Selected Papers of the 5th International Conference on Formal Structures for Computation and Deduction (FSCD 2020)

Editors: Zena Ariola, Delia Kesner

This special issue contains extended versions of papers presented at FSCD 2020, the 5th International Conference on Formal Structures for Computation and Deduction, which was virtually held from June 29 to July 5, during the COVID pandemic.

FSCD covers all aspects of formal structures for computation and deduction from theoretical foundations to applications. Building on two communities, RTA (Rewriting Techniques and Applications) and TLCA (Typed Lambda Calculi and Applications), FSCD embraces their core topics and broadens their scope to closely related areas in logic, models of computation, semantics, and verification in new challenging areas.

The papers selected for this special issue underwent a reviewing process in two stages. In the first stage, the FSCD program committee selected 33 papers, including 28 regular research papers and 5 system descriptions, out of 81 submissions. From the papers presented at the conference, we invited authors of the best seven papers to submit revised and extended versions of their work to this special issue. In the second stage, the submitted extended papers were reviewed following the usual high standards of LMCS. Each paper received two or three additional reviews.

We thank all the authors of the submitted papers for their professional work. We are especially grateful to the expert reviewers who agreed to review the papers submitted to this special issue for their constructive suggestions to improve the original submissions.

Zena M. Ariola, Delia Kesner
Guest Editors of the FSCD 2020 Special Issue

1. A Probabilistic Higher-order Fixpoint Logic

Yo Mitani ; Naoki Kobayashi ; Takeshi Tsukada.
We introduce PHFL, a probabilistic extension of higher-order fixpoint logic, which can also be regarded as a higher-order extension of probabilistic temporal logics such as PCTL and the $\mu^p$-calculus. We show that PHFL is strictly more expressive than the $\mu^p$-calculus, and that the PHFL model-checking problem for finite Markov chains is undecidable even for the $\mu$-only, order-1 fragment of PHFL. Furthermore the full PHFL is far more expressive: we give a translation from Lubarsky's $\mu$-arithmetic to PHFL, which implies that PHFL model checking is $\Pi^1_1$-hard and $\Sigma^1_1$-hard. As a positive result, we characterize a decidable fragment of the PHFL model-checking problems using a novel type system.

2. Efficient Full Higher-Order Unification

Petar Vukmirović ; Alexander Bentkamp ; Visa Nummelin.
We developed a procedure to enumerate complete sets of higher-order unifiers based on work by Jensen and Pietrzykowski. Our procedure removes many redundant unifiers by carefully restricting the search space and tightly integrating decision procedures for fragments that admit a finite complete set of unifiers. We identify a new such fragment and describe a procedure for computing its unifiers. Our unification procedure, together with new higher-order term indexing data structures, is implemented in the Zipperposition theorem prover. Experimental evaluation shows a clear advantage over Jensen and Pietrzykowski's procedure.

3. Adaptive Non-linear Pattern Matching Automata

Rick Erkens ; Maurice Laveaux.
Efficient pattern matching is fundamental for practical term rewrite engines. By preprocessing the given patterns into a finite deterministic automaton the matching patterns can be decided in a single traversal of the relevant parts of the input term. Most automaton-based techniques are restricted to linear patterns, where each variable occurs at most once, and require an additional post-processing step to check so-called variable consistency. However, we can show that interleaving the variable consistency and pattern matching phases can reduce the number of required steps to find all matches. Therefore, we take the existing adaptive pattern matching automata as introduced by Sekar et al and extend these with consistency checks. We prove that the resulting deterministic pattern matching automaton is correct, and show several examples where some reduction can be achieved.

4. Conditional Bisimilarity for Reactive Systems

Mathias Hülsbusch ; Barbara König ; Sebastian Küpper ; Lars Stoltenow.
Reactive systems à la Leifer and Milner, an abstract categorical framework for rewriting, provide a suitable framework for deriving bisimulation congruences. This is done by synthesizing interactions with the environment in order to obtain a compositional semantics. We enrich the notion of reactive systems by conditions on two levels: first, as in earlier work, we consider rules enriched with application conditions and second, we investigate the notion of conditional bisimilarity. Conditional bisimilarity allows us to say that two system states are bisimilar provided that the environment satisfies a given condition. We present several equivalent definitions of conditional bisimilarity, including one that is useful for concrete proofs and that employs an up-to-context technique, and we compare with related behavioural equivalences. We consider examples based on DPO graph rewriting, an instantiation of reactive systems.

5. Rast: A Language for Resource-Aware Session Types

Ankush Das ; Frank Pfenning.
Traditional session types prescribe bidirectional communication protocols for concurrent computations, where well-typed programs are guaranteed to adhere to the protocols. However, simple session types cannot capture properties beyond the basic type of the exchanged messages. In response, recent work has extended session types with refinements from linear arithmetic, capturing intrinsic attributes of processes and data. These refinements then play a central role in describing sequential and parallel complexity bounds on session-typed programs. The Rast language provides an open-source implementation of session-typed concurrent programs extended with arithmetic refinements as well as ergometric and temporal types to capture work and span of program execution. To further support generic programming, Rast also enhances arithmetically refined session types with recently developed nested parametric polymorphism. Type checking relies on Cooper's algorithm for quantifier elimination in Presburger arithmetic with a few significant optimizations, and a heuristic extension to nonlinear constraints. Rast furthermore includes a reconstruction engine so that most program constructs pertaining the layers of refinements and resources are inserted automatically. We provide a variety of examples to demonstrate the expressivity of the language.

6. Modules over monads and operational semantics (expanded version)

André Hirschowitz ; Tom Hirschowitz ; Ambroise Lafont.
This paper is a contribution to the search for efficient and high-level mathematical tools to specify and reason about (abstract) programming languages or calculi. Generalising the reduction monads of Ahrens et al., we introduce transition monads, thus covering new applications such as lambda-bar-mu-calculus, pi-calculus, Positive GSOS specifications, differential lambda-calculus, and the big-step, simply-typed, call-by-value lambda-calculus. Moreover, we design a suitable notion of signature for transition monads.

7. Strongly-Normalizing Higher-Order Relational Queries

Wilmer Ricciotti ; James Cheney.
Language-integrated query is a powerful programming construct allowing database queries and ordinary program code to interoperate seamlessly and safely. Language-integrated query techniques rely on classical results about the nested relational calculus, stating that its queries can be algorithmically translated to SQL, as long as their result type is a flat relation. Cooper and others advocated higher-order nested relational calculi as a basis for language-integrated queries in functional languages such as Links and F#. However, the translation of higher-order relational queries to SQL relies on a rewrite system for which no strong normalization proof has been published: a previous proof attempt does not deal correctly with rewrite rules that duplicate subterms. This paper fills the gap in the literature, explaining the difficulty with a previous proof attempt, and showing how to extend the $\top\top$-lifting approach of Lindley and Stark to accommodate duplicating rewrites. We also show how to extend the proof to a recently-introduced calculus for heterogeneous queries mixing set and multiset semantics.