Los Alamos algebraic system 


Pronounced "ALGY" - as in the sea-plants, but short for ALGEBRA

Early algebraic system at UC Los Alamos 1951 Edward A Voorhees/Karl Balke

"Collective symbols symbolic language"

Related languages
ALGAE => FORTRAN   Influence

  • Voorhees, E. et al. ALGAE I. Los Alamos, 1951. view details
  • Bemer, R "Techniques Department" - Translation to another language rather than compiling view details
          in [ACM] CACM 1(07) July 1958 view details
  • Voorhaes letter to the editor re availability of Algae p9 view details Extract: Letter
    Dear Bob:
    Perhaps some of your readers would be interested in knowing that ALGAE I is ready for distribution to interested 704 users. It exists for two 704 configurations, the first of which is the fastest in operation They are:
    (a)   32K memory, no drains and 6 tapes (including a combined FORTRAN-ALGAE tape, a card-to-tape formed input tape, and an output tape for off-line printing).
    (b)   8K memory, 4 drums and 7 tapes.
    It is possible in both systems to perform the compiling with one fewer tape by using the on-line card reader. Both systems write their output on an output tape, hence, a tape-to-printer (or at least a simulator) is required.
    Requests for decks or further information should be addressed to: Mr. Karl Balke University of California Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory Los Alamos, New Mexico
    Sincerely yours,
    Edward A. Voorhees                  :
    Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory

          in [ACM] CACM 1(08) (Aug 1958) view details
  • Voorhees, Edward A. "Algebraic formulation of flow diagrams" pp4-8 view details Abstract: INTRODUCTION
    Discussions involving the subject of defining problems for interpretation and coding by known auto. matic-coding systems generally suggest that the techniques for stating the control (or logic) of the problem are frequently difficult to understand and difficult to use. It seems that the difficulty is one of discovering a suitable language with which to define problem control. In programming problems for hand coding, only the familiar flow diagram has been successfully used (as a general method) in defining the control of the problems. Unfortunately, such flow diagrams cannot be presented directly to presentday computers. It is the purpose of this paper to propose a flow diagram representation (using simple algebraic language) which could be entered directly into the computer.
    Two characteristics of the system to be described are (a) separation of problem control from statements of "what-is-to-be-done" and (b) use of a brief and condensed "pseudo-algebraic" notation in familiar algebraic formula format to define problem control. The combination of these two considerations would provide the programmer with the ability to analyse the control of his problem with greater ease, both in initial problem formulation and in post-mortem debugging. This analysis of control in currently-used automatic coding languages is difficult and virtually impossible in large problems containing difficult logical complexes.
          in [ACM] CACM 1(06) (June 1958) view details
  • [Bemer, RW] [State of ACM automatic coding library May 1959] view details Extract: Obiter Dicta
    Bob Bemer states that this table (which appeared sporadically in CACM) was partly used as a space filler. The last version was enshrined in Sammet (1969) and the attribution there is normally misquoted.
          in [ACM] CACM 2(05) May 1959 view details
  • Barnett, M. P. "Continued operation notation for symbol manipulation and array processing" pp467-472 view details Abstract: A brief account is given of a notational device that is very useful in the formal representation of syntaxes, string relationships and string transformation procedures and also of computing procedures that deal with arrays of functions of many variables. The device consists of the use of certain “continued operation” or “collective” symbols that are analogous to the summation symbol ∑ and continued multiplication symbol ∏ of conventional mathematics. DOI Extract: ALGAE I
    It may be mentioned that the A-notation is related quite closely to the I-notation in the ALGAE language of Voorhees [5]. The symbol I, with a distinguishing subscript, is used in ALGAE to denote a loop operator that precedes an expression which represents part of a flow diagram. Each I-operator is defined in a separate statement in the ALGAE representation of a program. Extract: Introduction
    Collective symbols are very useful in the formation of an expression for a string that consists of a nmnber of concatenated substrings which have a common structure or representation. Collective symbols also are of use in forming an expression for a list whose elements have a common structure. The symbols for continued concatenation and list formation are defined and their usage is developed in Sections 2 and 3 which follow. Some other collective symbols are described briefly in Section 4. The syntactic use of the collective operation symbols has been mentioned previously in [1]. The notation that is reported here forms part of the "scheme A language" that is discussed
    in greater detail in [2].
          in [ACM] CACM 6(08) (August 1963) view details