Evan Martin (evan) wrote in evan_tech,
Evan Martin

Still thinking about graphs. This weekend I wrote some OCaml: a functional dijkstra’s shortest-paths algorithm, and an accompanying graphviz .dot file parser (first using ocamlp4’s recursive-descent parser, then a ocamllex/yacc parser). The plan was to have dot (or neato or whichever program) lay out the nodes in the graph-- one of its output file formats is “input file with position tags added”-- and then regraph it with only the edges needed to show shortest paths. Unfortunately, I got the whole thing working only to discover that (apparently?) dot (which I was then planning to use on my output files to rerender the graphs) always redoes the node layout.

Working with OCaml is still really hard for me. The whole project would’ve been a hundred lines in a language I’m familiar with, but it ended up near 900 (though admittedly, this is much more rigorous). But if I want to be knowledgable enough about it to even be able to dismiss it, I must continue to try.
My primary observation so far is that the common claim I see about ML-- “Once your program compiles, it does the right thing”-- is very true in practice. That's really awesome and useful. On the other hand, the compiler errors you get can be really hard to track down. (Those two aren’t necessarily related: the first (good) one is a product of a strong static type system, while the second (bad) one comes from the type inference.)

Feel free to criticize; I’m still trying to learn. I also didn’t use any (for example) hash tables or arrays so I doubt I get the same runtime as a real implementation would.
let dijkstra edges src =
  (* given full edge list and source,
     return list of outgoing edges from source. *)
  let rec outgoing edges src =
    match edges with
      [] -> []
    | Edge(n1, c, n2, _)::rest ->
      let outs = outgoing rest src in
      if n1 = src then (n2, c)::outs else
      if n2 = src then (n1, c)::outs else
  (* tentative list, new tentative item -> updated tentative list
     (update the cost if the item’s already there, otherwise prepend it.) *)
  let rec update_tentative tentative ((nn, nc, np) as newt) =
    match tentative with
      [] -> [newt]
    | ((n,c,p) as orig)::rest ->
      if nn = n then
        (if nc < c then newt::rest else orig::rest)
        orig::(update_tentative rest newt)
  (* one iteration of dijkstra’s algorithm.
     process all neighbors of the latest confirmed node. *)
  let dijkstra_iter confirmed tentative =
    let (cur,cost,_) = List.hd confirmed in
    (* update_tentative on all neighbors of current node. *)
    let rec update_neighbors t outs =
      let update_neighbor t (n,ec) =
        if (List.exists (fun (conf,_,_) -> conf=n) confirmed) then t
        else update_tentative t (n,cost+ec,cur)
      match outs with
        [] -> t
      | out::rest ->
        let t’ = update_neighbor t out in
        update_neighbors t’ rest
    (* remove and return lowest-cost entry on tentative list. *)
    let pop_lowest t =
      let rec find_lowest t ((_,lowcost,_) as lowest) =
        match t with
          [] -> lowest
        | ((_,cost,_) as cur)::rest ->
          if cost < lowcost then find_lowest rest cur
          else find_lowest rest lowest
      let rec remove target l =
        match l with
          [] -> []
        | cur::rest ->
          if cur = target then rest
          else cur::(remove target rest)
      let lowest = find_lowest t (List.hd t) in
      (lowest, remove lowest t)

    (* the heart of the algorithm: *)
    (* (1) update tentative with all of cur’s outgoing connections; *)
    let out = (outgoing edges cur) in
    let t’ = update_neighbors tentative out in
    (* (2) and pop the lowest-cost tentative onto confirmed. *)
    let (lowest, t’‘) = pop_lowest t’ in
    (lowest::confirmed, t’‘)
  let rec run c t =
    match t with
      [] -> c (* done *)
    | _ ->
      let (c’, t’) = dijkstra_iter c t in
      run c’ t’
  (* need to iterate once so something is on the tentative list to start with.
     i need a do..while loop, not a while loop. :P  *)
  let (c, t) = dijkstra_iter [ (src, 0, src) ] [] in
  run c t

Update: stupid LogJam ate some of my double-primes. Sorry about that.
Tags: networks, o'caml, project

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