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An Effective Theory of Type Refinements

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.1986, 00:00 by Yitzhak Mandelbaum, David Walker, Robert Harper
We develop an explicit two level system that allows programmers to reason about the behavior of effectful programs. The first level is an ordinary ML-style type system, which confers standard properties on program behavior. The second level is a conservative extension of the first that uses a logic of type refinements to check more precise properties of program behavior. Our logic is a fragment of intuitionistic linear logic, which gives programmers the ability to reason locally about changes of program state. We provide a generic resource semantics for our logic as well as a sound, decidable, syntactic refinement-checking system. We also prove that refinements give rise to an optimization principle for programs. Finally, we illustrate the power of our system through a number of examples.


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