Coq proofs for the paper "Cutting out Continuations"
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Cutting Out Continuations Build Status

This repository contains the supplementary material for the paper "Cutting Out Continuations" by Graham Hutton and Patrick Bahr. The material includes Coq formalisations of all calculations in the paper. In addition, we also include Coq formalisations for calculations that were mentioned but not explicitly carried out in the paper.

Paper vs. Coq Proofs

The Coq proofs proceed as the calculations in the paper. There are, however, two minor technical difference due to the nature of the Coq system.

  1. In the paper the derived abstract machines (AMs) are tail recursive, first-order functions. The Coq system must be able to prove termination of all recursive function definitions. Since Coq's termination checker is not powerful enough to prove termination for some of the AMs or the AMs are not expected to terminate in general (AMs for lambda calculi / for language with loops), we had to define the AMs as relations instead. More precisely, all AMs are defined as a small-step semantics. Each tail recursive function of an AM corresponds to a configuration constructor in the small-step semantics. As a consequence, the calculations do not prove equations, but rather instances of the relation =>>, which is the transitive, reflexive closure of the relation ==> that defines the AM.

  2. The Coq files contain the final result of the calculation, and thus do not reflect the process of discovering the definition of the abstract machine. That is, the files already contain the full definitions of the abstract machine. But we used the same methodology as described in the paper to develop the Coq proofs. This is achieved by initially defining the CONT data type as an empty type and defining the ==> relation as an empty relation (i.e. with no rules). This setup then allows us to calculate the definition of the CONT data type and the AM as described in the paper.

File Structure

Below we list the relevant Coq files for the calculations in the paper:

  • Arith.v: arithmetic expressions (section 3)
  • LambdaCBV.v: call-by-value lambda calculus (section 4)

In addition we also include calculations for the following languages:

The remaining files are used to define the Coq tactics to support reasoning in calculation style (Tactics.v) and to specify auxiliary concepts (Heap.v, ListIndex.v).

Technical Details


  • To check the proofs: Coq 8.4pl5
  • To step through the proofs: GNU Emacs 24.3.1, Proof General 4.2

Proof Checking

The complete Coq development in this repository is proof-checked automatically. The current status is: Build Status

To check and compile the complete Coq development yourself, you can use the Makefile:

> make

Generate Documentation

To generate the HTML documentation for the Coq calculations use make to build the html target as follows:

> make html

The generated documentation is then found in the html subdirectory.