Experience of parallel AI programming with parallel Lisp

Hiroshi G. Okuno*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parallelism or parallel execution is expected to improve the performance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems so that they can be applied to much wider areas. One of the major problems with parallelizing AI systems is the lack of methodology for parallel AI programming. This paper discusses key issues in parallel AI programming with parallel Lisp. By implementing two AI systems, OPS5 (a rule-based system) and ATMS (an intelligent database system), three main problems are observed: difficulty in identifying the most time-consuming small tasks, frequent access to global data, and over-sequential execution. Solutions to these problems are presented, including hierarchical decomposition of tasks, runtime control of multiprocessing, reader-writer locks and lazy and speculative computations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • ATMS
  • dynamic spawning
  • hierarchical decomposition
  • OPS5
  • parallel AI
  • Parallel Lisp
  • reader-writer lock
  • run-time control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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