Homework 7: Laziness

CIS 194: Homework 7
Due Tuesday, October 18

Exercise 1: Fibonacci numbers

The Fibonacci numbers \(F_n\) are defined as the sequence of integers, beginning with \(1\) and \(1\), where every integer in the sequence is the sum of the previous two. That is,

\[\begin{align*} F_0 & = 1 \\ F_1 & = 1 \\ F_n & = F_{n-1} + F_{n-2} \qquad (n \geq 2) \end{align*}\]

For example, the first fifteen Fibonacci numbers are: \[ 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144,233,377,610,… \]

It’s quite likely that you’ve heard of the Fibonacci numbers before. The reason they’re so famous probably has something to do with the simplicity of their definition combined with the astounding variety of ways that they show up in various areas of mathematics as well as art and nature.

Try evaluating fibs1 at the ghci prompt. You will probably get bored watching it after the first \(30\) or so Fibonacci numbers, because fib is ridiculously slow. Although it is a good way to define the Fibonacci numbers, it is not a very good way to compute them – in order to compute \(F_n\) it essentially ends up adding \(1\) to itself \(F_n\) times!

For example, below is the tree of recursive calls made by evaluating fib 5.

As you can see, it does a lot of repeated work. In the end, fib has running time \(O(F_n)\), which (it turns out) is equivalent to \(O(\varphi^n)\), where \(\varphi = \frac{1 + \sqrt{5}}{2}\) is the “golden ratio”. That’s right, the running time is exponential in \(n\). What’s more, all this work is also repeated from each element of the list fibs1 to the next. Surely we can do better:

Exercise 2: Streams

We can be more explicit about infinite lists by defining a type Stream representing lists that must be infinite. (The usual list type represents lists that may be infinite but may also have some finite length.)

In particular, streams are like lists but with only a “cons” constructor – whereas the list type has two constructors, [] (the empty list) and (:) (cons), there is no such thing as an empty stream. So a stream is simply defined as an element followed by a stream:

data Stream a = Cons a (Stream a)

Now that we have some tools for working with streams, let’s create a few:

Exercise 3: The Supply monad

In many applications, you want to write code that takes an element of some supply: If you are writing a compiler, you need to assign unique identifiers to elements. If you are modelling some random computation, you need to draw random numbers. If you are assigning students to seats for an exam, you need to find the next free seat.

Obviously, taking one element from a supply is a side effect, so we need to model it in terms of pure functions. One obvious model is

type Supply s a = Stream s -> (a, Stream s)

Now a value of type Supply a models a computation that uses elements from a stream of s value and returns both its result of type a and the remaining stream.

This type is unfortunately not tight: It allows for functions that take something of the stream but leave it unchanged, or add new elements to the stream, or change it completely. To avoid this, we use abstraction: We define Supply as its own data type. Only functions that use the constructor S can then create Supply-values. If all those (few, primitive) functions are well-behaving, everything built on top are also well-behaving. In a real application we would put this in a separate module and not export the S constructor, thereby enforcing that every Supply is well-behaving.

data Supply s a = S (Stream s -> (a, Stream s))

Implement the following functions. Because of the constructor S, one of these two idioms might be handy

idiom1 :: Supply s a
idiom1 = S (\xs -> …)

idiom2 :: Supply s a
idiom2 = S go
  where go xs =

These building blocks are sufficient to turn Supply s into a Monad. This is the magical incarnation (we will talk more about Functor and Applicative later):

instance Functor (Supply s) where
    fmap = mapSupply

instance Applicative (Supply s) where
    pure = pureSupply
    (<*>) = mapSupply2 id

instance Monad (Supply s) where
    return = pureSupply
    (>>=) = bindSupply

Use the supply monad to label the leaves of a tree from left to right with the natural numbers:

data Tree a = Node (Tree a) (Tree a) | Leaf a deriving Show

labelTree :: Tree a -> Tree Integer
labelTree t = runSupply nats (go t)
    go :: Tree a -> Supply s (Tree s)
    go …

You should be able get this in GHCi:

*Main> let t = let l = Leaf () ; n = Node in n (n (n l l) l) (n l l)
*Main> labelTree t
Node (Node (Node (Leaf 0) (Leaf 1)) (Leaf 2)) (Node (Leaf 3) (Leaf 4))

Non-Exercise: Dice throws

You don’t actually have to do anything here, besides reading the code, running it, and cherish how pretty it became to implement probabilistic sampling using the Monad you defined. Maybe you also want to change some of the algorithms there.

Here is a type synonym that makes it more explicit what we want here, and a function to run such a computation, feeding it random numbers in the IO monad:

import System.Random

type Rand a = Supply Integer a

randomDice :: RandomGen g => g -> Stream Integer
randomDice gen =
    let (roll, gen') = randomR (1,6) gen
    in Cons roll (randomDice gen')

runRand :: Rand a -> IO a
runRand r = do
    stdGen <- getStdGen
    let diceRolls = randomDice stdGen
    return $ runSupply diceRolls r

averageOfTwo :: Rand Double
averageOfTwo = do
    d1 <- get
    d2 <- get
    return $ fromIntegral (d1 + d2) / 2

bestOutOfTwo :: Rand Double
bestOutOfTwo = do
    d1 <- get
    d2 <- get
    return $ fromIntegral $ if (d1 > d2) then d1 else d2

-- Look, ma, I’m recursive!
sumUntilOne :: Rand Double
sumUntilOne = do
    d <- get
    if (d == 1) then return 0
                else do s <- sumUntilOne
		        return (s + fromIntegral d)

sample :: Int -> Rand Double -> Rand (Double, Double)
sample n what = do
    samples <- replicateM n what
    return (maximum samples, sum samples / fromIntegral n)

main = mapM_ go [ ("average of two", averageOfTwo)
	        , ("bestOutOfTwo",   bestOutOfTwo)
	        , ("sumUntilOne",    sumUntilOne)
    n = 10000
    go (name, what) = do
	(max, avg) <- runRand (sample n what)
	putStrLn $ "Playing \"" ++ name ++ "\" " ++ show n ++ " times " ++
	           "yields a max of " ++ show max ++ " and an average of " ++
		   show avg ++ "."

Here is the output of one run. If your numbers differ greatly, check your code. (I had a bug in mapSupply2 which let the average equal the max. Can you guess what I did wrong?)

Playing "average of two" 10000 times yields a max of 6.0 and an average of 3.5168.
Playing "bestOutOfTwo" 10000 times yields a max of 6.0 and an average of 4.4871.
Playing "sumUntilOne" 10000 times yields a max of 191.0 and an average of 20.4356.

  1. Of course there are several billion Haskell implementations of the Fibonacci numbers on the web, and I have no way to prevent you from looking at them; but you’ll probably learn a lot more if you try to come up with something yourself first.