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Logic programming in the context of multiparadigm programming: the Oz experience

Research paper by Peter Van Roy, Per Brand, Denys Duchier, Seif Haridi, Martin Henz, Christian Schulte

Indexed on: 20 Aug '02Published on: 20 Aug '02Published in: Computer Science - Programming Languages



Abstract

Oz is a multiparadigm language that supports logic programming as one of its major paradigms. A multiparadigm language is designed to support different programming paradigms (logic, functional, constraint, object-oriented, sequential, concurrent, etc.) with equal ease. This article has two goals: to give a tutorial of logic programming in Oz and to show how logic programming fits naturally into the wider context of multiparadigm programming. Our experience shows that there are two classes of problems, which we call algorithmic and search problems, for which logic programming can help formulate practical solutions. Algorithmic problems have known efficient algorithms. Search problems do not have known efficient algorithms but can be solved with search. The Oz support for logic programming targets these two problem classes specifically, using the concepts needed for each. This is in contrast to the Prolog approach, which targets both classes with one set of concepts, which results in less than optimal support for each class. To explain the essential difference between algorithmic and search programs, we define the Oz execution model. This model subsumes both concurrent logic programming (committed-choice-style) and search-based logic programming (Prolog-style). Instead of Horn clause syntax, Oz has a simple, fully compositional, higher-order syntax that accommodates the abilities of the language. We conclude with lessons learned from this work, a brief history of Oz, and many entry points into the Oz literature.