Editors: Herman Geuvers, Masahito Hasegawa, Paul-André Melliès

The TLCA series of conferences serves as a forum for presenting original research results that are broadly relevant to the theory and applications of lambda calculus. Starting 2016, TLCA, with its partner conference RTA (Rewriting Techniques and Applications) , is subsumed by the new conference series Formal Structures for Computation and Deduction (FSCD) which embraces the core topics of TLCA and RTA and further broadens the scope to closely related areas.

The papers collected in this special issue have been invited by the guest editors, taking into account the views of the Program Committee of the conference. All submissions have undergone a new reviewing process, in accordance with the usual high standards of LMCS. We thank the authors and the reviewers for all their hard work producing the contents of this issue.

During the preparation of this volume, we were shocked and deeply saddened to learn that Martin Hofmann, one of the authors, passed away in tragic circumstances in January 2018. Martin was a leading figure in the TLCA community; we have lost a rare talent, a mentor, and a great friend.

Herman Geuvers, Masahito Hasegawa and Paul-André Melliès

Guest Editors for the TLCA 2013 Special Issue

In game semantics and related approaches to programming language semantics, programs are modelled by interaction dialogues. Such models have recently been used in the design of new compilation methods, e.g. for hardware synthesis or for programming with sublinear space. This paper relates such semantically motivated non-standard compilation methods to more standard techniques in the compilation of functional programming languages, namely continuation passing and defunctionalization. We first show for the linear {\lambda}-calculus that interpretation in a model of computation by interaction can be described as a call-by-name CPS-translation followed by a defunctionalization procedure that takes into account control-flow information. We then establish a relation between these two compilation methods for the simply-typed {\lambda}-calculus and end by considering recursion.

In this paper, we study the complexity of execution in higher-order programming languages. Our study has two facets: on the one hand we give an upper bound to the length of interactions between bounded P-visible strategies in Hyland-Ong game semantics. This result covers models of programming languages with access to computational effects like non-determinism, state or control operators, but its semantic formulation causes a loose connection to syntax. On the other hand we give a syntactic counterpart of our semantic study: a non-elementary upper bound to the length of the linear head reduction sequence (a low-level notion of reduction, close to the actual implementation of the reduction of higher-order programs by abstract machines) of simply-typed lambda-terms. In both cases our upper bounds are proved optimal by giving matching lower bounds. These two results, although different in scope, are proved using the same method: we introduce a simple reduction on finite trees of natural numbers, hereby called interaction skeletons. We study this reduction and give upper bounds to its complexity. We then apply this study by giving two simulation results: a semantic one measuring progress in game-theoretic interaction via interaction skeletons, and a syntactic one establishing a correspondence between linear head reduction of terms satisfying a locality condition called local scope and the reduction of interaction skeletons. This result is then generalized to arbitrary terms by a […]

We propose a model-based approach to the model checking problem for recursive schemes. Since simply typed lambda calculus with the fixpoint operator, lambda-Y-calculus, is equivalent to schemes, we propose the use of a model of lambda-Y-calculus to discriminate the terms that satisfy a given property. If a model is finite in every type, this gives a decision procedure. We provide a construction of such a model for every property expressed by automata with trivial acceptance conditions and divergence testing. Such properties pose already interesting challenges for model construction. Moreover, we argue that having models capturing some class of properties has several other virtues in addition to providing decidability of the model-checking problem. As an illustration, we show a very simple construction transforming a scheme to a scheme reflecting a property captured by a given model.

As the groupoid model of Hofmann and Streicher proves, identity proofs in intensional Martin-Löf type theory cannot generally be shown to be unique. Inspired by a theorem by Hedberg, we give some simple characterizations of types that do have unique identity proofs. A key ingredient in these constructions are weakly constant endofunctions on identity types. We study such endofunctions on arbitrary types and show that they always factor through a propositional type, the truncated or squashed domain. Such a factorization is impossible for weakly constant functions in general (a result by Shulman), but we present several non-trivial cases in which it can be done. Based on these results, we define a new notion of anonymous existence in type theory and compare different forms of existence carefully. In addition, we show possibly surprising consequences of the judgmental computation rule of the truncation, in particular in the context of homotopy type theory. All the results have been formalized and verified in the dependently typed programming language Agda.

Pitts and Stark's $\nu$-calculus is a paradigmatic total language for studying the problem of contextual equivalence in higher-order languages with name generation. Models for the $\nu$-calculus that validate basic equivalences concerning names may be constructed using functor categories or nominal sets, with a dynamic allocation monad used to model computations that may allocate fresh names. If recursion is added to the language and one attempts to adapt the models from (nominal) sets to (nominal) domains, however, the direct-style construction of the allocation monad no longer works. This issue has previously been addressed by using a monad that combines dynamic allocation with continuations, at some cost to abstraction. This paper presents a direct-style model of a $\nu$-calculus-like language with recursion using the novel framework of proof-relevant logical relations, in which logical relations also contain objects (or proofs) demonstrating the equivalence of (the semantic counterparts of) programs. Apart from providing a fresh solution to an old problem, this work provides an accessible setting in which to introduce the use of proof-relevant logical relations, free of the additional complexities associated with their use for more sophisticated languages.