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\[ \newcommand{\lst}[1]{#1} \newcommand{\Tup}[1]{(#1)} \newcommand{\Apply}[2]{#1\langle#2\rangle} \newcommand{\MSig}[3]{\text{def}~#1(#2): #3} \newcommand{\Ov}[1]{\overline{#1}} \newcommand{\TyLam}[3]{\lambda(\Ov{#1:#2}).#3} \newcommand{\Trait}[2]{\text{trait}~#1~\{ #2 \}} \newcommand{\To}{\mapsto} \newcommand{\Low}[1]{\mathcal{L}{[\![#1]\!]}} \newcommand{\Lam}[2]{\lambda#1.#2} \newcommand{\IfThenElse}[3]{\text{if}~(#1)~#2~\text{else}~#3} \newcommand{\False}{\text{false}} \newcommand{\True}{\text{true}} \newcommand{\langname}{ErgoTree} \newcommand{\corelang}{Core-\lambda} \]

ErgoTree as a Language#

This section provides an improved and clearer documentation for the ErgoTree language. ErgoTree is a typed, call-by-value, higher-order functional language without recursion. It supports various features such as single-assignment blocks, tuples, optional values, indexed collections with higher-order operations, short-cutting logical operations, and ternary if-else expressions with lazy branches. It is important to note that all operations in ErgoTree are deterministic, without side effects, and all values are immutable.

The semantics of ErgoTree are specified by first translating it to a lower-level language called Core-位 and then providing its denotational evaluation semantics. The abstract syntax of ErgoTree is defined in Table 1, which represents the Value class of the reference implementation. The values in the "Mnemonic" column correspond to specific classes in the reference implementation.

Table 1: Abstract syntax of ErgoTree language#

Set Name Syntax Mnemonic Description
\(\mathcal{T} \ni T\) P SPredefType See Types
\(\tau\) STypeVar Type variable
\((T_1, \ldots, T_n)\) STuple Tuple of \(n\) elements (see [Tuple] type)
\((T_1, \ldots, T_n) \to T\) SFunc Function of \(n\) arguments (see [Func] type)
\({{Coll}}[T]\) SCollection Collection of elements of type \(T\)
\({{Option}}[T]\) SOption Optional value of type \(T\)
\(Term \ni e\) \(C(v, T)\) Constant Typed constant
\(x\) ValUse Variable
\(\TyLam{x_i}{T_i}{e}\) FuncExpr Lambda expression
\(\Apply{e_f}{\Ov{e_i}}\) Apply Application of a functional expression
\(\Apply{e.m}{\Ov{e_i}}\) MethodCall Method invocation
\(\Apply{e_f}{\Ov{e_i}}\) Tuple Constructor of a tuple with \(n\) items
\(\Apply{\delta}{\Ov{e_i}}\) Primitive application
\(\text{if}~(e_{\text{cond}})~e_1~\text{else}~e_2\) If If-then-else expression
\(\{{ \overline{{\text{val}}}~x_i = e_i;}~e\}\) BlockExpr Block expression
\(cd\) \(\Trait{I}{\overline{ms_i}}\) STypeCompanion Interface declaration
\(ms\) \(\MSig{m[\overline{\tau_i}]}{\overline{x_i : T_i}}{T}\) SMethod Method signature declaration

The terms in ErgoTree are assigned types according to the typing rules specified in Typing.

  • Constants contain both the type and the data value of that type. The type of a constant must correspond to its value for it to be well-formed.
  • Variables are always typed and identified by a unique ID, which refers to either a lambda-bound variable or a val-bound variable.
  • Lambda expressions can take a list of lambda-bound variables, which can be used in the body expression. The body expression can also be a block expression.
  • Function application takes an expression of functional type (e.g., \(T_1 \to T_n\)) and a list of arguments. The notation \(e_f(\Ov{e})\) is not used to represent function application because it suggests that \((\Ov{e})\) is a subterm, which it is not.
  • Method invocation allows the application of functions defined as methods of types. If an expression \(e\) has type \(T\), and a method \(m\) is declared in type \(T\), the method invocation \(e.m(args)\) is valid. For more information on types and their methods, refer to section A.
  • Conditional expressions in ErgoTree evaluate the condition strictly and the branches lazily. Each branch is an expression executed based on the result of the condition. This laziness is specified by lowering the expressions to Core-位 (see Figure 2).
  • Block expressions contain a list of val definitions of variables. Each subsequent definition in the block can only refer to previously defined variables. The result of block execution is the result of the expression \(e\), which can refer to any block variable.

