Michael Driscoll

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering

Physical Description

1 online resource (113 p.)


Parallel processing (Electronic computers), Prolog (Computer program language)




Logic programming languages have generated increasing interest over the last few years. Logic programming languages like Prolog are being explored for different applications. Prolog is inherently parallel. Attempts are being made to utilize this inherent parallelism. There are two kinds of parallelism present in Prolog, OR parallelism and AND parallelism. OR parallelism is relatively easy to exploit while AND parallelism poses interesting issues. One of the main issues is dependencies between literals.

It is very important to use the AND parallelism available in the language structure as not exploiting it would result in a substantial loss of parallelism. Any system trying to make use of either or both kinds of parallelism would need to have the capability of performing faster unification, as it affects the overall execution time greatly.

A new architecture design is presented in this thesis that exploits both kinds of parallelism. The architecture efficiently implements some of the key concepts in Conery's approach to parallel execution [5]. The architecture has a memory hierarchy that uses associative memory. Associative memories are useful for faster lookup and response and hence their use results in quick response time. Along with the use of a memory hierarchy, execution algorithms and rules for ordering of literals are presented. The rules for ordering of literals are helpful in determining the order of execution.

The analysis of response time is done for different configurations of the architecture, from sequential execution with one processor to multiple processing units having multiple processors. A benchmark program, "query," is used for obtaining results, and the map coloring problem is also solved on different configurations and results are compared.

To obtain results the goals and subgoals are assigned to different processors by creating a tree. These assignments and transferring of goals are simulated by hand.

The total time includes the time needed for moving goals back and forth from one processor to another. The total time is calculated in number of cycles with some assumptions about memory response time, communication time, number of messages that can be sent on the bus at a particular instant, etc. The results obtained show that the architecture efficiently exploits the AND parallelism and OR parallelism available in Prolog. The total time needed for different configurations is then compared and conclusions are drawn.


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