# Introduction to LISP. York University Department of Computer Science and Engineering. York University- CSE V.

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1 Introduction to LISP York University Department of Computer Science and Engineering York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 1

2 Introduction to LISP Evaluation and arguments S- expressions Lists Numbers Symbols setq, quote, set List processing functions car, cdr, cons, list, append [ref.: Wilensky, Chap1-2] Overview York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 2

3 LISP vs. Prolog Prolog Logic Programming Based on Predicate Logic Working with predicates Computation is reasoning, initiated by a query Popular in natural language processing More research on/with Prolog in University of Edinburgh LISP Functional Programming Based on Lambda Calculus Working with functions Computation is evaluation Used in Artificial Intelligence More research on/with LISP in MIT York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 3

4 LISP Designed by John McCarthy in 1958 in MIT Second-oldest high-level programming language (after Fortran) [Wikipedia] Popular dialects: Common LISP, Scheme We use Common Lisp ( Execute the command clisp, execute (exit) to exit (or ctrl + D) Theory based on Lambda Calculus by Alonzo Church (1930) -calculus: theory of functions as formulas Easier manipulation of functions using expressions York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 4

5 LISP LISP: acronym for LISt Processing Joke: LISP is acronym for Lots of Irritating Single Parentheses Primary data structure: Symbolic expression (s-expression): Lists Atoms LISP interpreter: An interactive environment, always evaluating input Example: > (+ 2 3) 5 York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 5

6 Evaluation (+ 2 3) A list is an s-expression, defined by a pair of parentheses First element is assumed to be a function The rest are arguments to the function Arguments are evaluated as s-expressions themselves Example: > (+ 2 (* 3 4)) 14 LISP evaluation rule: Look at the outermost list first. Evaluate each of its arguments. Use the results as arguments to the outermost function. York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 6

7 Evaluation (cont.) LISP evaluates everything! Even when the arguments are simple numbers, they are evaluated! Numbers evaluate to themselves > 8 8 A value is returned from the evaluation of an expression Nested Lists > (+ (* 8 9) (- 8 10)) 70 Lots of Irritating Single Parentheses!!! York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 7

8 Arguments Number of arguments Supply the correct number of arguments > (1+ 5) 6 Otherwise error! It enters debugger, use quit or Ctrl+D to exit debugger + is defined to allow more than 2 arguments >( ) 6 Supplied arguments vs. actual arguments > (+ 2 (* 3 4)) Supplied args: 2 and (* 3 4) Actual args: 2 and 12 York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 8

9 Symbols Symbols can serve the role of variables Can be assigned values: > (setq x 8) 8 > x 8 LISP is not case-sensitive! Symbols evaluate to the last value assigned to them Note setq is a special function, First argument is not evaluated Second argument is evaluated and assigned to first argument The value is returned York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 9

10 Symbols (cont.) Symbols can also serve the role of function identifiers For example +, 1+, setq are all symbols Can have both roles simultaneously! > (setq 1+ 5) 5 > (1+ 7) 8 > 1+ 5 York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 10

11 S-expressions S-expressions Lists Atoms Numbers Symbols York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 11

12 Integers: 1, 10,... Ratios: 1/2, 2/3,... > (+ 1/2 1/3) 5/6 More on numbers Floating point numbers: 1.2, 0.25, 3.33E23 Can specify precision by using S, F, D, L for short, single, double, long precision respectively instead of E For example 1.2D10, 2S0 Arithmetic functions on page 429, Wilensky York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 12

13 Lists Use parentheses to denote lists in LISP, no commas e.g. (a b c) >(setq x (a b c)) Error: Undefined function A! Evaluation of lists: first element is assumed to be a function Use quote (short form is ) to prevent evaluation > (setq x (a b c)) (A B C) > (setq x (quote (a b c))) (same as previous) (A B C) York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 13

14 Set setq is actually set quote > (setq x 5) is same as > (set x 5) Reminder: setq does not evaluate its first argument More examples: > (set x (+ 2 3)) 5 > x 5 > (set x (+ 2 3)) (+ 2 3) > x (+ 2 3) York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 14

15 Values are S-expressions Assigning a value that is itself a symbol > (setq x y) Y > x Y > (set x (+ 2 3)) 5 > x Y > y 5 Supplied arguments: x and (+ 2 3) Actual arguments: y and 5 York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 15

16 Lists as binary trees A list is actually a binary tree, consisting of the head and the tail List notation vs. dot notation List notation Dot notation (a) (a. ()) or (a. nil) (a b) (a. (b. nil)) (a b c) (a. (b. (c. nil))) ((a b) c) ((a. (b. nil)). (c. nil)) N/A (a. b) Nil is a constant. Its value can not be changed. Numbers and quoted expressions are also constants. York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 16

17 Lists as binary trees (a b c) is (a. (b. (c. () ) ) ). a. b. c () York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 17

18 Heads and Tails car: returns the first element of the list (head) Originating from a CPU instruction: Copy Address Register cdr: returns the list with first element missing (tail) Originating from : Copy Decrement Register Examples: > (car (a b c)) A > (cdr (a b c)) (B C) > (car (cdr (car ((a b)) ) ) ) B York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 18

19 More predefined functions cadr = car (cdr cadar = car (cdr (car cddaar, cadadr,... Examples: > (cadr (a b c) ) B > (cadar ((a b c)) ) B York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 19

20 Cons Construct a list using its head and tail second argument must be a list > (cons a (b c) ) (A B C) > (cons (a b) (c d) ) ((A B) C D) Somehow an inverse for car and cdr pair > (setq x (a b c) ) (A B C) > (cons (car x) (cdr x) ) (A B C) Cons is expensive, due to memory allocation and garbage collection York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 20

21 More list construction functions List: constructs a list of its arguments any number of arguments > (list a b c) (A B C) > (list (1 2) (3 4) ) ((1 2) (3 4)) Append: constructs a list by appending its arguments Any number of arguments Arguments must be lists > (append (a) (b) (c)) (A B C) > (append (1 2) (3 4) ) ( ) York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 21

22 Examples Use car and cdr to return x when applied to (a (b (x d))) (cdr (a (b (x d)))) ((b (x d))) (car (cdr (a (b (x d))) ) ) (b (x d)) (car (cdr (car (cdr (a (b (x d))) )))) (x d) (car (car (cdr (car (cdr (a (b (x d))) ))))) x What is the difference between these expressions? (car (setq x (a b c) ) ) (car (setq x (a b c)) ) A SETQ York University- CSE V. Movahedi 11_LISP 22

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