Editors: Javier Esparza, Andrzej Murawski

This special issue contains revised and extended versions of seven papers presented at the 20th International Conference on Foundations of Software Science and Computation Structures (FoSSaCS 2017), which was held in Uppsala, Sweden as part of ETAPS 2017 (April 22-29, 2017). They represent several (but by no means all) areas that are traditionally well-represented at FoSSaCS: higher-order computation, proof theory, probabilistic and categorical semantics. The contributions were selected from among the 32 papers presented at the conference, on the strength of recommendations obtained during the reviewing process, which involved 101 submissions in total. The extended versions were subsequently refereed according to the usual LMCS standards. We thank the Program Committee of FoSSaCS 2017 and additional reviewers for their expert advice, and wish to express gratitude to LMCS for hosting the special issue.

We investigate the interplay between a modality for controlling the behaviour of recursive functional programs on infinite structures which are completely silent in the syntax. The latter means that programs do not contain "marks" showing the application of the introduction and elimination rules for the modality. This shifts the burden of controlling recursion from the programmer to the compiler. To do this, we introduce a typed lambda calculus a la Curry with a silent modality and guarded recursive types. The typing discipline guarantees normalisation and can be transformed into an algorithm which infers the type of a program.

We consider reasoning and minimization in systems of polynomial ordinary differential equations (ode's). The ring of multivariate polynomials is employed as a syntax for denoting system behaviours. We endow this set with a transition system structure based on the concept of Lie-derivative, thus inducing a notion of L-bisimulation. We prove that two states (variables) are L-bisimilar if and only if they correspond to the same solution in the ode's system. We then characterize L-bisimilarity algebraically, in terms of certain ideals in the polynomial ring that are invariant under Lie-derivation. This characterization allows us to develop a complete algorithm, based on building an ascending chain of ideals, for computing the largest L-bisimulation containing all valid identities that are instances of a user-specified template. A specific largest L-bisimulation can be used to build a reduced system of ode's, equivalent to the original one, but minimal among all those obtainable by linear aggregation of the original equations. A computationally less demanding approximate reduction and linearization technique is also proposed.

It is well known that the length of a beta-reduction sequence of a simply typed lambda-term of order k can be huge; it is as large as k-fold exponential in the size of the lambda-term in the worst case. We consider the following relevant question about quantitative properties, instead of the worst case: how many simply typed lambda-terms have very long reduction sequences? We provide a partial answer to this question, by showing that asymptotically almost every simply typed lambda-term of order k has a reduction sequence as long as (k-1)-fold exponential in the term size, under the assumption that the arity of functions and the number of variables that may occur in every subterm are bounded above by a constant. To prove it, we have extended the infinite monkey theorem for strings to a parametrized one for regular tree languages, which may be of independent interest. The work has been motivated by quantitative analysis of the complexity of higher-order model checking.

Models of iterated computation, such as (completely) iterative monads, often depend on a notion of guardedness, which guarantees unique solvability of recursive equations and requires roughly that recursive calls happen only under certain guarding operations. On the other hand, many models of iteration do admit unguarded iteration. Solutions are then no longer unique, and in general not even determined as least or greatest fixpoints, being instead governed by quasi-equational axioms. Monads that support unguarded iteration in this sense are called (complete) Elgot monads. Here, we propose to equip (Kleisli categories of) monads with an abstract notion of guardedness and then require solvability of abstractly guarded recursive equations; examples of such abstractly guarded pre-iterative monads include both iterative monads and Elgot monads, the latter by deeming any recursive definition to be abstractly guarded. Our main result is then that Elgot monads are precisely the iteration-congruent retracts of abstractly guarded iterative monads, the latter being defined as admitting unique solutions of abstractly guarded recursive equations; in other words, models of unguarded iteration come about by quotienting models of guarded iteration.

A cyclic proof system, called CLKID-omega, gives us another way of representing inductive definitions and efficient proof search. The 2005 paper by Brotherston showed that the provability of CLKID-omega includes the provability of LKID, first order classical logic with inductive definitions in Martin-Löf's style, and conjectured the equivalence. The equivalence has been left an open question since 2011. This paper shows that CLKID-omega and LKID are indeed not equivalent. This paper considers a statement called 2-Hydra in these two systems with the first-order language formed by 0, the successor, the natural number predicate, and a binary predicate symbol used to express 2-Hydra. This paper shows that the 2-Hydra statement is provable in CLKID-omega, but the statement is not provable in LKID, by constructing some Henkin model where the statement is false.

In the context of abstract coinduction in complete lattices, the notion of compatible function makes it possible to introduce enhancements of the coinduction proof principle. The largest compatible function, called the companion, subsumes most enhancements and has been proved to enjoy many good properties. Here we move to universal coalgebra, where the corresponding notion is that of a final distributive law. We show that when it exists, the final distributive law is a monad, and that it coincides with the codensity monad of the final sequence of the given functor. On sets, we moreover characterise this codensity monad using a new abstract notion of causality. In particular, we recover the fact that on streams, the functions definable by a distributive law or GSOS specification are precisely the causal functions. Going back to enhancements of the coinductive proof principle, we finally obtain that any causal function gives rise to a valid up-to-context technique.

We study the expressive power of subrecursive probabilistic higher-order calculi. More specifically, we show that endowing a very expressive deterministic calculus like Gödel's $\mathbb{T}$ with various forms of probabilistic choice operators may result in calculi which are not equivalent as for the class of distributions they give rise to, although they all guarantee almost-sure termination. Along the way, we introduce a probabilistic variation of the classic reducibility technique, and we prove that the simplest form of probabilistic choice leaves the expressive power of $\mathbb{T}$ essentially unaltered. The paper ends with some observations about the functional expressive power: expectedly, all the considered calculi capture the functions which $\mathbb{T}$ itself represents, at least when standard notions of observations are considered.