## The Polymorphic Pi-calculus: Theory and Implementation (1995)

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### BibTeX

@TECHREPORT{Turner95thepolymorphic,

author = {David N. Turner},

title = {The Polymorphic Pi-calculus: Theory and Implementation},

institution = {},

year = {1995}

}

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### Abstract

We investigate whether the π-calculus is able to serve as a good foundation for the design and implementation of a strongly-typed concurrent programming language. The first half of the dissertation examines whether the π-calculus supports a simple type system which is flexible enough to provide a suitable foundation for the type system of a concurrent programming language. The second half of the dissertation considers how to implement the π-calculus efficiently, starting with an abstract machine for π-calculus and finally presenting a compilation of π-calculus to C. We start the dissertation by presenting a simple, structural type system for π-calculus, and then, after proving the soundness of our type system, show how to infer principal types for π-terms. This simple type system can be extended to include useful type-theoretic constructions such as recursive types and higherorder polymorphism. Higher-order polymorphism is important, since it gives us the ability to implement abstract datatypes in a type-safe manner, thereby providing a greater degree of modularity for π-calculus programs. The functional computational paradigm plays an important part in many programming languages. It is well-known that the π-calculus can encode functional computation. We go further and show that the type structure of λ-terms is preserved by such encodings, in the sense that we can relate the type of a λ-term to the type of its encoding in the π-calculus. This means that a π-calculus programming language can genuinely support typed functional programming as a special case. An efficient implementation of π-calculus is necessary if we wish to consider π-calculus as an operational foundation for concurrent programming. We first give a simple abstract machine for π-calculus and prove it correct. We then show how this abstract machine inspires a simple, but efficient, compilation of π-calculus to C (which now forms the basis of the Pict programming language implementation).