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125
A Foundation for Actor Computation
 Journal of Functional Programming
, 1998
"... We present an actor language which is an extension of a simple functional language, and provide a precise operational semantics for this extension. Actor configurations represent open distributed systems, by which we mean that the specification of an actor system explicitly takes into account the in ..."
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Cited by 259 (52 self)
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We present an actor language which is an extension of a simple functional language, and provide a precise operational semantics for this extension. Actor configurations represent open distributed systems, by which we mean that the specification of an actor system explicitly takes into account the interface with external components. We study the composability of such systems. We define and study various notions of testing equivalence on actor expressions and configurations. The model we develop provides fairness. An important result is that the three forms of equivalence, namely, convex, must, and may equivalences, collapse to two in the presence of fairness. We further develop methods for proving laws of equivalence and provide example proofs to illustrate our methodology.
ParameterPassing and the Lambda Calculus
, 1991
"... The choice of a parameterpassing technique is an important decision in the design of a highlevel programming language. To clarify some of the semantic aspects of the decision, we develop, analyze, and compare modifications of the calculus for the most common parameterpassing techniques, i.e., ca ..."
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Cited by 216 (24 self)
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The choice of a parameterpassing technique is an important decision in the design of a highlevel programming language. To clarify some of the semantic aspects of the decision, we develop, analyze, and compare modifications of the calculus for the most common parameterpassing techniques, i.e., callbyvalue and callbyname combined with passbyworth and passby reference, respectively. More specifically, for each parameterpassing technique we provide 1. a program rewriting semantics for a language with sideeffects and firstclass procedures based on the respective parameterpassing technique; 2. an equational theory that is derived from the rewriting semantics in a uniform manner; 3. a formal analysis of the correspondence between the calculus and the semantics; and 4. a strong normalization theorem for the imperative fragment of the theory (when applicable). A comparison of the various systems reveals that Algol's callbyname indeed satisfies the wellknown fi rule of the orig...
Intuitionistic Reasoning about Shared Mutable Data Structure
 Millennial Perspectives in Computer Science
, 2000
"... Drawing upon early work by Burstall, we extend Hoare's approach to proving the correctness of imperative programs, to deal with programs that perform destructive updates to data structures containing more than one pointer to the same location. The key concept is an "independent conjunc ..."
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Cited by 114 (5 self)
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Drawing upon early work by Burstall, we extend Hoare's approach to proving the correctness of imperative programs, to deal with programs that perform destructive updates to data structures containing more than one pointer to the same location. The key concept is an "independent conjunction" P & Q that holds only when P and Q are both true and depend upon distinct areas of storage. To make this concept precise we use an intuitionistic logic of assertions, with a Kripke semantics whose possible worlds are heaps (mapping locations into tuples of values).
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 84 (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.
Monads and Effects
 IN INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL ON APPLIED SEMANTICS APPSEM’2000
, 2000
"... A tension in language design has been between simple semantics on the one hand, and rich possibilities for sideeffects, exception handling and so on on the other. The introduction of monads has made a large step towards reconciling these alternatives. First proposed by Moggi as a way of structu ..."
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Cited by 76 (6 self)
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A tension in language design has been between simple semantics on the one hand, and rich possibilities for sideeffects, exception handling and so on on the other. The introduction of monads has made a large step towards reconciling these alternatives. First proposed by Moggi as a way of structuring semantic descriptions, they were adopted by Wadler to structure Haskell programs, and now offer a general technique for delimiting the scope of effects, thus reconciling referential transparency and imperative operations within one programming language. Monads have been used to solve longstanding problems such as adding pointers and assignment, interlanguage working, and exception handling to Haskell, without compromising its purely functional semantics. The course will introduce monads, effects and related notions, and exemplify their applications in programming (Haskell) and in compilation (MLj). The course will present typed metalanguages for monads and related categorica...
Semantics of Types for Mutable State
, 2004
"... Proofcarrying code (PCC) is a framework for mechanically verifying the safety of machine language programs. A program that is successfully verified by a PCC system is guaranteed to be safe to execute, but this safety guarantee is contingent upon the correctness of various trusted components. For in ..."
