Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Refinement Types for Logical Frameworks

William Lovas

September 2010

Ph.D. Thesis


Keywords:Refinement types, logical frameworks, subtyping, intersection types, dependent types

The logical framework LF and its metalogic Twelf can be used to encode and reason about a wide variety of logics, languages, and other deductive systems in a formal, machine-checkable way.

Recent studies have shown that ML-like languages can profitably be extended with a notion of subtyping called refinement types. A refinement type discipline uses an extra layer of term classification above the usual type system to more accurately capture certain properties of terms.

I propose that adding refinement types to LF is both useful and practical. To support the claim, I exhibit an extension of LF with refinement types called LFR,work out important details of itsmetatheory, delineate a practical algorithmfor refinement type reconstruction, andpresent several case studies that highlight the utility of refinement types for formalized mathematics. In the end I find that refinement types and LF are a match made in heaven: refinements enable many rich new modes of expression, and the simplicity of LF ensures that they come at a modest cost.

205 pages

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