From Interpreter to Logic Engine by Defunctionalization
Starting from a continuation-based interpreter for a simple logic programming language, propositional Prolog with cut, we derive the corresponding logic engine in the form of an abstract machine. The derivation originates in previous work (our article at PPDP 2003) where it was applied to the lambda-calculus. The key transformation here is Reynolds's defunctionalization that transforms a tail-recursive, continuation-passing interpreter into a transition system, i.e., an abstract machine. Similar denotational and operational semantics were studied by de Bruin and de Vink in previous work (their article at TAPSOFT 1989), and we compare their study with our derivation. Additionally, we present a direct-style interpreter of propositional Prolog expressed with control operators for delimited continuations.
This report is superseded by the later report BRICS RS-04-5