X-Git-Url: http://lambda.jimpryor.net/git/gitweb.cgi?p=lambda.git;a=blobdiff_plain;f=week1.mdwn;h=24d606b2a4ced242f0a37f96e904c339e8bb19e0;hp=ee105db92fec62edfcfbbcd0e58cd58ac4580b57;hb=b6ecb9372e9895e6b8d49e054ed90ff69a87c247;hpb=1a4d71eb74cc6a0aca5895f362ec2245fbffe7bc diff --git a/week1.mdwn b/week1.mdwn index ee105db9..24d606b2 100644 --- a/week1.mdwn +++ b/week1.mdwn @@ -1,806 +1,616 @@ -Here's what we did in seminar on Monday 9/13, +These notes will recapitulate, make more precise, and to some degree expand what we did in the last hour of our first meeting, leading up to the definitions of the `factorial` and `length` functions. -Sometimes these notes will expand on things mentioned only briefly in class, or discuss useful tangents that didn't even make it into class. This present page expands on *a lot*, and some of this material will be reviewed next week. +### Getting started ### -[Linguistic and Philosophical Applications of the Tools We'll be Studying](/applications) -========================================================================== +We begin with a decidable fragment of arithmetic. Our language has some **literal values**: -[Explanation of the "Damn" example shown in class](/damn) + 0, 1, 2, 3, ... -Basics of Lambda Calculus -========================= +In fact we could get by with just the literal `0` and the `succ` function, but we will make things a bit more convenient by allowing literal expressions of any natural number. We won't worry about numbers being too big for our finite computers to handle. -See also: +We also have some predefined functions: -* [Chris Barker's Lambda Tutorial](http://homepages.nyu.edu/~cb125/Lambda) -* [Lambda Animator](http://thyer.name/lambda-animator/) -* MORE + succ, +, *, pred, - -The lambda calculus we'll be focusing on for the first part of the course has no types. (Some prefer to say it instead has a single type---but if you say that, you have to say that functions from this type to this type also belong to this type. Which is weird.) +Again, we might be able to get by with just `succ`, and define the others in terms of it, but we'll be a bit more relaxed. Since we want to stick with natural numbers, not the whole range of integers, we'll make `pred 0` just be `0`, and `2 - 4` also be `0`. -Here is its syntax: +Here's another set of functions: -
-Variables: `x`, `y`, `z`... -
+ ==, <, >, <=, >=, != -Each variable is an expression. For any expressions M and N and variable a, the following are also expressions: +`==` is just what we non-programmers normally express by `=`. It's a relation that holds or not between two values. Here we'll treat it as a function that takes two values as arguments and returns a **boolean** value, that is a truth-value, as a result. The reason for using the doubled `=` symbol is that the single `=` symbol tends to get used in lots of different roles in programming, so we reserve `==` to express this meaning. I will deliberately try to minimize the uses of single `=` in this made-up language (but not eliminate it entirely), to reduce ambiguity and confusion. The `==` relation---or as we're treating it here, the `==` *function* that returns a boolean value---can at least take two numbers as arguments. Probably it makes sense for it to take other kinds of values as arguments, too. For example, it should operate on two truth-values as well. Maybe we'd want it to operate on a number and a truth-value, too? and always return false in that case? What about operating on two functions? Here we encounter the difficulty that the computer can't in general *decide* when two functions are equivalent. Let's not try to sort this all out just yet. We'll suppose that `==` can at least take two numbers as arguments, or two truth-values. -
-Abstract: `(λa M)` -
+As mentioned in class, we represent the truth-values like this: -We'll tend to write `(λa M)` as just `(\a M)`, so we don't have to write out the markup code for the `λ`. You can yourself write `(λa M)` or `(\a M)` or `(lambda a M)`. + 'true, 'false -
-Application: `(M N)` -
+These are instances of a broader class of literal values that I called **symbolic atoms**. We'll return to them shortly. The reason we write them with an initial `'` will also be explained shortly. For now, it's enough to note that the expression: -Some authors reserve the term "term" for just variables and abstracts. We'll probably just say "term" and "expression" indiscriminately for expressions of any of these three forms. + 1 + 2 == 3 -Examples of expressions: +evaluates to `'true`, and the expression: - x - (y x) - (x x) - (\x y) - (\x x) - (\x (\y x)) - (x (\x x)) - ((\x (x x)) (\x (x x))) + 1 + 0 == 3 -The lambda calculus has an associated proof theory. For now, we can regard the -proof theory as having just one rule, called the rule of **beta-reduction** or -"beta-contraction". Suppose you have some expression of the form: +evaluates to `'false`. Something else that evaluates to `'false` is the simple expression: - ((\a M) N) + 'false -that is, an application of an abstract to some other expression. This compound form is called a **redex**, meaning it's a "beta-reducible