Can Logic Programming Execute as Fast as Imperative Programming?

Peter Lodewijk Van Roy


The purpose of this dissertation is to provide constructive proof that the logic programming language Prolog can be implemented an order of magnitude more efficiently than the best previous systems, so that its speed approaches imperative languages such as C for a significant class of problems. The driving force in the design is to encode each occurrence of a general feature of Prolog as simply as possible. The resulting system, Aquarius Prolog, is about five times faster than Quintus Prolog, a high performance commercial system, on a set of representative programs. The design is based on the following ideas: Because of limitations of the dataflow analysis, the system is not yet competitive with the C language for all programs. I outline the work that is needed to close the remaining gap.
Please send all comments to Peter Van Roy.