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Common lisp bindings to CUDD.
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Common Lisp binding to CUDD

What is CUDD?

CUDD is an implementation of Binary Decision Diagrams (BDDs) and Multi-Terminal Binary Decision Diagrams (MTBDDs or ADDs).

For more information, see either Wikipedia or the first paper about BDDs and the first paper about ADDs.

The binding(s)

The binding consists of two layers: The lower layer is called cuddapi and is automatically generated using SWIG. The definition is found in file cudd-cffi.i. The original version was written by Utz-Uwe Haus, and then adapted to my needs here. If you want to use this layer, then it would be best to have a look at the CUDD manual. This layer is a very thin wrapper around the C library, passes raw pointers around and requires that you take care of reference counting.

Above this layer there is a layer called cudd. It wraps the pointers from the lower layer, takes care of reference counting for you, and also adds documentation from the CUDD manual.

Building/Loading the system

You first need to build a shared library from CUDD (which doesn't do that automatically for some reason). See Makefile for that.

CL-CUDD comes with an ASDF definition. So you add the directory containing cl-cudd.asd to your asdf:*central-registry* and then load CL-CUDD via (asdf:operate 'asdf:load-op 'cl-cudd).

This distribution comes with atomically generated bindings from CUDD in file cuddapi.lisp. If you want to regenerate the bindings for some reason, also see the Makefile.

Using the system


You can use the low-level system just as you would use the C API of CUDD. This also means that you have to do all the reference counting yourself, with one exception: The reference count of the return value each CUDD function that returns a node is increased if it is not null. If it is null, a signal of type cudd-null-pointer-error is raised.


The high level API automatically wraps the CUDD nodes in an instance of class node. ADD nodes are wrapped in an instance of add-node and BDD nodes are wrapped in an instance of type bdd-node.

This enables runtime type checking (so that you don't stick ADD nodes into BDD functions or vice-versa) and also automatic reference counting.

Almost all CUDD functions need to refer to a CUDD manager. In the high-level API this manager is contained in special variable *manager*. You can bind a manager using the macro with-manager. You can also create a manager by (make-instance 'manager :pointer (cudd-init 0 0 256 262144 0)).

All functions of package CL-CUDD are documented using the original or slightly modified documentation of CUDD.

Known problems

Using the GC to do reference counting automatically has its own share of problems:

  1. References may be freed very late.

    Nodes will be dereferenced only if your CL implementation thinks that it's time for it. This is usually when itself is running out of memory. Because you are usually only holding on to the top of a diagram, you are not using as much memory in CL as you are using in CUDD. Hence the GC might come pretty late while CUDD is happily accumulating memory.

    The solution to that is to try to call the garbage collector manually every so often using for example TRIVIAL-GARBAGE:GC

  2. References may be freed too early

    The following two examples demonstrate the problem.

     (defun foo (dd)
       (let ((ptr (node-pointer dd)))
         ;; please don't GC me here
         (cudd-do-something ptr)))

    In this example the GC might decide to run where there is the comment. In that case, provided that nothing outside of the function call holds on to dd, the reference count of ptr might be decreased, go down to zero and the node vanishes before cudd-do-something is called. The solution: Instead of let, use macro with-pointers which increases the reference count of each node before the body and decreases the reference count of each node after the body.

    (defun bar (dd)
      (cudd-do-something-with-callback (node-pointer dd)))

    In this case, we might have a problem if cudd-do-something-with-callback calls back into lisp, upon which point lisp garbage collects and decreases the reference count of dd.

    Solution: Again, use with-pointers instead of node-pointer.



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