expression." `(\a M)` is called the **head** of the redex; `N` is called the **argument**, and `M` is called the **body**. +That is, literal values are a limiting case of expression, that evaluate to just themselves. More complex expressions like `1 + 0` don't evaluate to themselves, but rather down to literal values. -The rule of beta-reduction permits a transition from that expression to the following: +The functions `succ` and `pred` come before their arguments, like this: - M [a:=N] + succ 1 -What this means is just `M`, with any *free occurrences* inside `M` of the variable `a` replaced with the term `N`. +On the other hand, the functions `+`, `*`, `-`, `==`, and so on come in between their arguments, like this: -What is a free occurrence? + x < y -> An occurrence of a variable `a` is **bound** in T if T has the form `(\a N)`. +Functions of this latter sort are said to have an "infix" syntax. This is just a convenience for how we write them. Our language will have to keep rigorous track of which functions have infix syntax and which don't, but we'll just rely on context and our brains to make sense of this for now. Functions with the ordinary, non-infix syntax can take two arguments, as well. If we had defined the less-than relation (boolean function) in that style, we'd write it like this instead: -> If T has the form `(M N)`, any occurrences of `a` that are bound in `M` are also bound in T, and so too any occurrences of `a` that are bound in `N`. + lessthan? (x, y) -> An occurrence of a variable is **free** if it's not bound. +or perhaps like this: -For instance: + lessthan? x y +We'll get more acquainted with the difference between these next week. For now, I'll just stick to the first form. -> T is defined to be `(x (\x (\y (x (y z)))))` +Another set of operations we have are: -The first occurrence of `x` in T is free. The `\x` we won't regard as containing an occurrence of `x`. The next occurrence of `x` occurs within a form that begins with `\x`, so it is bound as well. The occurrence of `y` is bound; and the occurrence of `z` is free. + and, or, not -Here's an example of beta-reduction: +The first two of these are infix functions that expect two boolean arguments, and gives a boolean result. The third is a function that expects only one boolean argument. Our earlier function `!=` means "doesn't equal", and: - ((\x (y x)) z) + x != y -beta-reduces to: +will be just another way to write: - (y z) + not (x == y) -We'll write that like this: +You see that you can use parentheses in the standard way. By the way, `<=` means ≤ or "less than or equals to", and `>=` means ≥. Just in case you haven't seen them written this way before. - ((\x (y x)) z) ~~> (y z) +I've started throwing in some **variables**. We'll say variables are any expression that's written with an initial lower-case letter, then is followed by a sequence of zero or more upper- or lower-case letters, or numerals, or underscores (`_`). Then at the end you can optionally have a `?` or `!` or a sequence of `'`s, understood as "primes." Hence, all of these are legal variables: -Different authors use different notations. Some authors use the term "contraction" for a single reduction step, and reserve the term "reduction" for the reflexive transitive closure of that, that is, for zero or more reduction steps. Informally, it seems easiest to us to say "reduction" for one or more reduction steps. So when we write: + x + x1 + x_not_y + xUBERANT + x' + x'' + x? + xs - M ~~> N +We'll follow a *convention* of using variables with short names and a final `s` to represent collections like sequences (to be discussed below). But this is just a convention to help us remember what we're up to, not a strict rule of the language. We'll also follow a convention of only using variables ending in `?` to represent functions that return a boolean value. Thus, for example, `zero?` will be a function that expects a single number argument and returns a boolean corresponding to whether that number is `0`. `odd?` will be a function that expects a single number argument and returns a boolean corresponding to whether than number is odd. Above, I suggested we might use `lessthan?` to represent a function that expects *two* number arguments, and again returns a boolean result. -We'll mean that you can get from M to N by one or more reduction steps. Hankin uses the symbol `→` for one-step contraction, and the symbol `↠` for zero-or-more step reduction. Hindley and Seldin use `⊳1` and `⊳`. +We also conventionally reserve variables ending in `!