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A Calculus for Overload Functions with Subtyping

, 1992
"... We present a simple extension of typed calculus where functions can be overloaded by putting different "branches of code" together. When the function is applied, the branch to execute is chosen according to a particular selection rule which depends on the type of the argument. The cru ..."
Abstract

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We present a simple extension of typed calculus where functions can be overloaded by putting different "branches of code" together. When the function is applied, the branch to execute is chosen according to a particular selection rule which depends on the type of the argument. The crucial feature of the present approach is that the branch selection depends on the "runtime type" of the argument, which may differ from its compiletime type, because of the existence of a subtyping relation among types. Hence overloading cannot be eliminated by a static analysis of code, but is an essential feature to be dealt with during computation. We obtain in this way a typedependent calculus, which differs from the various calculi where types do not play any role during computation. We prove Confluence and a generalized SubjectReduction theorem for this calculus. We prove Strong Normalization for a "stratified" subcalculus. The definition of this calculus is guided by the understand...