[Haskell-cafe] Master's thesis topic sought

Shelby Moore shelby at coolpage.com
Wed Nov 4 21:29:00 EST 2009

> Hello, -Cafe,
> I'm looking for an interesting topic to hack on in my thesis.
> The thesis should be rather "theoretical"/abstract (writing a mail
> client in Haskell is not, for example), dealing with FP or related
> fields.

The theoretical concept of how to make lazy evaluation less
discontinuously correlated to allocation space determinism:

(should have written "stochastic" instead of "statistical")

I think this would make you a hero also if you succeed, as I see this
problem as the main problem stopping its adoption as a mainstream

The problem as I see it (Google "space leak Haskell" for examples), is
that even a very small change in the code can cause a huge space leak that
slows the program to molasses due to paging (faults) load.  And these
effects are not predictable or easy to reason about.  When these
discontinuous effects occur, we have to stop our development, do
profiling, and try to isolate the obscure cause, then restructure code in
bizzarre ways to try to get some determinism in space allocation.

My abstract idea is that it should be possible to stochastically throttle
these effects, by throtting whether (and whic) thunks get cached to (WH)NF
or re-valuated on each use.

I do think it is possible to teach people how to program in FP succinctly
and without making their head hurt:


You may not find many people here openly expressing their interest in
these topics, but I think there are millions of people out there who would

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