New Results on Type Systems for Functional Logic Programming

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Type systems are widely used in programming languages as a powerful tool providing safety to programs, and forcing the programmers to write code in a clearer way. Functional logic languages have inherited Damas & Milner type system from their functional part due to its simplicity and popularity. In this paper we address a couple of aspects that can be subject of improvement. One is related to a problematic feature of functional logic languages not taken under consideration by standard systems: it is known that the use of opaque HO patterns in left-hand sides of program rules may produce undesirable effects from the point of view of types. We re-examine the problem, and propose a Damas & Milner-like type system where certain uses of HO patterns (even opaque) are permitted while preserving type safety, as proved by a subject reduction result that uses HO-let-rewriting, a recently proposed reduction mechanism for HO functional logic programs. The other aspect is the different ways in which polymorphism of local definitions can be handled. At the same time that we formalize the type system, we have made the effort of technically clarifying the overall process of type inference in a whole program.
18th International Workshop on Functional and Constraint Logic Programming WFLP 2009. Brasilia, Brazil, June 28, 2009.
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