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[Caml-list] Using zippers to handle huge trees
• Diego Olivier Fernandez Pons
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 Date: 2003-04-11 (11:18) From: Diego Olivier Fernandez Pons Subject: [Caml-list] Using zippers to handle huge trees
```    Bonjour,

On Wednesday, 09 Apr 2003, Yang Shouxun wrote:

> I don't know how to write a tail recursive version to build trees.
> If there are not that many continuous attributes and the dataset is
> not so large, the tree stops growing before stack overflow.

On Wednesday 09 April 2003, Markus Mottl wrote:

> The trick is to use continuation passing style (CPS): you pass a
> function closure (continuation) containing everything that's needed
> in subsequent computations.  Instead of returning a result, the
> sub-function calls the continuation with the result, which makes the
> functions tail-recursive.

Zippers are a simple way to handle huge (in fact infinite) trees.

1. Explanation of zippers
2. Related work
3. Examples of code

1. Explanation of zippers

Zippers may be seen as 'functional pointers' since they offer :
- purely functional and typed operations
- O(1) acces to the pointed element
- O(1) pointer movements

The restrictions are that only one pointer is allowed by data
structure and every pointer movement allocates memory.

Take a classical type declaration for binary search trees

type 'a tree = E | N of 'a tree * 'a * 'a tree * int

Consider a binary search tree and an inner node to which you want to
point. To have a 0(1) acces to the pointed subtree, it has to be
directly available from the base of the data structure. Then, the
rest of the tree must be kept in a separate place. We will deconstruct
it along the path from the root to the pointed node

type 'a path =
| Root
| Left of 'a * 'a tree * 'a path
| Right of 'a tree * 'a * 'a path

type 'a zipper = 'a tree * 'a path

The zipper contrains as annouced :
- the pointed subtree
- the rest of the tree breaked along the path to the root

Then we define the pointer movements (one for each pointer in the data
structure) :

exception Bottom

(* To be replaced by a balancing constructor *)
let makeDTree = fun l v r -> N (l, v, r, 0)

let move_left = fun (tree, path) ->
match tree with
| E -> raise Bottom
| N (l, v, r, _) -> (l, Left (v, r, path))

let move_right = fun (tree, path) ->
match tree with
| E -> raise Bottom
| N (l, v, r, _) -> (r, Right (l, v, path))

let move_up = fun (tree, path) ->
match path with
| Root -> raise Top
| Left (v, r, tail) -> (makeDTree tree v r, tail)
| Right (l, v, tail) -> (makeDTree l v tree, tail)

Now we can build an arbitrary large tree by the following procedure :
- build a tree of bounded depth
- choose the node which will be developped next
- move the current pointer to that node
- continue building the tree

This procedure uses a bounded stack space

2. Related work

Zippers were invented by Gérard Huet. There is a paper on the JFP
G. Huet. The Zipper. J. Functional Programming, 7 (5), Sept 1997, pp. 549--554.

He uses n-ary trees and binary trees in his examples. The main
difference is that in binary trees the pointers are not organized in
the same way (his 'left' operation is what in Baire is (left o up))

Ralf Hinze has tried to give a general framework for functional
pointers named a web (you give your data structure and the basic
transformations and the data structure does the rest)

Ralf Hinze and Johan Jeuring. Functional Pearl: Weaving a Web. Journal
of Functional Programming, 11(6):681-689, November 2001.

In my opinion his article is not really convincing and not very clear.

- Zen (Gérard Huet, Caml) uses zippers to handle acyclic automata
minimization

- SML/NJ Standard library (John Reppy) uses zippers to handle deletion
in red-black trees

- MetaPRL (Caml) uses zippers to handle insertion and deletion in
splay and red-black trees

- Grammatical Framework (Aarne Ranta, Haskell) uses zippers to
navigate through n-ary trees.

All this code is available on the web.

