs certain kinds of side-effect analysis that were not previously feasible. Experimental data from the programming language FX indicate that an effect system can be used effectively to compile programs for parallel computers.

Date

13 Jan 1988

Publication

POPL 1988

Authors

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