[Haskell-cafe] How to increase performance using concurrency for sequential producer-consumer problem

Roel van Dijk vandijk.roel at gmail.com
Mon Feb 13 16:12:22 CET 2012


I have a program which I believe can benefit from concurrency. But I
am wondering if the mechanisms I need already exist somewhere on

Here is a sketch of my program, in literate Haskell:

> module Problem where
> import Control.Monad ( forM_ )

The producer produces values. It blocks until there are now more
values to produce. Each value is given to a callback function.

> type Producer a = (a -> IO ()) -> IO ()

The converter does some work with a value. This work is purely CPU and
it is the bottleneck of the program. The amount of work it has to do
is variable.

> type Converter a b = a -> b

The consumer does something with the value calculated by the
converter. It is very important that the consumer consumes the values
in the same order as they are produced.

> type Consumer b = b -> IO ()

Dummy producer, converter and consumer:

> producer :: Producer Int
> producer callback = forM_ [1..10] callback

> converter :: Converter Int Int
> converter = (*10)

> consumer :: Consumer Int
> consumer = print

A simple driver. Does not exploit concurrency.

> simpleDriver :: Producer a -> Converter a b -> Consumer b -> IO ()
> simpleDriver producer converter consumer = producer (consumer . converter)

> current_situation :: IO ()
> current_situation = simpleDriver producer converter consumer

Ideally I would like a driver that spawns a worker thread for each
core in my system. But the trick is in ensuring that the consumer is
offered results in the same order as they are generated by the

I can envision that some kind of storage is necessary to keep track of
results which can not yet be offered to the consumer because it is
still waiting for an earlier result.

Is there any package on Haskell that can help me with this problem? Or
do I have to implement it using lower level concurrency primitives?


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