` for a different special class of functions, that we will explain later in the course. -When M and N are such that there's some P that M reduces to by zero or more steps, and that N also reduces to by zero or more steps, then we say that M and N are **beta-convertible**. We'll write that like this: +In fact you can think of `succ` and `pred` and `not` and the rest as also being variables; it's just that these variables have been pre-defined in our language to be bound to functions we agreed upon in advance. You can even think of `==` and `<` as being variables, too, bound to other functions. But I haven't given you parsing rules yet which would make them legal variables, because they don't start with a lower-case letter. We can make the parsing rules more liberal later. - M <~~> N +Only a few simple expressions in our language aren't variables. These include the literal values, and also **keywords** like `let` and `case` and so on that we'll discuss below. You can't use `let` as a variable, else the syntax of our language would become too hard to mechanically parse. (And probably too hard for our meager brains to parse, too.) -This is what plays the role of equality in the lambda calculus. Hankin uses the symbol `=` for this. So too do Hindley and Seldin. Personally, I keep confusing that with the relation to be described next, so let's use this notation instead. Note that `M <~~> N` doesn't mean that each of `M` and `N` are reducible to each other; that only holds when `M` and `N` are the same expression. (Or, with our convention of only saying "reducible" for one or more reduction steps, it never holds.) +The rule for symbolic atoms is that a single quote `'` followed by any single word that could be a legal variable expresses such an atom, a different atom for each different expression. +Thus `'false` is a symbolic atom, but so too are `'x` and `'succ`. For the time being, I'll restrict myself to only talking about the symbolic atoms `'true` and `'false`. These constitute a special subclass of symbolic atoms that we call the **booleans** or truth-values. Nothing deep hangs on them being a subclass of a larger type in this way; it just seems elegant. Some other languages make booleans their own special type, not a subclass of another type. Others make them a subclass of the numbers (yuck). We will think of them this way. -In the metatheory, it's also sometimes useful to talk about formulas that are syntactically equivalent *before any reductions take place*. Hankin uses the symbol `≡` for this. So too do Hindley and Seldin. We'll use that too, and will avoid using `=` when discussing the metatheory. Instead we'll use `<~~>` as we said above. When we want to introduce a stipulative definition, we'll write it out longhand, as in: +Note that when writing a symbolic atom there is no closing `'`, just a `'` at the beginning. That's enough to make the whole word, up to the next space (or whatever) count as expressing a symbolic atom. We use the initial `'` to make it easy for us to have a rich set of symbolic atoms, as well as a rich set of variables, without getting them mixed up. Variables never begin with `'`; symbolic atoms always do. -> T is defined to be `(M N)`. +We call these things symbolic *atoms* because they aren't collections. Thus numbers are also atoms, but not symbolic ones. And functions are also atoms, but again, not symbolic ones. -We'll regard the following two expressions: +Functions are another class of values we'll have in our language. They aren't "literal" values, though. Numbers and symbolic atoms are simple expressions in the language that evaluate to themselves. That's what we mean by calling them "literals." Functions aren't expressions in the language at all; they have to be generated from the evaluation of more complex expressions. - (\x (x y)) +(By the way, I really am serious in thinking of *the numbers themselves* as being expressions in this language; rather than some "numerals" that aren't themselves numbers. We'll talk about this down the road. For now, don't worry about it too much.) - (\z (z y)) +I said we wanted to be starting with a fragment of arithmetic, so we'll keep the function values off-stage for the moment, and also all the symbolic atoms except for `'true` and `'false`. So we've got numbers, truth-values, and some functions and relations (that is, boolean functions) defined on them. We also help ourselves to a notion of bounded quantification, as in ∀`x < M.` φ, where `M` and φ are (simple or complex) expressions that evaluate to a number and a boolean, respectively. We limit ourselves to *bounded* quantification so that the fragment we're dealing with can be "effectively" or mechanically decided. (As we extend the language, we will lose that property, but it will be a topic for later discussion exactly when that happens.) -as syntactically equivalent, since they only involve a typographic change of a bound variable. Read Hankin section 2.3 for discussion of different attitudes one can take about this. +As I mentioned in class, I will sometimes write ∀ x : ψ . φ in my informal metalanguage, where the ψ clause represents the quantifier's *restrictor*. Other people write this like `[`∀ x : ψ `]` φ, or in various other ways. My notation is meant to parallel the notation some linguists (for example, Heim & Kratzer) use in writing λ x : ψ . φ, where the ψ clause restricts the range of arguments over which the function designated by the λ-expression is defined. Later we will see the colon used in a somewhat similar (but also somewhat different) way in our programming languages. But that's foreshadowing. -Note that neither of those expressions are identical to: - (\x (x w)) +### Let and lambda ### -because here it's a free variable that's been changed. Nor are they identical to: +So we have bounded quantification as in ∀ `x < 10.