3. Examples of code

Here are some examples of usual binary search trees operations made
whith zippers (insert, delete, move_pointer_to, ...) extracted from
Baire (current version 11 avril 2003, plenty of bugs and breaked

let rec move_to_top = function ((tree, path) as pointer) ->
match path with
| Root -> pointer
| Left (v, r, tail) -> move_to_top (makeDTree tree v r, tail)
| Right (l, v, tail) -> move_to_top (makeDTree l v tree, tail)

let rec move_to x = function ((tree, path) as pointer) ->
match tree with
| E ->
(match path with
| Right (_, rv, _) when x <= rv ->
move_to x (move_up pointer)
| Left (lv, _, _) when x >= lv ->
move_to x (move_up pointer)
| _ -> pointer
)
| N (_, v, _, _) ->
match compare x v with
| n when n < 0 ->
(match path with
| Right (_, rv, _) when x < rv ->
move_to x (move_up pointer)
| Right _ | Root | Left _ ->
move_to x (move_left pointer)
)
| n when n > 0 ->
(match path with
| Left (lv, _, _) when x > lv ->
move_to x (move_up pointer)
| Left _ | Root | Right _ ->
move_to x (move_right pointer)
)
| _ -> pointer

let rec member_path x = function
| Right (l, v, tail) ->
(match compare x v with
| n when n < 0 -> member x l
| 0 -> true
| _ -> member_path x tail
)
| Left (v, r, tail) ->
(match compare x v with
| n when n > 0 -> member x r
| 0 -> true
| _ -> member_path x tail
)
| Root -> false

let rec zipper_member x = function (tree, path) ->
match tree with
| E -> member_path x path
| N (l, v, r, _) ->
match compare x v with
| n when n < 0 ->
(match path with
| Right (_, rv, _) when x <= rv -> member_path x path
| Right _ | Root | Left _ -> member x l
)
| n when n > 0 ->
(match path with
| Left (lv, _, _) when x >= lv -> member_path x path
| Left _ | Root | Right _ -> member x r
)
| _ -> true

let current_tree = function (tree, _) -> tree

let current_value = function (tree, _) ->
match tree with
| E -> None
| N (_, v, _, _) -> Some v

let current_value' = function (tree, _) ->
match tree with
| E -> raise Empty
| N (_, v, _, _) -> v

let rec zipper_insert x = function ((tree, path) as pointer) ->
match tree with
| E ->
(match path with
| Right (_, rv, _) when x <= rv ->
zipper_insert x (move_up pointer)
| Left (lv, _, _) when x >= lv ->
zipper_insert x (move_up pointer)
| _ -> (makeTree E x E, path)
)
| N (_, v, _, _) ->
match compare x v with
| n when n < 0 ->
(match path with
| Right (_, rv, _) when x < rv ->
zipper_insert x (move_up pointer)
| Right _ | Root | Left _ ->
zipper_insert x (move_left pointer)
)
| n when n > 0 ->
(match path with
| Left (lv, _, _) when x > lv ->
zipper_insert x (move_up pointer)
| Left _ | Root | Right _ ->
zipper_insert x (move_right pointer)
)
| _ -> pointer

let rec zipper_delete x = function ((tree, path) as pointer) ->
match tree with
| E ->
(match path with
| Right (_, rv, _) when x <= rv ->
zipper_delete x (move_up pointer)
| Left (lv, _, _) when x >= lv ->
zipper_delete x (move_up pointer)
| _ -> pointer
)
| N (l, v, r, _) ->
match compare x v with
| n when n < 0 ->
(match path with
| Right (_, rv, _) when x < rv ->
zipper_delete x (move_up pointer)
| Right _ | Root | Left _ ->
zipper_delete x (move_left pointer)
)
| n when n > 0 ->
(match path with
| Left (lv, _, _) when x > lv ->
zipper_delete x (move_up pointer)
| Left _ | Root | Right _ ->
zipper_delete x (move_right pointer)
)
| _ -> move_to x (appendB l r, path)

let rec path_to_list result = function
| Root -> result
| Left (v, r, path) ->
path_to_list (result @ v :: to_ordered_list r) path
| Right (l, v, path) ->
path_to_list (to_ordered_list_rec (v :: result) l) path

let zipper_to_list = function (tree, path) ->
path_to_list (to_list tree) path

Diego Olivier

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