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Author Ledgard, Henry F.
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format PDF
Language English
Subject Keyword Types ♦ Language implementation ♦ Compiler writing ♦ Semantics ♦ Type checking ♦ Models for programming languages ♦ Formal definition ♦ Syntax ♦ Lambda-calculus
Abstract Most current programming languages treat computation over different classes of objects (e.g. numbers, strings, labels and functions). For correct compilation and execution, the following question then arises: is a program properly constructed so that its operations and operands are compatible? The activity of answering this question is usually called type checking.This paper attempts to isolate the notion of type checking and presents a partial solution to the type checking problem based on the notions of abstraction and application of functions. In particular, a program is mapped into an expression within a decideable subset of the λ-calculus, which characterizes the type relations within the program and eliminates all other information. The determination of the type-wise correctness or incorrectness of the program is resolved by reducing its corresponding λ-calculus expression to one of two normal forms, the constant “correct” for a type-wise correct program or the constant “error.”An application to type checking in Algol 60 is made, and the attendant problems faced for any notion of type checking are discussed.
Description Affiliation: John Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (Ledgard, Henry F.)
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2005-08-01
Publisher Place New York
Journal Communications of the ACM (CACM)
Volume Number 15
Issue Number 11
Page Count 11
Starting Page 956
Ending Page 966


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Source: ACM Digital Library