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Functional Pearls: Drawing trees

  • Andrew J. Kennedy (a1)
Abstract

This article describes the application of functional programming techniques to a problem previously studied by imperative programmers, that of drawing general trees automatically. We first consider the nature of the problem and the ideas behind its solution (due to Radack), independent of programming language implementation. We then describe a Standard ML program which reflects the structure of the abstract solution much better than an imperative language implementation. We conclude with an informal discussion on the correctness of the implementation and some changes which improve the algorithm's worst-case time complexity.

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References
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Bird, R. and Wadler, P. (1988) Introduction to Functional Programming. Prentice Hall.
Gibbons, J. (1991) Algebras for Tree Algorithms. DPhil thesis, Oxford University Computing Laboratory.
Gibbons, J. (1996) Deriving tidy drawings of trees. J. Functional Programming. This issue.
Milner, R., Tofte, M. and Harper, R. (1989) The Definition of Standard ML. MIT Press.
Paulson, L. C. (1991) ML for the Working Programmer. Cambridge University Press.
Radack, G. M. (1988) Tidy drawing of M-ary trees. Technical Report CES-88-24, Department of Computer Engineering and Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, November.
Reingold, E. M. and Tilford, J. S. (1981) Tidier drawings of trees. IEEE Trans. Software Engineering, 7(2):223228, March.
Vaucher, J. G. (1980) Pretty-printing of trees. Software—Practice and Experience, 10:553561.
Walker, J. Q. II (1990) A node-positioning algorithm for general trees. Software—Practice and Experience, 20(7):685705, July.
Wetherell, C. and Shannon, A. (1979) Tidy drawings of trees. IEEE Trans. Software Engineering, 5(5):514520, September.
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Journal of Functional Programming
  • ISSN: 0956-7968
  • EISSN: 1469-7653
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-functional-programming
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Functional Pearls: Drawing trees

  • Andrew J. Kennedy (a1)
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