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Theorems for free!
 FUNCTIONAL PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES AND COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE
, 1989
"... From the type of a polymorphic function we can derive a theorem that it satisfies. Every function of the same type satisfies the same theorem. This provides a free source of useful theorems, courtesy of Reynolds' abstraction theorem for the polymorphic lambda calculus. ..."
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Cited by 333 (6 self)
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From the type of a polymorphic function we can derive a theorem that it satisfies. Every function of the same type satisfies the same theorem. This provides a free source of useful theorems, courtesy of Reynolds' abstraction theorem for the polymorphic lambda calculus.
Formal Parametric Polymorphism
 THEORETICAL COMPUTER SCIENCE
, 1993
"... A polymorphic function is parametric if its behavior does not depend on the type at which it is instantiated. Starting with Reynolds's work, the study of parametricity is typically semantic. In this paper, we develop a syntactic approach to parametricity, and a formal system that embodies this ..."
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Cited by 125 (6 self)
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A polymorphic function is parametric if its behavior does not depend on the type at which it is instantiated. Starting with Reynolds's work, the study of parametricity is typically semantic. In this paper, we develop a syntactic approach to parametricity, and a formal system that embodies this approach, called system R . Girard's system F deals with terms and types; R is an extension of F that deals also with relations between types. In R , it is possible to derive theorems about functions from their types, or "theorems for free", as Wadler calls them. An easy "theorem for free" asserts that the type "(X)XBool contains only constant functions; this is not provable in F. There are many harder and more substantial examples. Various metatheorems can also be obtained, such as a syntactic version of Reynolds's abstraction theorem.
Parametric Polymorphism and Operational Equivalence
 MATHEMATICAL STRUCTURES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
, 2000
"... Studies of the mathematical properties of impredicative polymorphic types have for the most part focused on the polymorphic lambda calculus of Girard–Reynolds, which is a calculus of total polymorphic functions. This paper considers polymorphic types from a functional programming perspective, where ..."
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Cited by 75 (2 self)
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Studies of the mathematical properties of impredicative polymorphic types have for the most part focused on the polymorphic lambda calculus of Girard–Reynolds, which is a calculus of total polymorphic functions. This paper considers polymorphic types from a functional programming perspective, where the partialness arising from the presence of fixpoint recursion complicates the nature of potentially infinite (‘lazy’) data types. An approach to Reynolds' notion of relational parametricity is developed that works directly on the syntax of a programming language, using a novel closure operator to relate operational behaviour to parametricity properties of types. Working with an extension of Plotkin's PCF with ∀types, lazy lists and existential types, we show by example how the resulting logical relation can be used to prove properties of polymorphic types up to operational equivalence.
Dynamic Opacity for Abstract Types
"... Existential types are the standard formalisation of abstract types. While this formulation is sufficient in entirely statically typed languages, it proves to be too weak for languages enriched with forms of dynamic typing: in the presence of operations performing type analysis, the abstraction barri ..."
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Cited by 43 (11 self)
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Existential types are the standard formalisation of abstract types. While this formulation is sufficient in entirely statically typed languages, it proves to be too weak for languages enriched with forms of dynamic typing: in the presence of operations performing type analysis, the abstraction barrier erected by the static typing rules for existential types is no longer impassable, because parametricity is violated. We present a lightweight calculus for polymorphic languages with abstract types that addresses this shortcoming. It features a variation of existential types that retains most of the simplicity of standard existentials. It relies on modified scoping rules and explicit coercions between the quantified variable and its witness type.
Baby Modula3 and a theory of objects
, 1993
"... Baby Modula3 is a small, functional, objectoriented programming language. It is intended as a vehicle for explaining the core of Modula3, from a biased perspective: Baby Modula3 includes the main features of Modula3 related to objects, but not much else. To the theoretician, Baby Modula3 provi ..."
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Cited by 38 (6 self)
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Baby Modula3 is a small, functional, objectoriented programming language. It is intended as a vehicle for explaining the core of Modula3, from a biased perspective: Baby Modula3 includes the main features of Modula3 related to objects, but not much else. To the theoretician, Baby Modula3 provides a tractable, concrete example of an objectoriented language, and we use it to study the formal semantics of objects. Baby Modula3 is defined with a structured operational semantics and with a set of static type rules. A denotational semantics guarantees the soundness of this definition. 1 Introduction Baby Modula3 is a small, functional, objectoriented programming language with a static type system. It is intended as a distillation and an explanation of the core of Modula3 (Nelson, 1991), from a biased perspective: Baby Modula3 includes the main features of Modula3 related to objects, but not much else. To the theoretician, Baby Modula3 provides a tractable, concrete example of a...
