Understanding LOLITA: Experiences in teaching large scale functional programming

Stephen A. Jarvis, Sanjay Poria, Rick G. Morgan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


LOLITA is a large scale natural processing system written in the functional language Haskell. It consists of over 47,000 lines of code written over 180 different modules. There are currently 20 people working on the system, most of whom are Ph.D. students. The majority of research projects involve the development of an application which is written around a semantic network; the knowledge representation structure at the core of the system. Because of the type of various applications, developers often join the team with little or no functional programming experience. For this reason the task of teaching these developers to the level required to implement their respective applications, requires teaching at various levels of abstraction. The strategy chosen means that each researcher only needs to be taught at the particular level of abstraction at which they work. These abstractions give rise to the notion of a domain specific sublanguage; that is a programming style in which a different language is created for each desired level of abstraction. In this paper we show how functional languages provide the necessary framework to enable these sublanguages to be created.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFuntional Programming Languages in Education - 1st International Symposium, FPLE 1995, Proceedings
EditorsPieter H. Hartel, Rinus Plasmeijer
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9783540606758
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Event1st International Symposium on Functional Programming Languages in Education, FPLE 1995 - Nijmegen, Netherlands
Duration: 4 Dec 19956 Dec 1995

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference1st International Symposium on Functional Programming Languages in Education, FPLE 1995

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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