Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Degree

Summer 2014

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Computer Science

First Advisor

Aaron Stump

Abstract

We live in a time where computing devices power essential systems of our society: our automobiles, our airplanes and even our medical services. In these safety-critical systems, bugs do not just cost money to fix; they have a potential to cause harm, even death. Therefore, software correctness is of paramount importance. Existing mainstream programming languages do not support software verification as part of their design, but rely on testing, and thus cannot completely rule out the possibility of bugs during software development. To fix this problem we must reshape the very foundation on which programming languages are based. Programming languages must support the ability to verify the correctness of the software developed in them, and this software verification must be possible using the same language the software is developed in. In the first half of this dissertation we introduce three new programming languages: Freedom of Speech, Separation of Proof from Program, and Dualized Type Theory. The Freedom of Speech language separates a logical fragment from of a general recursive programming language, but still allowing for the types of the logical fragment to depend on general recursive programs while maintaining logical consistency. Thus, obtaining the ability to verify properties of general recursion programs. Separation of Proof from Program builds on the Freedom of Speech languageby relieving several restrictions, and adding a number of extensions. Finally, Dualized Type Theory is a terminating functional programming language rich in constructive duality, and shows promise of being a logical foundation of induction and coninduction.

These languages have the ability to verify properties of software, but how can we trust this verification? To be able to put our trust in these languages requires that the language be rigorously and mathematically defined so that the programming language itself can be studied as a mathematical object. Then we must show one very important property, logical consistency of the fragment of the programming language used to verify mathematical properties of the software. In the second half of this dissertation we introduce a well-known proof technique for showing logical consistency called hereditary substitution. Hereditary substitution shows promise of being less complex than existing proof techniques like the Tait-Girard Reducibility method. However, we are unsure which programming languages can be proved terminating using hereditary substitution. Our contribution to this line of work is the application of the hereditary substitution technique to predicative polymorphic programming languages, and the first proof of termination using hereditary substitution for a classical type theory.

Keywords

Dependent Types, Dualized Logic, Hereditary Substitution, Programming Languages, Semantics of Programming Languages, Type Theory

Pages

xi, 387 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 375-387).

Copyright

Copyright 2014 Harley Daniel Eades III

Share

COinS