CS 334
Programming Languages
Spring 2002

Lecture 9

Adding a run-time environment to interpreter

We have earlier described substitution as a reasonable mechanism for interpreting function application (called beta-conversion), but there are a few places where you must be very careful with name clashes if we have free variables. (See section 10.7 in the text for details. PCF is actually a slightly enriched version of the lambda calculus where we write fn x => e rather than λx. e)

We normally expect that if we change the names of formal parameters that it should not make any difference, but ...

Suppose we evaluate:

   let  fun g x y = x + y  in g y end;
(or in our language PCF:
   (fn g => g y) (fn x => fn y => x+y))
If we evaluate blindly we get:
   fn y => y + y
Notice that because of scoping, the actual parameter y has become captured by the formal parameter y!

We should get: fn w => y + w, which has a very different meaning!!

(Note that we did not run into this problem earlier since during our evaluations we never worked with terms with free variables - when going inside functions we replaced all formal parameters by the actual parameters, which didn't involve free variables).

A different order of evaluation would have brought forth the same problem, however.

We would like to have fn x => B to represent the same function as fn y => B[x:=y] as long as y doesn't occur freely in B. (Called alpha-conversion)

If you always alpha-convert to a new bound variable before substituting in, will never have problems, but this is a pain in the neck.

Instead we will valuate terms with respect to environments. Intuitively, an environment is a mapping from strings (representing identifiers) to values. That is, it tells us for every identifier currently in scope, what the value of that identifier is.

Rather than representing the environment as a function, we will represent it as an "association list", a set of pairs of strings and values:

   env = (string * value) list
We can look up the value of an identifier in an environment by simply searching for the first occurrence of the identifier in the list.

We write [[e]] ev for the meaning of e with respect to environment ev.

E.g. if ev(x) = 12 and ev(y) = 2, then [[x+y]] ev = 14.

How does function application result in change of environment?

   [[(fn x => body) actual]]ev = [[body]] (ev [x := [[actual]]ev])
where ev[x := v] is environment like ev except x has value "v".

This and rec are the only rules in which the environment changes!

Rest of rules look like the old interpreter (except identifiers are now looked up in the environment)!

Replaces all uses of subst!

This means that computation no longer takes place by rewriting terms into new terms, interp is now a function from term to value.

Note that

	let val x = arg in e
is equivalent to
	(fn x => e) arg
Must worry about scoping problems:
   val test = let 
                  val x = 3;
                  fun f y = x + y;
                  val x = 12
                  x + (f 7)
What is value of test? In particular, what is the value of (f 7)?

Change in scope is reflected by change in environment.

With functions must remember environment function was defined in!

When apply function, apply in defining environment.

test is equivalent to

   (fn x => (fn f => ((fn x => x + (f 7)) 12) (fn y => x + y))) 3
   [[(fn x => (fn f => ((fn x => x + (f 7)) 12) (fn y => x + y))) 3]] ev0
	= [[(fn f => ((fn x => x + (f 7)) 12) (fn y => x + y)) ]] ev1
	= [[(fn x => x + (f 7)) 12]] ev2
	= [[x + (f 7)]] ev3
	= 12 + ([[fn y => 3 + y]] ev1) 7
	= 12 + [[3 + y]] ev4
	= 12 + 3 + 7 
	= 22
where ev0 is the starting environment and
   ev1 = ev0 [x := [[3]] ev0] = ev0[x := 3]
   ev2 = ev1 [f := [[fn y => x + y]] ev1] 	<-	Closure for f
   ev3 = ev2 [x := [[12]] ev2] = ev2[x := 12]
   ev4 = ev1 [y := 7]
Notice that ev2 is created by adding a closure to the environment to represent the meaning of f. In the formal language, we would write that particular closure more like CLOSURE ("y", x + y, ev1). (The only thing we can't do directly in the language is define x + y.

Back to types!


Encompasses functions w/ both infinite and finite domains.


homogeneous collection of data.

Mapping from index type to range type
E.g. Array [1..10] of Real corresponds to {1,...,10} -> Real

Operations and relations: selection ". [.]", =, ==, and occasionally slices.

E.g. A[2..6] represents an array composed of A[2] to A[6]

Index range and location where array stored can be bound at compile time, unit activation, or any time.

The key to these differences is binding time, as usual!

Function abstractions:

S->T ... function f(s:S):T (where S could be n-tuple) Operations: abstraction and application, sometimes composition.

