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FUNCTIONAL PEARL : lazy wheel sieves and spirals of primes

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Publication details

JournalJournal of Functional Programming
DatePublished - Mar 1997
Issue number2
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)219-225
Original languageEnglish


The popular method of enumerating the primes is the Sieve of Eratosthenes. It can be programmed very neatly in a lazy functional language, but runs rather slowly. A little-known alternative method is the Wheel Sieve, originally formulated as a fast imperative algorithm for obtaining all primes up to a given limit, assuming destructive access to a bit-array. This article describes functional variants of the wheel sieve that enumerate all primes as a lazy list.

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© 1997 Cambridge University Press. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.

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