Spider Spinning for Dummies
Richard S. Bird
Spider spinning is a snappy name for the problem of listing the ideals of a totally acyclic poset in such a way that each ideal is computed from its predecessor in constant time. Such an algorithm is said to be loopless. Our aim in these lectures is to show how to calculate a loopless algorithm for spider spinning. The calculation makes use of the fundamental laws of functional programming and the real purpose of the exercise is to show these laws in action.