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We present a higher-order call-by-need lambda calculus enriched with constructors, case-expressions, recursive letrec-expressions, a seq-operator for sequential evaluation and a non-deterministic operator amb, which is locally bottom-avoiding. We use a small-step operational semantics in form of a normal order reduction. As equational theory we use contextual equivalence, i.e. terms are equal if plugged into an arbitrary program context their termination behaviour is the same. We use a combination of may- as well as must-convergence, which is appropriate for non-deterministic computations. We evolve different proof tools for proving correctness of program transformations. We provide a context lemma for may- as well as must- convergence which restricts the number of contexts that need to be examined for proving contextual equivalence. In combination with so-called complete sets of commuting and forking diagrams we show that all the deterministic reduction rules and also some additional transformations keep contextual equivalence. In contrast to other approaches our syntax as well as semantics does not make use of a heap for sharing expressions. Instead we represent these expressions explicitely via letrec-bindings.

Extending the method of Howe, we establish a large class of untyped higher-order calculi, in particular such with call-by-need evaluation, where similarity, also called applicative simulation, can be used as a proof tool for showing contextual preorder. The paper also demonstrates that Mann’s approach using an intermediate “approximation” calculus scales up well from a basic call-by-need non-deterministic lambdacalculus to more expressive lambda calculi. I.e., it is demonstrated, that after transferring the contextual preorder of a non-deterministic call-byneed lambda calculus to its corresponding approximation calculus, it is possible to apply Howe’s method to show that similarity is a precongruence. The transfer is not treated in this paper. The paper also proposes an optimization of the similarity-test by cutting off redundant computations. Our results also applies to deterministic or non-deterministic call-by-value lambda-calculi, and improves upon previous work insofar as it is proved that only closed values are required as arguments for similaritytesting instead of all closed expressions.

Correctness of program transformations in extended lambda calculi with a contextual semantics is usually based on reasoning about the operational semantics which is a rewrite semantics. A successful approach to proving correctness is the combination of a context lemma with the computation of overlaps between program transformations and the reduction rules.The method is similar to the computation of critical pairs for the completion of term rewriting systems. We describe an effective unification algorithm to determine all overlaps of transformations with reduction rules for the lambda calculus LR which comprises a recursive let-expressions, constructor applications, case expressions and a seq construct for strict evaluation. The unification algorithm employs many-sorted terms, the equational theory of left-commutativity modeling multi-sets, context variables of different kinds and a mechanism for compactly representing binding chains in recursive let-expressions. As a result the algorithm computes a finite set of overlappings for the reduction rules of the calculus LR that serve as a starting point to the automatization of the analysis of program transformations.

In this paper we analyze the semantics of a higher-order functional language with concurrent threads, monadic IO and synchronizing variables as in Concurrent Haskell. To assure declarativeness of concurrent programming we extend the language by implicit, monadic, and concurrent futures. As semantic model we introduce and analyze the process calculus CHF, which represents a typed core language of Concurrent Haskell extended by concurrent futures. Evaluation in CHF is defined by a small-step reduction relation. Using contextual equivalence based on may- and should-convergence as program equivalence, we show that various transformations preserve program equivalence. We establish a context lemma easing those correctness proofs. An important result is that call-by-need and call-by-name evaluation are equivalent in CHF, since they induce the same program equivalence. Finally we show that the monad laws hold in CHF under mild restrictions on Haskell’s seq-operator, which for instance justifies the use of the do-notation.

A generalization of the compressed string pattern match that applies to terms with variables is investigated: Given terms s and t compressed by singleton tree grammars, the task is to find an instance of s that occurs as a subterm in t. We show that this problem is in NP and that the task can be performed in time O(ncjVar(s)j), including the construction of the compressed substitution, and a representation of all occurrences. We show that the special case where s is uncompressed can be performed in polynomial time. As a nice application we show that for an equational deduction of t to t0 by an equality axiom l = r (a rewrite) a single step can be performed in polynomial time in the size of compression of t and l; r if the number of variables is fixed in l. We also show that n rewriting steps can be performed in polynomial time, if the equational axioms are compressed and assumed to be constant for the rewriting sequence. Another potential application are querying mechanisms on compressed XML-data bases.

Towards correctness of program transformations through unification and critical pair computation
(2010)

Correctness of program transformations in extended lambda-calculi with a contextual semantics is usually based on reasoning about the operational semantics which is a rewrite semantics. A successful approach is the combination of a context lemma with the computation of overlaps between program transformations and the reduction rules, which results in so-called complete sets of diagrams. The method is similar to the computation of critical pairs for the completion of term rewriting systems. We explore cases where the computation of these overlaps can be done in a first order way by variants of critical pair computation that use unification algorithms. As a case study of an application we describe a finitary and decidable unification algorithm for the combination of the equational theory of left-commutativity modelling multi-sets, context variables and many-sorted unification. Sets of equations are restricted to be almost linear, i.e. every variable and context variable occurs at most once, where we allow one exception: variables of a sort without ground terms may occur several times. Every context variable must have an argument-sort in the free part of the signature. We also extend the unification algorithm by the treatment of binding-chains in let- and letrec-environments and by context-classes. This results in a unification algorithm that can be applied to all overlaps of normal-order reductions and transformations in an extended lambda calculus with letrec that we use as a case study.

This paper shows the equivalence of applicative similarity and contextual approximation, and hence also of bisimilarity and contextual equivalence, in the deterministic call-by-need lambda calculus with letrec. Bisimilarity simplifies equivalence proofs in the calculus and opens a way for more convenient correctness proofs for program transformations. Although this property may be a natural one to expect, to the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first one providing a proof. The proof technique is to transfer the contextual approximation into Abramsky's lazy lambda calculus by a fully abstract and surjective translation. This also shows that the natural embedding of Abramsky's lazy lambda calculus into the call-by-need lambda calculus with letrec is an isomorphism between the respective term-models.We show that the equivalence property proven in this paper transfers to a call-by-need letrec calculus developed by Ariola and Felleisen.

We investigate methods and tools for analysing translations between programming languages with respect to observational semantics. The behaviour of programs is observed in terms of may- and must-convergence in arbitrary contexts, and adequacy of translations, i.e., the reﬂection of program equivalence, is taken to be the fundamental correctness condition. For compositional translations we propose a notion of convergence equivalence as a means for proving adequacy. This technique avoids explicit reasoning about contexts, and is able to deal with the subtle role of typing in implementations of language extension.

Motivated by the question of correctness of a specific implementation of concurrent buffers in the lambda calculus with futures underlying Alice ML, we prove that concurrent buffers and handled futures can correctly encode each other. Correctness means that our encodings preserve and reflect the observations of may- and must-convergence. This also shows correctness wrt. program semantics, since the encodings are adequate translations wrt. contextual semantics. While these translations encode blocking into queuing and waiting, we also provide an adequate encoding of buffers in a calculus without handles, which is more low-level and uses busy-waiting instead of blocking. Furthermore we demonstrate that our correctness concept applies to the whole compilation process from high-level to low-level concurrent languages, by translating the calculus with buffers, handled futures and data constructors into a small core language without those constructs.