In this section we cover several
guidelines on how to use CHR to write constraint solvers and how to do
- Check guard bindings yourself
It is considered bad practice to write guards that bind variables of the
head and to rely on the system to detect this at runtime. It is
inefficient and obscures the working of the program.
- Set semantics
The CHR system allows the presence of identical constraints, i.e.
multiple constraints with the same functor, arity and arguments. For
most constraint solvers, this is not desirable: it affects efficiency
and possibly termination. Hence appropriate simpagation rules should be
added of the form: [ constraint
\constraint <=> true ]
- Multi-headed rules
Multi-headed rules are executed more efficiently when the constraints
share one or more variables.
- Mode and type declarations
Provide mode and type declarations to get more efficient program
execution. Make sure to disable debug (-nodebug) and enable optimization
- Compile once, run many times
Does consulting your CHR program take a long time in SWI-Prolog?
Probably it takes the CHR compiler a long time to compile the CHR rules
into Prolog code. When you disable optimizations the CHR compiler will
be a lot quicker, but you may loose performance. Alternatively, you can
just use SWI-Prolog's
to generate a
.qlf file once from your
.pl file. This
.qlf contains the generated
code of the CHR compiler (be it in a binary format). When you consult
.qlf file, the CHR compiler is not invoked and
consultation is much faster.
- Finding Constraints
predicate is fairly expensive. Avoid it, if possible. If you must use
it, try to use it with an instantiated toplevel constraint symbol.