` φ. Obviously we could also make sense of ∀ `x == 5.` φ in just the same way. This would evaluate φ but with the variable `x` now bound to the value `5`, ignoring whatever it may be bound to in broader contexts. I will express this idea in a more perspicuous vocabulary, like this: `let x be 5 in` φ. (I say `be` rather than `=` because, as I mentioned before, it's too easy for the `=` sign to get used for too many subtly different jobs.) - (\y (y y)) +As one of you was quick to notice in class, when I shift to the `let`-vocabulary, I no longer restrict myself to just the case where φ evaluates to a boolean. I also permit myself expressions like this: -because here the second occurrence of `y` is no longer free. + let x be 5 in x + 1 -There is plenty of discussion of this, and the fine points of how substitution works, in Hankin and in various of the tutorials we've linked to about the lambda calculus. We expect you have a good intuitive understanding of what to do already, though, even if you're not able to articulate it rigorously. +which evaluates to `6`. That's right. I am moving beyond the ∀ `x==5.` φ idea when I do this. But the rules for how to interpret this are just a straightforward generalization of our existing understanding for how to interpret bound variables. So there's nothing fundamentally novel here. -* MORE +We can have multiple `let`-expressions embedded, as in: + let y be (let x be 5 in x + 1) in 2 * y -Shorthand ---------- + let x be 5 in let y be x + 1 in 2 * y -The grammar we gave for the lambda calculus leads to some verbosity. There are several informal conventions in widespread use, which enable the language to be written more compactly. (If you like, you could instead articulate a formal grammar which incorporates these additional conventions. Instead of showing it to you, we'll leave it as an exercise for those so inclined.) +both of which evaluate to `12`. When we have a stack of `let`-expressions as in the second example, I will write it like this: + let + x be 5; + y be x + 1 + in 2 * y -**Parentheses** Outermost parentheses around applications can be dropped. Moreover, applications will associate to the left, so `M N P` will be understood as `((M N) P)`. Finally, you can drop parentheses around abstracts, but not when they're part of an application. So you can abbreviate: +It's okay to also write it all inline, like so: `let x be 5; y be x + 1 in 2 * y`. The `;` represents that we have a couple of `let`-bindings coming in sequence. The earlier bindings in the sequence are considered to be in effect for the later right-hand expressions in the sequence. Thus in: - (\x (x y)) + let x be 0 in (let x be 5; y be x + 1 in 2 * y) -as: +The `x + 1` that is evaluated to give the value that `y` gets bound to uses the (more local) binding of `x` to `5`, not the (previous, less local) binding of `x` to `0`. By the way, the parentheses in that displayed expression were just to focus your attention. It would have parsed and meant the same without them. - \x (x y) +Now we can allow ourselves to introduce λ-expressions in the following way. If a λ-expression is applied to an argument, as in: `(`λ `x.` φ`) M`, for any (simple or complex) expressions φ and `M`, this means the same as: `let x be M in` φ. That is, the argument to the λ-expression provides (when evaluated) a value for the variable `x` to be bound to, and then the result of the whole thing is whatever φ evaluates to, under that binding to `x`. -but you should include the parentheses in: +If we restricted ourselves to only that usage of λ-expressions, that is when they were applied to all the arguments they're expecting, then we wouldn't have moved very far from the decidable fragment of arithmetic we began with. - (\x (x y)) z +However, it's tempting to help ourselves to the notion of (at least partly) *unapplied* λ-expressions, too. If I can make sense of what: -and: +`(`λ `x. x + 1) 5` - z (\x (x y)) +means, then I can make sense of what: +`(`λ `x. x + 1)` -**Dot notation** Dot means "put a left paren here, and put the right -paren as far the right as possible without creating unbalanced -parentheses". So: +means, too. It's just *the function* that waits for an argument and then returns the result of `x + 1` with `x` bound to that argument. - \x (\y (x y)) +This does take us beyond our (first-order) fragment of arithmetic, at least if we allow the bodies and arguments of λ-expressions to be any expressible value, including other λ-expressions. But we're having too much fun, so why should we hold back? -can be abbreviated as: +So now we have a new kind of value our language can work with, alongside numbers and booleans. We now have function values, too. We can bind these function values to variables just like other values: - \x (\y. x y) +`let id be` λ `x. x; y be id 5 in y` -and that as: +evaluates to `5`. In reaching that result, the variable `id` was temporarily bound to the identity function, that expects an argument, binds it to the variable `x`, and then returns