# Book: "The Optimal Implementation of Functional Programming Languages"

**Massimo Dentico**
m.dentico@teseo.it

*Sat, 04 Sep 1999 20:31:17 +0200*

>*From Cambridge University Press:
*
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The Optimal Implementation of Functional Programming Languages
(http://www.cup.cam.ac.uk/Scripts/webbook.asp?isbn=0521621127)
Andrea Asperti - University of Bologna
and
Stefano Guerrini - Queen Mary and Westfield College
Description
All traditional implementation techniques for functional languages
(mostly based on supercombinators, environments or continuations)
fail to avoid useless repetition of work; they are not 'optimal'
in their implementation of sharing, often causing a catastrophic,
exponential explosion in reduction time. Optimal reduction is an
innovative graph reduction technique for functional expressions,
introduced by Lamping in 1990, that solves the sharing problem.
This book, the first in the subject, is a comprehensive account by
two of its leading exponents. Practical implementation aspects are
fully covered as are the mathematical underpinnings of the
subject. The relationship to the pioneering work of Lévy and to
Girard's more recent Geometry of Interaction are explored; optimal
reduction is thereby revealed as a prime example of how a
beautiful mathematical theory can lead to practical benefit. The
book is essentially self-contained, requiring no more than
familiarity with functional languages. It will be welcomed by
graduate students and research workers in lambda calculus,
functional programming or linear logic.
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Is this technique well-known?
--
Massimo Dentico