Department of Computer Science and Technology

Technical reports

Evaluation Logic

Andrew M. Pitts

August 1990, 31 pages

DOI: 10.48456/tr-198


A new typed, higher-order logic is described which appears particularly well fitted to reasoning about forms of computation whose operational behaviour can be specified using the Natural Semantics style of structural operational semantics. The logic’s underlying type system is Moggi’s computational metalanguage, which enforces a distinction between computations and values via the categorical structure of a strong monad. This is extended to a (constructive) predicate logic with modal formulas about evaluation of computations to values, called evaluation modalities. The categorical structure corresponding to this kind of logic is explained and a couple of examples of categorical models given.

As a first example of the naturalness and applicability of this new logic to program semantics, we investigate the translation of a (tiny) fragment of Standard ML into a theory over the logic, which is proved computationally adequate for ML’s Natural Semantics. Whilst it is tiny, the ML fragment does however contain both higher-order functional and imperative features, about which the logic allows us to reason without having to mention global states explicitly.

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BibTeX record

  author =	 {Pitts, Andrew M.},
  title = 	 {{Evaluation Logic}},
  year = 	 1990,
  month = 	 aug,
  url = 	 {},
  institution =  {University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory},
  doi = 	 {10.48456/tr-198},
  number = 	 {UCAM-CL-TR-198}