[TYPES] Progress + Preservation = Evaluation

Pierre Courtieu pierre.courtieu at gmail.com
Fri Jul 6 16:57:19 EDT 2018


I think this is now well known as the "fuel" pattern. Ideally n is
very big and computed lazily.

I am not aware of a paper specifically about this trick, it is there
as a very useful folklore I guess.

Note however that Bertot Balaa presented a more "complete" version of
this by refining this trick: the function itself is defined by means
of a proof that there exists a number N of iterations such that any
greater number would give the same result. i.e. that N is a sufficient
fuel to reach the fixpoint. This mechanism is used in the current
implementation of the "Function" command in coq (when given a non
structurally recursive function).


Le ven. 6 juil. 2018 à 21:28, Philip Wadler <wadler at inf.ed.ac.uk> a écrit :
> [ The Types Forum, http://lists.seas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/types-list ]
> Everyone on this list will be familiar with Progress and Preservation
> for terms in a typed calculus.  Write ∅ ⊢ M : A to indicate that term
> M has type A for closed M.
>   Progress.  If ∅ ⊢ M : A then either M is a value or M —→ N,
>   for some term N.
>   Preservation.  If ∅ ⊢ M : A and M —→ N then ∅ ⊢ N : A.
> It is easy to combine these two proofs into an evaluator.
> Write —↠ for the transitive and reflexive closure of —→.
>   Evaluation.  If ∅ ⊢ M : A, then for every natural number n,
>   either M —↠ V, where V is a value and the reduction sequence
>   has no more than n steps, or M —↠ N, where N is not a value
>   and the reduction sequence has n steps.
> Evaluation implies that either M —↠ V or there is an infinite
> sequence M —→ M₁ —→ M₂ —→ ... that never reduces to a value;
> but this last result is not constructive, as deciding which of
> the two results holds is not decidable.
> An Agda implementation of Evaluation provides an evaluator for terms:
> given a number n it will perform up to n steps of evaluation, stopping
> early if a value is reached. This is entirely obvious (at least in
> retrospect), but I have not seen it written down anywhere. For
> instance, this approach is not exploited in Software Foundations to
> evaluate terms (it uses a normalize tactic instead).  I have used it
> in my draft textbook:
>   https:plfa.inf.ed.ac.uk
> Questions: What sources in the literature should one cite for this
> technique?  How well-known is it as folklore? Cheers, -- P
> .   \ Philip Wadler, Professor of Theoretical Computer Science,
> .   /\ School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
> .  /  \ and Senior Research Fellow, IOHK
> . http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/wadler/
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