What is difference from an array? Efficiency, esp. w/update.

	update f arg result x = if x = arg then result else f x
	update f arg result = fn x => if x = arg then result else f x
Procedure can be treated as having type S -> unit for uniformity.

Recursive types:

  	tree = Empty | Mktree of int * tree * tree

list = Nil | Cons of int * list

In most lang's built by programmer from pointer types.

Sometimes supported by language (e.g. Miranda, Haskell, ML).

Why can't we have direct recursive types in ordinary imperative languages?

OK if use ref's:

			rest: list

Recursive types may have many sol'ns

E.g. list = {Nil} union (int x list) has following sol'ns:

  1. finite sequences of integers followed by Nil: e.g., (2,(5,Nil))

  2. finite or infinite sequences, where if finite then end with Nil
Similarly with trees, etc.

Theoretical result: Recursive equations always have a least solution - though infinite set if real recursion.

Can get via finite approximation. I.e.,

   list0 = {Nil}

list1 = {Nil} union (int x list0) = {Nil} union {(n, Nil) | n in int}

list2 = {Nil} union (int x list1) = {Nil} union {(n, Nil) | n in int} union {(m,(n, Nil)) | m, n in int}


list = Unionn listn

Very much like unwinding definition of recursive function
	fact = fun n => if n = 0 then 1 else n * fact (n-1)
	fact0 = fun n => if n = 0 then 1 else undef
	fact1 = fun n => if n = 0 then 1 else n * fact0(n-1)
	      = fun n => if n = 0, 1 then 1 else undef
	fact2 = fun n => if n = 0 then 1 else n * fact1(n-1)
	      = fun n => if n = 0, 1 then 1 else 
	                 if n = 2 then 2 else undef

	fact = Unionn factn

Notice solution to T = A + (T->T) is inconsistent with classical mathematics!
In spite of that, however, it can be used in Computer Science,
	datatype univ = Base of int | Func of (univ -> univ);



Supported in most fcnal languages

operations: hd, tail, cons, length, etc.

sequential files

File operations: Erase, reset, read, write, check for end.

Persistent data - files.


ops: <, length, substr

Are strings primitive or composite?

User-Defined Types

User gets to name new types. Why?
  1. more readable

  2. Easy to modify if localized

  3. Factorization - why copy same complex def. over and over (possibly making mistakes)

  4. Added consistency checking in many cases.


Static: Most languages use static binding of types to variables, usually in declarations
	var x : integer  {bound at translation time}

The variable can only hold values of that type. (Pascal/Modula-2/C, etc.)

FORTRAN has implicit declaration using naming conventions

Other languages will "infer" type of undeclared variables.

In either case, run real danger of problems due to typos.

Example in ML, if

	datatype Stack ::= Nil | Push of int;
then define
	fun f Push 7 = ...
What error occurs?

Answer: Push is taken as a parameter name, not a constructor.
Therefore f is given type: A -> int -> B rather than the expected: Stack -> B

Dynamic: Variables typically do not have a declared type. Type of value may vary during run-time. Esp. useful w/ heterogeneous lists, etc. (LISP/SCHEME).

Dynamic more flexible, but more overhead since must check type before performing operations (therefore must store tag w/ value).

Dynamic typing found in APL and LISP.

Dynamic typing harder to implement since can't allocate a fixed amount of space for variables. Therefore often implemented as pointer to memory holding value.

Type compatibility

Problems arose in the language definition of Pascal having to do with type equivalence and compatibility.

Assignment compatibility:

Original report said both sides must have identical types.

When are types identical?


    Type    T = Array [1..10] of Integer;
    Var  A, B : Array [1..10] of Integer;
             C : Array [1..10] of Integer;
             D : T;
             E : T;
Which variables have the same type?

Name EquivalenceA

Same type iff have same name --> D, E only

Name Equivalence (called declaration equivalence in text)

Same type iff have same name or declared together

--> A, B and D, E only.

Structural Equivalence

Same type iff have same structure --> all same.

Structural not always easy. Let

  T1 = record a : integer; b : real  end; 
  T2 = record c : integer; d : real  end;
  T3 = record b : real; a : integer  end;
Which are the same?


  T = record info : integer; next : ^T  end; 
  U = record info : integer; next : ^V  end; 
  V = record info : integer; next : ^U  end; 

Two types are assignment compatible iff they

  1. have equivalent types or

  2. one is a subrange of the other, or

  3. both are subranges of same base type.

Things are more complicated in object-oriented languages. Then assignment is OK if type of source is a subtype of the receiver type.

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