[Haskell-cafe] about Haskell code written to be "too smart"
wren ng thornton
wren at freegeek.org
Wed Mar 25 17:57:11 EDT 2009
Dan Weston wrote:
> So to be clear with the terminology:
>
> inductive = good consumer?
> coinductive = good producer?
>
> So fusion should be possible (automatically? or do I need a GHC rule?) with
> inductive . coinductive
>
> Or have I bungled it?
Not quite. Induction means starting from base cases and building things
upwards from those. Coinduction is the dual and can be thought of as
starting from the ceiling and building your way downwards (until you hit
the base cases, or possibly forever).
So, if you have potentially infinite data (aka co-data) coming in, then
you need to use coinduction because you may never see the basis but you
want to make progress anyways. In formal terms, coinduction on co-data
gives the same progress guarantees as induction on data, though
termination is no longer a conclusion of progress (since coinduction may
produce an infinite output from infinite input).
Haskell doesn't distinguish data and co-data, but you can imagine data
as if all the data constructors are strict, and co-data as if all the
constructors are lazy. Another way to think of it is that finite lists
(ala OCaml and SML) are data, but streams are co-data.
For fusion there's the build/fold type and its dual unfold/destroy,
where build/unfold are producers and fold/destroy are consumers. To
understand how fusion works, let's look at the types of build and fold.
GHC.Exts.build :: (forall b. (a -> b -> b) -> b -> b) -> [a]
flip (flip . foldr) :: [a] -> ( (a -> b -> b) -> b -> b )
Together they give an isomorphism between lists as an ADT [a] and as a
catamorphism (forall b. (a -> b -> b) -> b -> b), aka Church encoding.
When we have build followed by foldr, we can remove the intermediate
list and pass the F-algebra down directly:
foldr cons nil (build k) = k cons nil
For unfold/destroy fusion the idea is the same except that we use unfold
(an anamorphism on the greatest fixed point) instead of fold (a
catamorphism on the least fixed point). The two fixed points coincide in
Haskell.
Since Haskell does build/fold fusion, "good producer" requires that the
function was written using build, and "good consumer" requires it's
written using foldr. Using these functions allows us to apply the rule,
though it's not sufficient for "good fusion". Why the functions have the
particular types they do and why this is safe has to do with induction
and coinduction, but the relationship isn't direct.
The reason a coinductive function is easy to make into a good producer
has to do with that relationship. Take a canonically coinductive
function like
f [] = []
f (x:xs) = x : f xs
Once we've made one step of recursion, we've generated (x:) and then
have a thunk for recursing. Most importantly is that no matter how we
evaluate the rest of the list, the head of the return value is already
known to be (:) thus we can get to WHNF after one step. Whatever
function is consuming this output can then take x and do whatever with
it, and then pull on f xs which then takes a single step and returns
(x':) along with a thunk f xs'. Because all of those (:) are being
produced immediately, it's easy to abstract it out as a functional
argument--- thus we can use build.
Coinduction doesn't need to do 1-to-1 mapping of input to output, there
just needs to be the guarantee that we only need to read a finite amount
of input before producing a non-zero finite amount of output. These
functions are also coinductive:
p [] = []
p [x] = [x]
p (x:y:ys) = y : x : p ys
q [] = []
q [x] = []
q (x:y:ys) = y : q ys
r [] = []
r (x:xs) = x : x : r xs
They can also be written using build, though they're chunkier about
reading input or producing output. These functions are not coinductive
because there's no finite bound on how long it takes to reach WHNF:
bad [] = []
bad (x:xs) = bad xs
reverse [] = []
reverse (x:xs) = reverse xs ++ [x]
Because build/fold is an isomorphism, we can technically use build for
writing *any* function that produces a list. However, there's more to
fusion than just using the build/fold isomorphism. The big idea behind
it all is that when producers and consumers are in 1-to-1 correlation,
then we can avoid allocating that 1 (the cons cell) and can just pass
the arguments of the constructor directly to the consumer. For example:
let buildF [] = []
buildF (x:xs) = x : buildF xs
consumeF [] = 0
consumeF (x:xs) = 1 + consumeF xs
in
consumeF . buildF
==
let buildF = \xs -> build (f xs)
where
f [] cons nil = nil
f (x:xs) cons nil = x `cons` f xs cons nil
consumeF = foldr consumeCons consumeNil
where
consumeNil = 0
consumeCons x rs = 1 + rs
in
consumeF . buildF
==
let f [] cons nil = nil
f (x:xs) cons nil = x `cons` f xs cons nil
consumeNil = 0
consumeCons x rs = 1 + rs
in
foldr consumeCons consumeNil . \xs -> build (f xs)
==
let... in
\xs -> foldr consumeCons consumeNil (build (f xs))
==
let... in
\xs -> (f xs) consumeCons consumeNil
And now f never allocates any (:) or [], it just calls the two consumers
directly. The first step of choosing to use build and foldr instead of
primitive recursion is what enables the compiler to automatically do all
the other steps.
Leaving it at that is cute since we can avoid allocating the list,
however, due to laziness we may still end up allocating a spine of calls
to consumeCons, which isn't much better than a spine of calls to (:).
This is why "good producers" are ones which are capable of producing a
single cons at a time, they never construct a spine before it is needed
by the consumer. And this is why "good consumers" are ones which are
capable of consuming a single cons at a time, they never force the
production of a spine without immediately consuming it. We can relax
this goodness from 1-to-1 to chunkier things, but that also reduces the
benefits of fusion.
All of this can be generalized to other types besides lists, of course.
--
Live well,
~wren
More information about the Haskell-Cafe
mailing list