The significance of memory costs in answer set solver implementation

Martin Brain, Marina De Vos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)


Implementation costs linked to processor memory subsystems (cache miss costs, stalls due to bandwidth limits, etc.) have been shown to be a factor in the performance of a variety of declarative programming tools. This article investigates their impact on answer set solvers and the factors that control them. Experiments independently altering the size and difficulty of input programs allow a qualitative assessment of whether input program or solver design is a greater factor and a quantitative assessment of how much of problem these issues create. A variety of processor performance metrics are recorded and used to provide a detailed picture of what limits solver performance and dispel a number of common misapprehensions.To demonstrate the degree to which these problems can be addressed, smodels-ie is presented. This is a version of the smodels solver with a number of implementation changes to improve cache utilisation, one major aspect of memory costs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-641
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Logic and Computation
Issue number4
Early online date4 Sept 2008
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009
Event4th International Workshop on Answer Set Programming - Oporto, Portugal
Duration: 1 Aug 2009 → …

Bibliographical note

Proceedings paper from 4th International Workshop on Answer Set Programming. Oporto, Portugal, 2007


  • optimization of memory bound programs
  • cache utilization
  • answer set programming
  • Answer set solvers
  • declarative programming systems


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