Adjoint Rewriting
, 1995
"... This thesis concerns rewriting in the typed calculus. Traditional categorical models of typed calculus use concepts such as functor, adjunction and algebra to model type constructors and their associated introduction and elimination rules, with the natural categorical equations inherent in these s ..."
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Cited by 25 (11 self)
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This thesis concerns rewriting in the typed calculus. Traditional categorical models of typed calculus use concepts such as functor, adjunction and algebra to model type constructors and their associated introduction and elimination rules, with the natural categorical equations inherent in these structures providing an equational theory for terms. One then seeks a rewrite relation which, by transforming terms into canonical forms, provides a decision procedure for this equational theory. Unfortunately the rewrite relations which have been proposed, apart from for the most simple of calculi, either generate the full equational theory but contain no decision procedure, or contain a decision procedure but only for a subtheory of that required. Our proposal is to unify the semantics and reduction theory of the typed calculus by generalising the notion of model from categorical structures based on term equality to categorical structures based on term reduction. This is accomplished via...
Abstract Interpretation of Functional Languages: From Theory to Practice
, 1991
"... Abstract interpretation is the name applied to a number of techniques for reasoning about programs by evaluating them over nonstandard domains whose elements denote properties over the standard domains. This thesis is concerned with higherorder functional languages and abstract interpretations with ..."
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Cited by 25 (0 self)
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Abstract interpretation is the name applied to a number of techniques for reasoning about programs by evaluating them over nonstandard domains whose elements denote properties over the standard domains. This thesis is concerned with higherorder functional languages and abstract interpretations with a formal semantic basis. It is known how abstract interpretation for the simply typed lambda calculus can be formalised by using binary logical relations. This has the advantage of making correctness and other semantic concerns straightforward to reason about. Its main disadvantage is that it enforces the identification of properties as sets. This thesis shows how the known formalism can be generalised by the use of ternary logical relations, and in particular how this allows abstract values to deno...
Notes on Sconing and Relators
, 1993
"... This paper describes a semantics of typed lambda calculi based on relations. The main mathematical tool is a categorytheoretic method of sconing, also called glueing or Freyd covers. Its correspondence to logical relations is also examined. 1 Introduction Many modern programming languages feature ..."
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Cited by 24 (0 self)
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This paper describes a semantics of typed lambda calculi based on relations. The main mathematical tool is a categorytheoretic method of sconing, also called glueing or Freyd covers. Its correspondence to logical relations is also examined. 1 Introduction Many modern programming languages feature rather sophisticated typing mechanisms. In particular, languages such as ML include polymorphic data types, which allow considerable programming flexibility. Several notions of polymorphism were introduced into computer science by Strachey [Str67], among them the important notion of parametric polymorphism. Strachey's intuitive definition is that a polymorphic function is parametric if it has a uniformly given algorithm in all types, that is, if the function's behavior is independent of the type at which the function is instantiated. Reynolds [Rey83] proposed a mathematical definition of parametric polymorphic functions by means of invariance with respect to certain relations induced by typ...
Foundations for structured programming with GADTs
 Conference record of the ACM SIGPLANSIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages
, 2008
"... GADTs are at the cutting edge of functional programming and become more widely used every day. Nevertheless, the semantic foundations underlying GADTs are not well understood. In this paper we solve this problem by showing that the standard theory of data types as carriers of initial algebras of fun ..."
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Cited by 22 (4 self)
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GADTs are at the cutting edge of functional programming and become more widely used every day. Nevertheless, the semantic foundations underlying GADTs are not well understood. In this paper we solve this problem by showing that the standard theory of data types as carriers of initial algebras of functors can be extended from algebraic and nested data types to GADTs. We then use this observation to derive an initial algebra semantics for GADTs, thus ensuring that all of the accumulated knowledge about initial algebras can be brought to bear on them. Next, we use our initial algebra semantics for GADTs to derive expressive and principled tools — analogous to the wellknown and widelyused ones for algebraic and nested data types — for reasoning about, programming with, and improving the performance of programs involving, GADTs; we christen such a collection of tools for a GADT an initial algebra package. Along the way, we give a constructive demonstration that every GADT can be reduced to one which uses only the equality GADT and existential quantification. Although other such reductions exist in the literature, ours is entirely local, is independent of any particular syntactic presentation of GADTs, and can be implemented in the host language, rather than existing solely as a metatheoretical artifact. The main technical ideas underlying our approach are (i) to modify the notion of a higherorder functor so that GADTs can be seen as carriers of initial algebras of higherorder functors, and (ii) to use left Kan extensions to trade arbitrary GADTs for simplerbutequivalent ones for which initial algebra semantics can be derived.