First Class Call Stacks: Exploring Head Reduction

Philip Johnson-Freyd
(University of Oregon)
Paul Downen
(University of Oregon)
Zena M. Ariola
(University of Oregon)

Weak-head normalization is inconsistent with functional extensionality in the call-by-name λ-calculus. We explore this problem from a new angle via the conflict between extensionality and effects. Leveraging ideas from work on the λ-calculus with control, we derive and justify alternative operational semantics and a sequence of abstract machines for performing head reduction. Head reduction avoids the problems with weak-head reduction and extensionality, while our operational semantics and associated abstract machines show us how to retain weak-head reduction's ease of implementation.

In Olivier Danvy and Ugo de'Liguoro: Proceedings of the Workshop on Continuations (WoC 2015), London, UK, April 12th 2015, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 212, pp. 18–35.
Published: 19th June 2016.

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