Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Computer Science


W Robert Collins


This thesis presents such a new production system architecture, called a palimpsest parser, that adapts LR parsing technology to the process of controlled production system interpretation. Two unique characteristics of this architecture facilitate the construction and execution of large production systems: the rate at which productions fire is independent of production system size, and the modularity inherent in production systems is preserved and enhanced. In addition, individual productions may be evaluated in either a forward or backward direction, production systems can be integrated with other production systems and procedural programs, and production system modules can be compiled into libraries and used by other production systems.;Controlled production systems are compiled into palimpsest parsers as follows. Initially, the palimpsest transformation is applied to all productions to transform them into context-free grammar rules with associated disambiguation predicates and semantics. This grammar and the control grammar are then concatenated and compiled into modified LR(0) parse tables using conventional parser generation techniques. the resulting parse tables, disambiguation predicates, and semantics, in conjunction with a modified LR(0) parsing algorithm, constitute a palimpsest parser. When executed, this palimpsest parser correctly interprets the original controlled production system. Moreover, on any given cycle, the palimpsest parser only attempts to instantiate those productions that are allowed to fire by the control language grammar. Tests conducted with simulated production systems have consistently exhibited firing rates in excess of 1000 productions per second on a conventional microcomputer.



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