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Constructively characterizing fold and unfold

By Tjark Weber and James Caldwell


Abstract. In this paper we formally state and prove theorems characterizing when a function can be constructively reformulated using the recursion operators fold and unfold, i.e. given a function h, when can a function g be constructed such that h = fold g or h = unfold g? These results are refinements of the classical characterization of fold and unfold given by Gibbons, Hutton and Altenkirch in [6]. The proofs presented here have been formalized in Nuprl’s constructive type theory [5] and thereby yield program transformations which map a function h (accompanied by the evidence that h satisfies the required conditions), to a function g such that h = fold g or, as the case may be, h = unfold g.

Year: 2003
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