CHAT: The Copy-Hybrid Approach to Tabling

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The Copying Approach to Tabling, abbrv. CAT, is an alternative to SLG-WAM and based on total copying of the areas that the SLG-WAM freezes to preserve execution states of suspended computations. The disadvantage of CAT as pointed out in a previous paper is that in the worst case, CAT must copy so much that it becomes arbitrarily worse than the SLG-WAM. Remedies to this problem have been studied, but a completely satisfactory solution has not emerged. Here, a hybrid approach is presented: CHAT. Its design was guided by the requirement that for non-tabled (i.e. Prolog) execution no changes to the underlying WAM engine need to be made. CHAT combines certain features of the SLG-WAM with features of CAT, but also introduces a technique for freezing WAM stacks without the use of the SLG-WAM's freeze registers that is of independent interest. Empirical results indicate that CHAT is a better choice for implementing the control of tabling than SLG-WAM or CAT. However, programs with arbitrarily worse behaviour exist.