# speculation

A framework for safe, programmable, speculative parallelism http://github.com/ekmett/speculation

Version on this page: | 1.5.0.3 |

LTS Haskell 12.26: | 1.5.0.3 |

Stackage Nightly 2018-09-28: | 1.5.0.3 |

Latest on Hackage: | 1.5.0.3 |

**Edward A. Kmett**

**Edward A. Kmett**

#### Module documentation for 1.5.0.3

# speculation

A framework for safe, programmable, speculative parallelism, loosely based on:

- Prakash Prabhu, G. Ramalingam, and Kapil Vaswani, “
*Safe Programmable Speculative Parallelism*”, In the proceedings of Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI) Vol 45, Issue 6 (June 2010) pp 50-61. http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/118795/pldi026-vaswani.pdf

This package provides speculative function application and speculative folds. Speculative `STM`

transactions take the place
of the transactional rollback machinery from the paper.

You can download it using `cabal install speculation`

, if you have the Haskell Platform installed.

## Speculative Function Application (Control.Concurrent.Speculation)

Various speculative function application combinators are provided. Two fairly canonical samples are described here.

#### spec

```
spec :: Eq a => a -> (a -> b) -> a -> b
```

`spec g f a`

evaluates `f g`

while forcing `a`

, if `g == a`

then `f g`

is returned. Otherwise `f a`

is evaluated.

Furthermore, if the argument has already been evaluated, we avoid sparking the parallel computation at all.

If `g`

is a good guess at the value of `a`

, this is one way to induce parallelism in an otherwise sequential task.

However, if `g`

isn't available more cheaply than `a`

, then this saves no work, and if `g`

is wrong, you risk evaluating the function twice.
spec a f a = f $! a

The best-case timeline looks like: [–– f g ––] [—– a —–] [– spec g f a –]

The worst-case timeline looks like: [–– f g ––] [—– a —–] [–– f a ––] [—–– spec g f a ———–]

Compare these to the timeline of `f $! a`

:
[–– a —–]
[–– f a ––]

#### specSTM

`specSTM`

provides a similar compressed timeline for speculated `STM`

actions, but also rolls back side-effects.

## Speculative Folds (Data.Foldable.Speculation)

A speculative version of the combinators from `Data.Foldable`

is provided as `Data.Foldable.Speculation`

.

Each combinator therein takes an extra argument that is used to speculate on the value of the list.

#### foldr

```
foldr :: (Foldable f, Eq b) => (Int -> b) -> (a -> b -> b) -> b -> f a -> b
```

Given a valid estimator `g`

, `foldr g f z xs`

yields the same answer as `Foldable.foldr' f z xs`

.

`g n`

should supply an estimate of the value returned from folding over the **last** `n`

elements of the container.

As with `spec`

, if the guess `g n`

is accurate a reasonable percentage of the time and faster to compute than the ensuing fold, then this can provide increased opportunities for parallelism.

#### foldl

```
foldl :: (Foldable f, Eq b) => (Int -> b) -> (b -> a -> b) -> b -> f a -> b
```

`foldl`

works similarly to `Foldable.foldl'`

, except that `g n`

should provide an estimate for the **first** `n`

elements.

## Contact Information

Contributions and bug reports are welcome!

I can be reached through the user ekmett on github, as edwardk on irc.freenode.net #haskell channel, or by email at ekmett@gmail.com.

-Edward Kmett

## Changes

/1.5.0.3/

- Support GHC 8
- Support
`transformers`

0.5

/1.5.0.2/

- Build warning-free on GHC 7.10+
- Added an HLint configuration
- Removed a redundant constraint from the type of
`sequenceByA_`

. - Removed a redundant
`Monad m`

constraint from`instance MonadSpec (ContT r m)`

.

/1.5/

- Removed the use of
`tag-bits`

. This enables the API to be`Trustworthy`

.

/1.4/

- Simplified MonadSpec

/1.3/

- Removed old benchmark/test framework.
- Make numSparks support mandatory.
- Moved to Control.Concurrent from Data
- Added MonadSpec, so we can make instances for Codensity, etc. in other packages
- Removed the ContT r STM combinators
- Cleaned out old issues
- Made compatible with the removal of the Eq/Show superclasses of Num in GHC 7.3+

/1.2.0.2/

- Fixed name collision with the new Distribution.Simple.testHook in Setup.lhs

/1.2.0.1/

- Weakened dependencies

/1.2.0.0/:

- Reorganized the module hierarchy into Data.Speculation

/1.1.0.0/:

- Added support for numSparks

/1.0.0.0/:

- Released

/0.9.0/:

- Removed interim boxing in the unsafeIsEvaluated and unsafeGetTagBits check

/0.8.1/:

- Added Data.List.Foldable
- Added Data.Traversable.Foldable
- Fixed an off-by-one error in the arguments to the speculative fold estimators

/0.8.0.2/:

- changed tests and benchmarks to not build by default to work around corruption in the hackage db

/0.8.0.1/:

- test suite now forces build