Prototyping Real-Time Vision Systems An Experiment in DSL Design

Alastair Reid, John Peterson, Gregory D. Hager, Paul Hudak
Yale University
[pdf] [doi]

Proceedings of the 1999 International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE '99)
Los Angeles, CA, USA
May 1999

Abstract

We describe the transformation of XVision, a large library of C++ code for real-time vision processing, into FVision (pronounced ``fission’’), a fully-featured domain-specific language embedded in Haskell. The resulting prototype system substantiates the claims of increased modularity, effective code reuse, and rapid prototyping that characterize the DSL approach to system design. It also illustrates the need for judicious interface design: relegating computationally expensive tasks to XVision (pre-existing C++ components), and leaving modular compositional tasks to FVision (Haskell). At the same time, our experience demonstrates how Haskell’s advanced language features (specifically parametric polymorphism, lazy evaluation, higher order functions and automatic storage reclamation) permit a rapid DSL design that is itself highly modular and easily modified. Overall, the resulting hybrid system exceeded our expectations: visual tracking programs continue to spend most of their time executing low level image-processing code, while Haskell’s advanced features allow us to quickly develop and test small prototype systems within a matter of a few days and to develop realistic applications within a few weeks.

BibTeX

@inproceedings{DBLP:conf/icse/ReidPHH99 , abstract = {We describe the transformation of XVision, a large library of C++ code for real-time vision processing, into FVision (pronounced \textasciigrave \textasciigrave fission\textquotesingle \textquotesingle ), a fully-featured domain-specific language embedded in Haskell. The resulting prototype system substantiates the claims of increased modularity, effective code reuse, and rapid prototyping that characterize the DSL approach to system design. It also illustrates the need for judicious interface design: relegating computationally expensive tasks to XVision (pre-existing C++ components), and leaving modular compositional tasks to FVision (Haskell). At the same time, our experience demonstrates how Haskell\textquotesingle s advanced language features (specifically parametric polymorphism, lazy evaluation, higher order functions and automatic storage reclamation) permit a rapid DSL design that is itself highly modular and easily modified. Overall, the resulting hybrid system exceeded our expectations: visual tracking programs continue to spend most of their time executing low level image-processing code, while Haskell\textquotesingle s advanced features allow us to quickly develop and test small prototype systems within a matter of a few days and to develop realistic applications within a few weeks.} , acceptance = {19} , affiliation = {Yale University} , ar_file = {ICSE_99} , ar_shortname = {ICSE 99} , author = {Alastair Reid and John Peterson and Gregory D. Hager and Paul Hudak} , booktitle = {Proceedings of the 1999 International Conference on Software Engineering ({ICSE} \textquotesingle 99)} , day = {16-22} , doi = {10.1109/icse.1999.841038} , editor = {Barry W. Boehm and David Garlan and Jeff Kramer} , file = {fvision-icse99-2.pdf} , location = {Los Angeles, CA, USA} , month = {May} , pages = {484--493} , publisher = {ACM} , title = {{P}rototyping {R}eal-{T}ime {V}ision {S}ystems: {A}n {E}xperiment in {D{S}L} {D}esign} , year = {1999} }