Ellipses are a meta-linguistic notation for denoting terms the size of which are specified by a meta-variable that ranges over the natural numbers. In this work, we present a systematic approach for encoding such meta-expressions in the \^I-calculus, without ellipses: Terms that are parameterized by meta-variables are replaced with corresponding \^I-abstractions over actual variables. We call such \^I-terms arity-generic. Concrete terms, for particular choices of the parameterizing variable are obtained by applying an arity-generic \^I-term to the corresponding numeral, obviating the need to use ellipses. For example, to find the multiple fixed points of n equations, n different \^I-terms are needed, every one of which is indexed by two meta-variables, and defined using three levels of ellipses. A single arity-generic \^I-abstraction that takes two Church numerals, one for the number of fixed-point equations, and one for their arity, replaces all these multiple fixed-point combinators. We show how to define arity-generic generalizations of two historical fixed-point combinators, the first by Curry, and the second by Turing, for defining multiple fixed points. These historical fixed-point combinators are related by a construction due to B\~Ahm: We show that likewise, their arity-generic generalizations are related by an arity-generic generalization of B\~Ahm's construction. We further demonstrate this approach to arity-generic \^I-definability with additional \^I-terms that create, project, extend, reverse, and map over ordered n-tuples, as well as an arity-generic generator for one-point bases.

Source : oai:arXiv.org:1508.02864

DOI : 10.2168/LMCS-11(3:25)2015

Volume: Volume 11, Issue 3

Published on: October 1, 2015

Submitted on: August 12, 2014

Keywords: Computer Science - Logic in Computer Science

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