Variadic genericity through linguistic reflection: a performance evaluation

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The use of variadic genericity within schema definitions increases the variety of databases that may be captured by a single specification. For example, a class of databases of engineering part objects, in which each database instance varies in the types of the parts and the number of part types, should lend itself to a single definition. However, precise specification of such a schema is beyond the capability of polymorphic type systems and schema definition languages. It is possible to capture such generality by introducing a level of interpretation, in which the variation in types and in the number of fields is encoded in a general data structure. Queries that interpret the encoded information can be written against this general data structure.
An alternative approach to supporting such variadic genericity is to generate a precise database containing tailored data structures and queries for each different instance of the virtual schema.1 This involves source code generation and dynamic compilation, a process known as linguistic reflection. The motivation is that once generated, the specific queries may execute more efficiently than their generic counter-parts, since the generic code is “compiled away”. This paper compares the two approaches and gives performance measurements for an example using the persistent languages Napier88 and PJama.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication8th International Workshop on Persistent Object Systems (POS8) and 3rd International Workshop on Persistence and Java (PJW3)
EditorsRonald Morrison, Mick Jordan, Malcolm Atkinson
PublisherMorgan Kaufmann
ISBN (Print)1-55860-585-1
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Event8th International Workshop on Persistent Object Systems (POS8) - Tiburon, United States
Duration: 30 Aug 1998 → …


Conference8th International Workshop on Persistent Object Systems (POS8)
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Period30/08/98 → …


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