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Cited by 62 (5 self)
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Proofcarrying code (PCC) is a framework for mechanically verifying the safety of machine language programs. A program that is successfully verified by a PCC system is guaranteed to be safe to execute, but this safety guarantee is contingent upon the correctness of various trusted components. For instance, in traditional PCC systems the trusted computing base includes a large set of lowlevel typing rules. Foundational PCC systems seek to minimize the size of the trusted computing base. In particular, they eliminate the need to trust complex, lowlevel type systems by providing machinecheckable proofs of type soundness for real machine languages. In this thesis, I demonstrate the use of logical relations for proving the soundness of type systems for mutable state. Specifically, I focus on type systems that ensure the safe allocation, update, and reuse of memory. For each type in the language, I define logical relations that explain the meaning of the type in terms of the operational semantics of the language. Using this model of types, I prove each typing rule as a lemma. The major contribution is a model of System F with general references — that is, mutable cells that can hold values of any closed type including other references, functions, recursive types, and impredicative quantified types. The model is based on ideas from both possible worlds and the indexed model of Appel and McAllester. I show how the model of mutable references is encoded in higherorder logic. I also show how to construct an indexed possibleworlds model for a von Neumann machine. The latter is used in the Princeton Foundational PCC system to prove type safety for a fullfledged lowlevel typed assembly language. Finally, I present a semantic model for a region calculus that supports typeinvariant references as well as memory reuse. iii
The impact of higherorder state and control effects on local relational reasoning
, 2010
"... Reasoning about program equivalence is one of the oldest problems in semantics. In recent years, useful techniques have been developed, based on bisimulations and logical relations, for reasoning about equivalence in the setting of increasingly realistic languages—languages nearly as complex as ML o ..."
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Cited by 56 (16 self)
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Reasoning about program equivalence is one of the oldest problems in semantics. In recent years, useful techniques have been developed, based on bisimulations and logical relations, for reasoning about equivalence in the setting of increasingly realistic languages—languages nearly as complex as ML or Haskell. Much of the recent work in this direction has considered the interesting representation independence principles enabled by the use of local state, but it is also important to understand the principles that powerful features like higherorder state and control effects disable. This latter topic has been broached extensively within the framework of game semantics, resulting in what Abramsky dubbed the “semantic cube”: fully abstract gamesemantic characterizations of various axes in the design space of MLlike languages. But when it comes to reasoning about many actual examples, game semantics does not yet supply a useful technique for proving equivalences. In this paper, we marry the aspirations of the semantic cube to the powerful proof method of stepindexed Kripke logical relations. Building on recent work of Ahmed, Dreyer, and Rossberg, we define the first fully abstract logical relation for an MLlike language with recursive types, abstract types, general references and call/cc. We then show how, under orthogonal restrictions to the expressive power of our language—namely, the restriction to firstorder state and/or the removal of call/cc—we can enhance the proving power of our possibleworlds model in correspondingly orthogonal ways, and we demonstrate this proving power on a range of interesting examples. Central to our story is the use of state transition systems to model the way in which properties of local state evolve over time.
Observable sharing for functional circuit description
 In Asian Computing Science Conference
, 1999
"... Pure functional programming languages have been proposed as a vehicle to describe, simulate and manipulate circuit specifications. We propose an extension to Haskell to solve a standard problem when manipulating data types representing circuits in a lazy functional language. The problem is that cir ..."
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Cited by 53 (3 self)
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Pure functional programming languages have been proposed as a vehicle to describe, simulate and manipulate circuit specifications. We propose an extension to Haskell to solve a standard problem when manipulating data types representing circuits in a lazy functional language. The problem is that circuits are finite graphs  but viewing them as an algebraic (lazy) datatype makes them indistinguishable from potentially infinite regular trees. However, implementations of Haskell do indeed represent cyclic structures by graphs. The problem is that the sharing of nodes that creates such cycles is not observable by any function which traverses such a structure. In this paper we propose an extension to callbyneed languages which makes graph sharing observable. The extension is based on non updatable reference cells and an equality test (sharing detection) on this type. We show that this simple and practical extension has wellbehaved semantic properties, which means that many typical sourcetosource program transformations, such as might be performed by a compiler, are still valid in the presence of this extension.
Operational Semantics for MultiLanguage Programs
, 2007
"... Interlanguage interoperability is big business, as the success of Microsoft’s.NET and COM and Sun’s JVM show. Programming language designers are designing programming languages that reflect that fact — SML#, Mondrian, and Scala, to name just a few examples, all treat interoperability with other lan ..."
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Cited by 53 (8 self)
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Interlanguage interoperability is big business, as the success of Microsoft’s.NET and COM and Sun’s JVM show. Programming language designers are designing programming languages that reflect that fact — SML#, Mondrian, and Scala, to name just a few examples, all treat interoperability with other languages as a central design feature. Still, current multilanguage research tends not to focus on the semantics of interoperation features, but only on how to implement them efficiently. In this paper, we take first steps toward higherlevel models of interoperating systems. Our technique abstracts away the lowlevel details of interoperability like garbage collection and representation coherence, and lets us focus on semantic properties like typesafety and observable equivalence. Beyond giving simple expressive models that are natural compositions of singlelanguage models, our studies have uncovered several interesting facts about interoperability. For example, higherorder contracts naturally emerge as the glue to ensure that interoperating languages respect each other’s type systems. While we present our results in an abstract setting, they shed light on real multilanguage systems and tools such as the JNI, SWIG, and Haskell’s stable pointers.