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Uniform proofs as a foundation for logic programming
 ANNALS OF PURE AND APPLIED LOGIC
, 1991
"... A prooftheoretic characterization of logical languages that form suitable bases for Prologlike programming languages is provided. This characterization is based on the principle that the declarative meaning of a logic program, provided by provability in a logical system, should coincide with its ..."
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A prooftheoretic characterization of logical languages that form suitable bases for Prologlike programming languages is provided. This characterization is based on the principle that the declarative meaning of a logic program, provided by provability in a logical system, should coincide with its operational meaning, provided by interpreting logical connectives as simple and fixed search instructions. The operational semantics is formalized by the identification of a class of cutfree sequent proofs called uniform proofs. A uniform proof is one that can be found by a goaldirected search that respects the interpretation of the logical connectives as search instructions. The concept of a uniform proof is used to define the notion of an abstract logic programming language, and it is shown that firstorder and higherorder Horn clauses with classical provability are examples of such a language. Horn clauses are then generalized to hereditary Harrop formulas and it is shown that firstorder and higherorder versions of this new class of formulas are also abstract logic programming languages if the inference rules are those of either intuitionistic or minimal logic. The programming language significance of the various generalizations to firstorder Horn clauses is briefly discussed.
A logic programming language with lambdaabstraction, function variables, and simple unification
 Extensions of Logic Programming. Springer Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence
, 1990
"... A meta programming language must be able to represent and manipulate such syntactic structures as programs, formulas, types, and proofs. A common characteristic of all these structures is that they involve notions of abstractions, scope, bound and free variables, substitution instances, and equality ..."
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Cited by 314 (27 self)
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A meta programming language must be able to represent and manipulate such syntactic structures as programs, formulas, types, and proofs. A common characteristic of all these structures is that they involve notions of abstractions, scope, bound and free variables, substitution instances, and equality up to alphabetic changes of bound variables.
Fresh Logic
 Journal of Applied Logic
, 2007
"... Abstract. The practice of firstorder logic is replete with metalevel concepts. Most notably there are metavariables ranging over formulae, variables, and terms, and properties of syntax such as alphaequivalence, captureavoiding substitution and assumptions about freshness of variables with resp ..."
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Cited by 219 (28 self)
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Abstract. The practice of firstorder logic is replete with metalevel concepts. Most notably there are metavariables ranging over formulae, variables, and terms, and properties of syntax such as alphaequivalence, captureavoiding substitution and assumptions about freshness of variables with respect to metavariables. We present oneandahalfthorder logic, in which these concepts are made explicit. We exhibit both sequent and algebraic specifications of oneandahalfthorder logic derivability, show them equivalent, show that the derivations satisfy cutelimination, and prove correctness of an interpretation of firstorder logic within it. We discuss the technicalities in a wider context as a casestudy for nominal algebra, as a logic in its own right, as an algebraisation of logic, as an example of how other systems might be treated, and also as a theoretical foundation
Higherorder logic programming
 HANDBOOK OF LOGIC IN AI AND LOGIC PROGRAMMING, VOLUME 5: LOGIC PROGRAMMING. OXFORD (1998
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Mechanized metatheory for the masses: The POPLmark challenge
 In Theorem Proving in Higher Order Logics: 18th International Conference, number 3603 in LNCS
, 2005
"... Abstract. How close are we to a world where every paper on programming languages is accompanied by an electronic appendix with machinechecked proofs? We propose an initial set of benchmarks for measuring progress in this area. Based on the metatheory of System F<:, a typed lambdacalculus with se ..."
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Cited by 161 (14 self)
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Abstract. How close are we to a world where every paper on programming languages is accompanied by an electronic appendix with machinechecked proofs? We propose an initial set of benchmarks for measuring progress in this area. Based on the metatheory of System F<:, a typed lambdacalculus with secondorder polymorphism, subtyping, and records, these benchmarks embody many aspects of programming languages that are challenging to formalize: variable binding at both the term and type levels, syntactic forms with variable numbers of components (including binders), and proofs demanding complex induction principles. We hope that these benchmarks will help clarify the current state of the art, provide a basis for comparing competing technologies, and motivate further research. 1
Unification under a mixed prefix
 Journal of Symbolic Computation
, 1992
"... Unification problems are identified with conjunctions of equations between simply typed λterms where free variables in the equations can be universally or existentially quantified. Two schemes for simplifying quantifier alternation, called Skolemization and raising (a dual of Skolemization), are pr ..."
