Functional Reactive Animation


Conal Elliott, Paul Hudak


Fran (Functional Reactive Animation) is a collection of data types and functions for composing richly interactive, multi-media animations. The key ideas in Fran are its notions of behaviors and events. Behaviors are time-varying, reactive values, while events are sets of arbitrarily complex conditions, carrying possibly rich information. Most traditional values can be treated as behaviors, and when images are thus treated, they become animations. Although these notions are captured as data types rather than a programming language, we provide them with a denotational semantics, including a proper treatment of real time, to guide reasoning and implementation. A method to effectively and efficiently perform event detection using interval analysis is also described, which relies on the partial information structure on the domain of event times. Fran has been implemented in Hugs, yielding surprisingly good performance for an interpreter-based system. Several examples are given, including the ability to describe physical phenomena involving gravity, springs, velocity, acceleration, etc. using ordinary differential equations.


  author =	 "Conal Elliott and Paul Hudak",
  title =	 "Functional Reactive Animation",
  booktitle =	 "International Conference on Functional Programming",
  year =	 1997,
  month =	 "June",
  pages =	 {163-173}