Haskell performance

Sébastien Pierre sebastien.pierre at adival.com
Thu Mar 18 09:47:47 EST 2004

Hi all,

I am a Haskell newbie, but have been interested in Haskell (and 
generally speaking ML-derivates) for some time. I am currently 
evaluating different languages for implementing an application which 
will have to manipulate large graphs representing the structure of 
programs and their evolution.

In this respect, I need to find a language which offers a proper 
paradigm for implementation of graph algorithms (possibly involing some 
AI techniques), while offering great speed. Speed is in fact a crucial 
criterium for the language choice.

I once read that Haskell was rather slow, especially when compared to 
Standard ML, which seems to be confirmed by "The Great Computer Language 
Shootout" (http://www.bagley.org/~doug/shootout/craps.shtml). However, 
this performance comparison seems rather outdated, so I wanted to know 
if GHC had improved in performance in the meantime.

For now, the (somewhat unpleasing) conclusion I came with is that a Java 
(app core), Python (proto, UI) plus some interfaced C++ libs would be 
OK... but I would largely prefer to use a fonctional language for my 
application core. OCaml would have been just great, if only it had a 
properly designed library and a decent syntax... like Haskell !

What do you Haskell-experts could say about using Haskell for an 
application requiring graph processing performance ?


 -- Sébastien

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