Each type in ErgoTree can be associated with a list of method declarations, indicating that the type has methods. The semantics of these methods follow the same principles as in Java. When an instance of a type with methods exists, it is possible to call methods on the instance with additional arguments.

Each method in ErgoTree can be parameterized by type variables, which are used in the method signature. Since ErgoTree only supports monomorphic values, each method call is monomorphic, and all type variables are assigned concrete types (see the MethodCall typing rule in typing).

To specify the semantics of ErgoTree, its terms are translated to a lower-level language called Core-位, which is a simplified language without lazy operations. The lowering rules are defined in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Lowering to Core-位#

\(Term_{ErgoTree}\) \(Term_{Core}\)
\(\Low{ \TyLam{x_i}{T_i}{e} }\) \(\To\) \(\Lam{ x:(T_0,\dots,T_n)}{ \Low{ \{ \Ov{\lst{val}~x_i: T_i = x.\_i;}~e\} } }\)
\(\Low{ \Apply{e_f}{\Ov{e_i}} }\) \(\To\) \(\Apply{ \Low{e_f} }{ \Low{(\Ov{e_i})} }\)
\(\Low{ \Apply{e.m}{\Ov{e_i}} }\) \(\To\) \(\Apply{ \Low{e}.m}{\Ov{ \Low{e_i} }}\)
\(\Low{ \Tup{e_1, \dots ,e_n} }\) \(\To\) \(\Tup{ \Low{e_1}, \dots ,\Low{e_n}}\)
\(\Low{ e_1~\text{\|\|}~e_2 }\) \(\To\) \(\Low{ \IfThenElse{ e_1 }{ \True }{ e_2 }}\)
\(\Low{ e_1~\text{&&}~e_2 }\) \(\To\) \(\Low{ \IfThenElse{ e_1 }{ e_2 }{ \False } }\)
\(\Low{ \IfThenElse{e_{cond}}{e_1}{e_2} }\) \(\To\) \(\Apply{(if(\Low{e_{cond}} ,~\Lam{(\_:Unit)}{\Low{e_1}} ,~\Lam{(\_:Unit)}{\Low{e_2}} ))}{}\)
\(\Low{ \{ \Ov{\text{val}~x_i: T_i = e_i;}~e\} }\) \(\To\) \(\Apply{ (\Lam{(x_1:T_1)}{( \dots \Apply{(\Lam{(x_n:T_n)}{\Low{e}})}{\Low{e_n}} \dots )}) }{\Low{e_1}}\)\
\(\Low{ \Apply{\delta}{\Ov{e_i}} }\) \(\To\) \(\Apply{\delta}{\Ov{ \Low{e_i} }}\)
\(\Low{ e }\) \(\To\) \(e\)

All \(n\)-ary lambdas where \(n > 1\) are transformed into single-argument lambdas using tupled arguments.

It should be noted that the \(\IfThenElse{e_{\text{cond}}}{e_1}{e_2}\) term in ErgoTree has lazy evaluation of its branches, while the right-hand-side \(\lst{if}\) is a primitive operation with strict evaluation of the arguments. Laziness is achieved using lambda expressions of type \(\lst{Unit} \to \lst{Boolean}\).

Logical operations (\(\lst{||}\), &&) in ErgoTree, which are lazy on the second argument, are translated to \(\lst{if}\) terms in ErgoTree, which are recursively translated to the corresponding Core-位 terms.

Syntactic blocks in ErgoTree are eliminated and translated into nested lambda expressions, which unambiguously specify the evaluation semantics of blocks. The evaluation semantics of Core-位 are specified in evaluation.

Note that the lowering transformation is used solely to specify semantics. Implementations may optimize the evaluation of ErgoTree directly as long as the semantics are preserved.