A dependent type theory with names and binding

By Ulrich Schopp and Ian Stark, from CSL 2004, available from Ian Stark’s website:

We consider the problem of providing formal support for working with abstract syntax involving variable binders. Gabbay and Pitts have shown in their work on Fraenkel-Mostowski (FM) set theory how to address this through first-class names: in this paper we present a dependent type theory for programming and reasoning with such names. Our development is based on a categorical axiomatisation of names, with freshness as its central notion. An associated adjunction captures constructions known from FM theory: the freshness quantifier И, name-binding, and unique choice of fresh names. The Schanuel topos — the category underlying FM set theory — is an instance of this axiomatisation. Working from the categorical structure, we define a dependent type theory which it models. This uses bunches to integrate the monoidal structure corresponding to freshness, from which we define novel multiplicative dependent products Π* and sums Σ* as well as a propositions-as-types generalisation H of the freshness quantifier.

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