Type Theory & Functional Programming [Types in Topic Maps]

Type Theory & Functional Programming by Simon Thompson.

From the introduction:

Constructive Type theory has been a topic of research interest to computer scientists, mathematicians, logicians and philosophers for a number of years. For computer scientists it provides a framework which brings together logic and programming languages in a most elegant and fertile way: program development and verification can proceed within a single system. Viewed in a different way, type theory is a functional programming language with some novel features, such as the totality of all its functions, its expressive type system allowing functions whose result type depends upon the value of its input, and sophisticated modules and abstract types whose interfaces can contain logical assertions as well as signature information. A third point of view emphasizes that programs (or functions) can be extracted from proofs in the logic.

Up until now most of the material on type theory has only appeared in proceedings of conferences and in research papers, so it seems appropriate to try to set down the current state of development in a form accessible to interested final-year undergraduates, graduate students, research workers and teachers in computer science and related fields – hence this book.

The book can be thought of as giving both a first and a second course in type theory. We begin with introductory material on logic and functional programming, and follow this by presenting the system of type theory itself, together with many examples. As well as this we go further, looking at the system from a mathematical perspective, thus elucidating a number of its important properties. Then we take a critical look at the profusion of suggestions in the literature about why and how type theory could be augmented. In doing this we are aiming at a moving target; it must be the case that further developments will have been made before the book reaches the press. Nonetheless, such an survey can give the reader a much more developed sense of the potential of type theory, as well as giving the background of what is to come.

The goal posts of type theory have moved since 1999, when this work was published, but the need to learn the foundations of type theory has not.

In a topic map context, consider the potential of types that define:

  1. applicable merging rules
  2. allowable sub-types
  3. permitted roles
  4. presence of other values (by type or value)

among other potential rules.

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