A nonstandard standardization theorem

Beniamino Accattoli, Eduardo Bonelli, Delia Kesner, Carlos Lombardi

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Standardization is a fundamental notion for connecting programming languages and rewriting calculi. Since both programming languages and calculi rely on substitution for defining their dynamics, explicit substitutions (ES) help further close the gap between theory and practice. This paper focuses on standardization for the linear substitution calculus, a calculus with ES capable of mimicking reduction in λ-calculus and linear logic proof-nets. For the latter, proof-nets can be formalized by means of a simple equational theory over the linear substitution calculus. Contrary to other extant calculi with ES, our system can be equipped with a residual theory in the sense of Lévy, which is used to prove a left-to-right standardization theorem for the calculus with ES but without the equational theory. Such a theorem, however, does not lift from the calculus with ES to proof-nets, because the notion of left-to-right derivation is not preserved by the equational theory.We then relax the notion of left-to-right standard derivation, based on a total order on redexes, to a more liberal notion of standard derivation based on partial orders. Our proofs rely on Gonthier, Lévy, and Melliès' axiomatic theory for standardization. However, we go beyond merely applying their framework, revisiting some of its key concepts: we obtain uniqueness (modulo) of standard derivations in an abstract way and we provide a coinductive characterization of their key abstract notion of external redex. This last point is then used to give a simple proof that linear head reduction-a nondeterministic strategy having a central role in the theory of linear logic-is standard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-670
Number of pages12
JournalACM SIGPLAN Notices
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 13 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


  • Explicit Substitutions
  • Lambda-calculus
  • Linear Logic
  • Proof-Nets
  • Residuals
  • Standardization


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