Summer school 2008:Arithmetic expressions

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Summer school 2008
Next: Arithmetic expressions with let-binding

Rudimentary arithmetic

In on-paper notation, the syntax of the natural numbers is given as follows:

That is, is a natural number, and if is a natural number, then is as well.

We represent natural numbers as an LF type nat with two constants generating LF terms of that type:

nat : type.             %name nat M.
z : nat.
s : nat -> nat.

The constant z constructs a nat; the constant s constructs a nat from a nat.


Next, we define addition as a judgement relating two natural numbers to their sum:

This judgement is represented in LF as follows:

add : nat -> nat -> nat -> type.
%mode add +M +N -P.

add/z : add z N N.
add/s : add (s M) N (s P) 
         <- add M N P.

The first line says that the type family add relates three natural numbers. The second line says that the first two (the addends) determine the third (the sum). The constants add/z and add/s correspond to the inference rules above.


Twelf verifies that addition is a total function on closed terms of type nat:

%worlds () (add _ _ _).
%total M (add M _ _).

The declarations should be read as follows:

  • %mode: The two addends are inputs; the sum is an output.
  • %worlds: add is defined on closed LF terms
  • %total: For all M and N, there exists a P such that add M N P is derivable.

This proves a totality assertion for add.

Simple arithmetic expressions

exp : type.             %name exp E.
num : nat -> exp.
plus : exp -> exp -> exp.


First, we define a syntactic category of answers, which in this case is just natural numbers:

ans : type.				%name ans A.
anum : nat -> ans.

Next, we define the evaluation judgement relating an expression to an answer.

eval : exp -> ans -> type.		%name eval Deval.
%mode eval +E1 -E2.

   : eval (num N) (anum N).

   : eval (plus E1 E2) (anum N)
      <- eval E1 (anum N1)
      <- eval E2 (anum N2)
      <- add N1 N2 N.

%worlds () (eval _ _).
%total E (eval E _).

Twelf verifies that evaluation is total:

  • the mode declaration says that the expression is an input, and the answer is an output.
  • the worlds declaration says that we're only considering closed expressions
  • the total declaration asks Twelf to verify that eval defines a total relation from closed expressions to closed answers.

Solving for derivations

We can use logic programming to solve for derivations.

two : nat = (s (s z)).
%solve _ : add two two N.

two_exp : exp = num two.
%solve _ : eval (plus two_exp two_exp) E.
Summer school 2008
Next: Arithmetic expressions with let-binding