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Collection-oriented languages

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2 Author(s)
J. M. Sipelstein ; Sch. of Comput. Sci., Carnegie, Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; G. E. Blelloch

The authors outline, compare, and contrast the collections and operations found in many collection-oriented languages by putting them into a common framework. In the process, many problems that can occur in specifying such languages are elucidated. These languages are ideal for use with massively parallel machines, even though many of them were developed before parallelism. Some extended examples of collection operations in several languages are given. A taxonomy of collections is introduced. Issues examined include the type of elements a collection can contain, whether a collection must be homogeneously typed, and the ordering among the elements of a collection. The apply-to-each form in collection-oriented languages is examined. This form applies a function to each element of a collection. Issues treated include whether the extension of a function over the elements is explicit or implicit and how the extension is applied to functions with multiple arguments. A variety of languages (including APL, SETL, CM-Lisp, Paralation Lisp, and Fortran 90) are critically compared

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:79 ,  Issue: 4 )