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Saarland University Computer Science

Autosubst 2: Towards Reasoning with Multi-Sorted de Bruijn Terms and Vector Substitutions

Jonas Kaiser, Steven Schäfer, Kathrin Stark

LFMTP, September 2017

Formalising metatheory in the Coq proof assistant is tedious as native support for reasoning about languages with binders is marginal at best. The Autosubst framework (Schäfer, Smolka and Tebbi, 2015) automates working with de Brujin terms: for each annotated inductive type, it generates a corresponding substitution operation and a decision procedure for assumption-free substitution lemmas. A key part of the equational theory are parallel substitutions which combine multiple single-variable substitutions. However, due to its separate treatment of sorts Autosubst lacks support for mutual inductive types. This restriction is removed in our prototype implementation of Autosubst 2: second-order HOAS specifications are translated into potentially mutual inductive term sorts. Again, parallelising substitutions is the key: we introduce vector substitutions to combine the application of multiple parallel substitutions into exactly one instantiation operation for each sort. The resulting equational theory is both simpler and more expressive than that of the original Autosubst framework.

Link to Coq Formalisation

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