Formalizing Soundness of Contextual Effects. Polyvios Pratikakis, Jeffrey S. Foster, Michael Hicks, and Iulian Neamtiu. In Otmane Aït Mohamed, César Mun̄oz, and Sofiène Tahar, editors, Proceedings of the International Conference on Theorem Proving in Higher Order Logics (TPHOLs), volume 5170 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 262--277. Springer, August 2008.

A contextual effects system generalizes standard type and effect systems: where a standard effects system computes the effect of an expression e, a contextual effects system additionally computes the prior and future effect of e, which characterize the behavior of computation prior to, and following, respectively, the evaluation of e. This paper describes the formalization and proof of soundness of contextual effects, which we mechanized using the Coq proof assistant. Contextual effect soundness is an unusual property because the prior and future effect of a term e depends not on e itself (or its evaluation), but rather on the evaluation of the context in which e appears. Therefore, to state and prove soundness we must “match up” a subterm in the original typing derivation with the possibly-many evaluations of that subterm during the evaluation of the program, in a way that is robust under substitution. We do this using a novel typed operational semantics. We conjecture that our approach could prove useful for approaching other properties of derivations that rely on the context in which that derivation appears.

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  author = {Polyvios Pratikakis and Jeffrey S. Foster and Michael Hicks and Iulian Neamtiu},
  title = {Formalizing Soundness of Contextual Effects},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the International Conference on Theorem Proving in Higher Order Logics (TPHOLs)},
  editor = {Otmane A\"it Mohamed and C\'esar Mu\={n}oz and Sofi\`ene Tahar},
  pages = {262--277},
  publisher = {Springer},
  series = {Lecture Notes in Computer Science},
  volume = {5170},
  month = aug,
  year = 2008

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