Performance and evaluation of Lisp systems by Richard P. Gabriel

By Richard P. Gabriel

This ultimate file of the Stanford Lisp functionality examine, performed over a 3 yr interval by means of the writer, describes implementation concepts, functionality tradeoffs, benchmarking recommendations, and function effects for all the significant Lisp dialects in use this day. a well-liked highlevel programming language used predominantly in man made intelligence, Lisp was once the 1st language to pay attention to operating with symbols rather than numbers. Lisp was once brought through John McCarthy within the early Nineteen Sixties (McCarthy's LISP 1.5 Programmer's Manual released in 1962 comes in paperback from The MIT Press) and its non-stop improvement has enabled it to stay dominant in man made intelligence.

Performance and review of Lisp Systems is the 1st publication to provide descriptions at the Lisp implementation suggestions truly in use and will function a instruction manual to the implementation information of all the a number of present Lisp expressions. It presents particular functionality info utilizing the instruments of benchmarking (the means of using standardized desktop courses to check the processing strength of alternative computers) to degree some of the Lisp structures, and offers an knowing of the technical tradeoffs made in the course of the implementation of a Lisp system.

The research is split into 3 significant elements. the 1st offers the theoretical heritage, outlining the criteria that pass into comparing the functionality of a Lisp process. the second one half provides the Lisp implementations: MacLisp, MIT CADR, LMI Lambda, S-I Lisp, Franz Lisp, MIL, Spice Lisp, Vax universal Lisp, moveable ordinary Lisp, and Xerox D-Machine. a last half describes the benchmark suite that was once used in the course of the significant component to the examine and the implications themselves.

Richard P. Gabriel is President and leader Technical Officer, Lucid, Inc., and Consulting affiliate Professor, Stanford collage. Performance and assessment of Lisp Systems is integrated within the desktops sequence, learn experiences and Notes, edited via Herb Schwetman.

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The method used is BIDOP. Memory is seg mente d into pages , each about l k words long. Each page contain s objects of one type only. To determine th e type of a pointer, one must determine th e type of the page to which it points. In general, this can be done by using a special ta ble (as in MacLisp) or by looking at a header word at the beginning of the page in quest ion. Array headers are allocated in t his way, and the array elements are placed elsewhere. Hunks are a short, vector-like data struct ure in MacLisp and are allocated using a buddy-block system.

However, th e PDP-lO code for TAK' shown above demonstrates that it is using PDL numbe rs. Also, by tim ing various values for n , one can see that th ere is no significant variation and th at th e coding technique th erefore canno t be number-size dependent (up to BIGNUMs). 2 Measure the Right Thing Often a single operation is too fast to time dir ectly, and therefore must be performed many tim es; the total time is then used to compute the speed of th e operati on. Although simple loops to accomplish th is appear straight forward, the benchma rk may be ma inly testing the loop construct.

Function calling . and byte manipulation capab ilities; it also supports internal sta ck storage. The CADR derives much of its power from extensive microcoding. This is assisted by a 14-bit microprogram count er that, acting as a tradit ional processor} permits up to 16k words of dynami cally writable microprogram memory. Th ere is also a 32-locat ion microcode funct ion ret urn stack. Th e CADR has linear, paged virtual memory comprising 65,536 pages of 256 32-bit words. A two-level memory map t ranslates each virt ual address of 24 bits into a Z2-bit physical add ress.

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