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Cited by 132 (14 self)
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Unification problems are identified with conjunctions of equations between simply typed λterms where free variables in the equations can be universally or existentially quantified. Two schemes for simplifying quantifier alternation, called Skolemization and raising (a dual of Skolemization), are presented. In this setting where variables of functional type can be quantified and not all types contain closed terms, the naive generalization of firstorder Skolemization has several technical problems that are addressed. The method of searching for preunifiers described by Huet is easily extended to the mixed prefix setting, although solving flexibleflexible unification problems is undecidable since types may be empty. Unification problems may have numerous incomparable unifiers. Occasionally, unifiers share common factors and several of these are presented. Various optimizations on the general unification search problem are as discussed. 1.
An Overview of λProlog
 In Fifth International Logic Programming Conference
, 1988
"... Abstract: λProlog is a logic programming language that extends Prolog by incorporating notions of higherorder functions, λterms, higherorder unification, polymorphic types, and mechanisms for building modules and secure abstract data types. These new features are provided in a principled fashion ..."
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Cited by 117 (38 self)
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Abstract: λProlog is a logic programming language that extends Prolog by incorporating notions of higherorder functions, λterms, higherorder unification, polymorphic types, and mechanisms for building modules and secure abstract data types. These new features are provided in a principled fashion by extending the classical firstorder theory of Horn clauses to the intuitionistic higherorder theory of hereditary Harrop formulas. The justification for considering this extension a satisfactory logic programming language is provided through the prooftheoretic notion of a uniform proof. The correspondence between each extension to Prolog and the new features in the stronger logical theory is discussed. Also discussed are various aspects of an experimental implementation of λProlog. Appears in the Fifth International Conference Symposium on Logic Programming, 15 – 19 August 1988, Seattle, Washington. This is a slightly corrected version of
Engineering formal metatheory
 In ACM SIGPLANSIGACT Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages
, 2008
"... Machinechecked proofs of properties of programming languages have become a critical need, both for increased confidence in large and complex designs and as a foundation for technologies such as proofcarrying code. However, constructing these proofs remains a black art, involving many choices in th ..."
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Cited by 116 (11 self)
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Machinechecked proofs of properties of programming languages have become a critical need, both for increased confidence in large and complex designs and as a foundation for technologies such as proofcarrying code. However, constructing these proofs remains a black art, involving many choices in the formulation of definitions and theorems that make a huge cumulative difference in the difficulty of carrying out large formal developments. The representation and manipulation of terms with variable binding is a key issue. We propose a novel style for formalizing metatheory, combining locally nameless representation of terms and cofinite quantification of free variable names in inductive definitions of relations on terms (typing, reduction,...). The key technical insight is that our use of cofinite quantification obviates the need for reasoning about equivariance (the fact that free names can be renamed in derivations); in particular, the structural induction principles of relations
Nominal techniques in Isabelle/HOL
 Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Automated Deduction (CADE20
, 2005
"... Abstract. In this paper we define an inductive set that is bijective with the ffequated lambdaterms. Unlike deBruijn indices, however, our inductive definition includes names and reasoning about this definition is very similar to informal reasoning on paper. For this we provide a structural induc ..."
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Cited by 101 (14 self)
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Abstract. In this paper we define an inductive set that is bijective with the ffequated lambdaterms. Unlike deBruijn indices, however, our inductive definition includes names and reasoning about this definition is very similar to informal reasoning on paper. For this we provide a structural induction principle that requires to prove the lambdacase for fresh binders only. The main technical novelty of this work is that it is compatible with the axiomofchoice (unlike earlier nominal logic work by Pitts et al); thus we were able to implement all results in Isabelle/HOL and use them to formalise the standard proofs for ChurchRosser and strongnormalisation. Keywords. Lambdacalculus, nominal logic, structural induction, theoremassistants.
A Metalanguage for Programming with Bound Names Modulo Renaming
 Mathematics of Program Construction, volume 1837 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science
, 2000
"... This paper describes work in progress on the design of an MLstyle metalanguage FreshML for programming with recursively defined functions on userdefined, concrete data types whose constructors may involve variable binding. Up to operational equivalence, values of such FreshML data types can faithf ..."
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Cited by 95 (21 self)
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This paper describes work in progress on the design of an MLstyle metalanguage FreshML for programming with recursively defined functions on userdefined, concrete data types whose constructors may involve variable binding. Up to operational equivalence, values of such FreshML data types can faithfully encode terms modulo alphaconversion for a wide range of object languages in a straightforward fashion. The design of FreshML is `semantically driven', in that it arises from the model of variable binding in set theory with atoms given by the authors in [7]. The language has a type constructor for abstractions over names ( = atoms) and facilities for declaring locally fresh names. Moreover, recursive definitions can use a form of patternmatching on bound names in abstractions. The crucial point is that the FreshML type system ensures that these features can only be used in welltyped programs in ways that are insensitive to renaming of bound names.