Algorithms are written in pseudocode. However the implementation of an algorithm in a conventional, imperative programming language can often be scattered over hundreds of lines of code thus obscuring its essence. This can lead to difficulties in understanding or verifying the code. Adapting or varying the original algorithm can be laborious. We present a case study showing the use of Common Lisp macros to provide an embedded, domain-specific language for graph algorithms. This allows these algorithms to be presented in Lisp in a form directly comparable to their pseudocode, allowing rapid prototyping at the algorithm level. As a proof of concept, we implement Brandes' algorithm for computing the betweenness centrality of a graph and see how our implementation compares favourably with state-of-the-art implementations in imperative programming languages, not only in terms of clarity and verisimilitude to the pseudocode, but also execution speed.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Graph algorithms, Lisp macros, Pseudocode, Verification
ACM Graph Theory (acm G.2.2), DATA STRUCTURES (acm E.1), Language Constructs and Features (acm D.3.3), Coding Tools and Techniques (acm D.2.3)
THEME Software (theme 1)
Conference European Lisp Symposium
Ó Nualláin, B. (2015). Executable Pseudocode for Graph Algorithms.