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Section: New Results

Implementing Open Call-by-Value

This joint work with Giulio Guerrieri (Oxford University) [32] belongs to line of work Cost Models and Abstract Machines for Functional Languages, supported by the ANR project COCA HOLA.

The theory of the call-by-value ╬╗-calculus relies on weak evaluation and closed terms, that are natural hypotheses in the study of programming languages. To model proof assistants, however, strong evaluation and open terms are required. Open call-by-value is the intermediate setting of weak evaluation with open terms, on top of which Gr├ęgoire and Leroy designed the abstract machine of Coq. This paper provides a theory of abstract machines for open call-by-value. The literature contains machines that are either simple but inefficient, as they have an exponential overhead, or efficient but heavy, as they rely on a labelling of environments and a technical optimization. We introduce a machine that is simple and efficient: it does not use labels and it implements open call-by-value within a bilinear overhead. Moreover, we provide a new fine understanding of how different optimizations impact on the complexity of the overhead.