Re: Warren Abstract Machine (Fergus Henderson)
22 May 1997 21:49:02 -0400

          From comp.compilers

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From: (Fergus Henderson)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 22 May 1997 21:49:02 -0400
Organization: Comp Sci, University of Melbourne
References: 97-05-201
Keywords: theory, prolog, bibliography

Andrew Gavin <> writes:

> Does anyone know where I might find some information on Warren
>Abstract Machines? I am interested in books web sites and publically
>available papers.

The best description of the WAM that I know of is

author = {Hassan Ait-Kaci},
title = {Warren's abstract machine: a tutorial reconstruction},
publisher = {MIT Press},
year = {1991}

>Failing this does anyone know any other languages like prolog which
>are have similar unification and backtracking features? [If that is
>not too dumb a question]
>I am looking into how unification and backtracking are efficiently
>implemented in lanuages.

A good general reference is

              "1983-1993: The Wonder Years of Sequential Prolog Implementation",
              Peter Van Roy, May/July 1994, Journal of Logic Programming. A survey
              of implementation technology and systems since the WAM. Available via

If you're interested in efficiency, then you should also have a look at
some of our papers on Mercury <>,
since the Mercury implementation is probably the most efficient logic
programming language implementation around at the moment.

Fergus Henderson <>
WWW: <>
PGP: finger fjh@

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