Developing a theory of bisimulation in higher-order languages can be hard. Particularly challenging can be: (1) the proof of congruence, as well as enhancements of the bisimulation proof method with "up-to context" techniques, and (2) obtaining definitions and results that scale to languages with different features. To meet these challenges, we present environment bisimulations, a form of bisimulation for higher-order languages, and its basic theory. We consider four representative calculi: pure λ-calculi (call-by-name and call-by-value), call-by-value λ-calculus with higher-order store, and then Higher-Order p-calculus. In each case: we present the basic properties of environment bisimilarity, including congruence; we show that it coincides with contextual equivalence; we develop some upto techniques, including up-to context, as examples of possible enhancements of the associated bisimulation method. Unlike previous approaches (such as applicative bisimulations, logical relations, Sumii-Pierce-Koutavas-Wand), our method does not require induction/indices on evaluation derivation/steps (which may complicate the proofs of congruence, transitivity, and the combination with up-to techniques), or sophisticated methods such as Howe's for proving congruence. It also scales from the pure λ-calculi to the richer calculi with simple congruence proofs.
|Journal||ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems|
|Publication status||Published - 2011 Jan|
- Higher-order languages
- Higher-order p-calculus
ASJC Scopus subject areas