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80
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
Types for Modules
, 1998
"... The programming language Standard ML is an amalgam of two, largely orthogonal, languages. The Core language expresses details of algorithms and data structures. The Modules language expresses the modular architecture of a software system. Both languages are statically typed, with their static and dy ..."
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Cited by 80 (13 self)
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The programming language Standard ML is an amalgam of two, largely orthogonal, languages. The Core language expresses details of algorithms and data structures. The Modules language expresses the modular architecture of a software system. Both languages are statically typed, with their static and dynamic semantics specified by a formal definition.
AURA: A programming language for authorization and audit
, 2008
"... This paper presents AURA, a programming language for access control that treats ordinary programming constructs (e.g., integers and recursive functions) and authorization logic constructs (e.g., principals and access control policies) in a uniform way. AURA is based on polymorphic DCC and uses depen ..."
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Cited by 60 (7 self)
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This paper presents AURA, a programming language for access control that treats ordinary programming constructs (e.g., integers and recursive functions) and authorization logic constructs (e.g., principals and access control policies) in a uniform way. AURA is based on polymorphic DCC and uses dependent types to permit assertions that refer directly to AURA values while keeping computation out of the assertion level to ensure tractability. The main technical results of this paper include fully mechanically verified proofs of the decidability and soundness for AURA’s type system, and a prototype typechecker and interpreter.
Modal Types for Mobile Code
, 2008
"... In this dissertation I argue that modal type systems provide an elegant and practical means for controlling local resources in spatially distributed computer programs. A distributed program is one that executes in multiple physical or logical places. It usually does so because those places have loca ..."
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Cited by 27 (0 self)
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In this dissertation I argue that modal type systems provide an elegant and practical means for controlling local resources in spatially distributed computer programs. A distributed program is one that executes in multiple physical or logical places. It usually does so because those places have local resources that can only be used in those locations. Such resources can include processing power, proximity to data, hardware, or the physical presence of a user. Programmers that write distributed applications therefore need to be able to reason about the places in which their programs will execute. This work provides an elegant and practical way to think about such programs in the form of a type system derived from modal logic. Modal logic allows for reasoning about truth from multiple simultaneous perspectives. These perspectives, called "worlds," are identified with the locations in the distributed program. This enables the programming language to be simultaneously aware of the various hosts involved in a program, their
A Definitional TwoLevel Approach to Reasoning with HigherOrder Abstract Syntax
 Journal of Automated Reasoning
, 2010
"... Abstract. Combining higherorder abstract syntax and (co)induction in a logical framework is well known to be problematic. Previous work [ACM02] described the implementation of a tool called Hybrid, within Isabelle HOL, syntax, and reasoned about using tactical theorem proving and principles of (co ..."
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Cited by 24 (4 self)
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Abstract. Combining higherorder abstract syntax and (co)induction in a logical framework is well known to be problematic. Previous work [ACM02] described the implementation of a tool called Hybrid, within Isabelle HOL, syntax, and reasoned about using tactical theorem proving and principles of (co)induction. Moreover, it is definitional, which guarantees consistency within a classical type theory. The idea is to have a de Bruijn representation of syntax, while offering tools for reasoning about them at the higher level. In this paper we describe how to use it in a multilevel reasoning fashion, similar in spirit to other metalogics such as Linc and Twelf. By explicitly referencing provability in a middle layer called a specification logic, we solve the problem of reasoning by (co)induction in the presence of nonstratifiable hypothetical judgments, which allow very elegant and succinct specifications of object logic inference rules. We first demonstrate the method on a simple example, formally proving type soundness (subject reduction) for a fragment of a pure functional language, using a minimal intuitionistic logic as the specification logic. We then prove an analogous result for a continuationmachine presentation of the operational semantics of the same language, encoded this time in an ordered linear logic that serves as the specification layer. This example demonstrates the ease with which we can incorporate new specification logics, and also illustrates a significantly
A sound semantics for OCamllight
 In: Programming Languages and Systems, 17th European Symposium on Programming, ESOP 2008, Lecture Notes in Computer Science
, 2008
"... Abstract. Few programming languages have a mathematically rigorous definition or metatheory—in part because they are perceived as too large and complex to work with. This paper demonstrates the feasibility of such undertakings: we formalize a substantial portion of the semantics of Objective Caml’s ..."
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Cited by 17 (4 self)
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Abstract. Few programming languages have a mathematically rigorous definition or metatheory—in part because they are perceived as too large and complex to work with. This paper demonstrates the feasibility of such undertakings: we formalize a substantial portion of the semantics of Objective Caml’s core language (which had not previously been given a formal semantics), and we develop a mechanized type soundness proof in HOL. We also develop an executable version of the operational semantics, verify that it coincides with our semantic definition, and use it to test conformance between the semantics and the OCaml implementation. We intend our semantics to be a suitable substrate for the verification of OCaml programs. 1 Mechanizing Metatheory Researchers in programming languages and program verification routinely develop their ideas in the context of core calculi and idealized models. The advantage of the core calculus approach comes from the efficacy of pencilandpaper mathematics, both for specification and proof; however, these techniques do not scale well. Usable programming
Modeling Abstract Types in Modules with Open Existential Types
"... We propose F � , a calculus of open existential types that is an extension of System F obtained by decomposing the introduction and elimination of existential types into more atomic constructs. Open existential types model modular type abstraction as done in module systems. The static semantics of F ..."
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Cited by 16 (1 self)
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We propose F � , a calculus of open existential types that is an extension of System F obtained by decomposing the introduction and elimination of existential types into more atomic constructs. Open existential types model modular type abstraction as done in module systems. The static semantics of F � adapts standard techniques to deal with linearity of typing contexts, its dynamic semantics is a smallstep reduction semantics that performs extrusion of type abstraction as needed during reduction, and the two are related by subject reduction and progress lemmas. Applying the CurryHoward isomorphism, F � can be also read back as a logic with the same expressive power as secondorder logic but with more modular ways of assembling partial proofs. We also extend the core calculus to handle the double vision problem as well as typelevel and termlevel recursion. The resulting language turns out to be a new formalization of (a minor variant of) Dreyer’s internal language for recursive and mixin modules.