the result of evaluating `x` under that binding. - \x. \y. x y +This is what is going on, behind the scenes, with all the expressions like `succ` and `+` that I said could really be understood as variables. They have just been pre-bound to certain agreed-upon functions rather than others. -This: - \x. \y. (x y) x +### Containers ### -abbreviates: +So far, we've only been talking about *atomic* values. Our language will also have some *container* values, that have other values as members. One example are **ordered sequences**, like: - \x (\y ((x y) x)) + [10, 20, 30] -This on the other hand: +This is a sequence of length 3. It's the result of *cons*ing the value `10` onto the front of the shorter, length-2 sequence `[20, 30]`. In this made-up language, we'll represent the sequence-consing operation like this: - (\x. \y. (x y)) x + 10 & [20, 30] -abbreviates: +If you want to know why we call it "cons", that's because this is what the operation is called in Scheme, and they call it that as shorthand for "constructing" the longer list (they call it a "list" rather than a "sequence") out of the components `10` and `[20, 30]`. The name is a bit unfortunate, though, because other structured values besides lists also get "constructed", but we don't say "cons" about them. Still, this is the tradition. Let's just take "cons" to be a nonsense label with an interesting back-history. - ((\x (\y (x y))) x) +The sequence `[20, 30]` in turn is the result of: + 20 &  -**Merging lambdas** An expression of the form `(\x (\y M))`, or equivalently, `(\x. \y. M)`, can be abbreviated as: +and the sequence `` is the result of consing `30` onto the empty sequence `[]`. Note that the sequence `` is not the same as the number `30`. The former is a container value, with one element. The latter is an atomic value, and as such won't have any elements. If you try to do this: - (\x y. M) +  + 1 -Similarly, `(\x (\y (\z M)))` can be abbreviated as: +it won't work. We haven't discussed what happens with illegal expressions like that, or like `'true + 1`. For the time being, I'll just say these "don't work", or that they "crash". We'll discuss the variety of ways these illegalities might be handled later. - (\x y z. M) +Also, if you try to do this: + 20 & 30 -Lambda terms represent functions --------------------------------- +it won't work. The consing operator `&` always requires a container (here, a sequence) on its right-hand side. And `30` is not a container. -The untyped lambda calculus is Turing complete: all (recursively computable) functions can be represented by lambda terms. For some lambda terms, it is easy to see what function they represent: +We've said that: -> `(\x x)` represents the identity function: given any argument `M`, this function -simply returns `M`: `((\x x) M) ~~> M`. + [10, 20, 30] -> `(\x (x x))` duplicates its argument: -`((\x (x x)) M) ~~> (M M)` +is the same as; -> `(\x (\y x))` throws away its second argument: -`(((\x (\y x)) M) N) ~~> M` + 10 & (20 & (30 & [])) -and so on. +and the latter can also be written without the parentheses. Our language knows that `&` should always be understood as "implicitly associating to the right", that is, that: -It is easy to see that distinct lambda expressions can represent the same -function, considered as a mapping from input to outputs. Obviously: + 10 & 20 & 30 & [] - (\x x) +should be interpreted like the expression displayed before. Other operators like `-` should be understood as "implicitly associating to the left." If we write: -and: + 30 - 2 - 1 - (\z z) +we presumably want it to be understood as: -both represent the same function, the identity function. However, we said above that we would be regarding these expressions as synactically equivalent, so they aren't yet really examples of *distinct* lambda expressions representing a single function. However, all three of these are distinct lambda expressions: + (30 - 2) - 1 - (\y x. y x) (\z z) +not as: - (\x. (\z z) x) + 30 - (2 - 1) - (\z z) +Other operators don't implicitly associate at all. For example, you may understand the expression: -yet when applied to any argument M, all of these will always return M. So they have the same extension. It's also true, though you may not yet be in a position to see, that no other function can differentiate between them when they're supplied as an argument to it. However, these expressions are all syntactically distinct. + 10 < x < 20 -The first two expressions are *convertible*: in particular the first reduces to the second. So they can be regarded as proof-theoretically equivalent even though they're not syntactically identical. However, the proof theory we've given so far doesn't permit you to reduce the second expression to the third. So these lambda expressions are non-equivalent. +because we have familiar conventions about what it means. But what it means is not: -There's an extension of the proof-theory we've presented so far which does permit this further move. And in that extended proof theory, all computable functions with the same extension do turn out to be equivalent (convertible). However, at that point, we still won't be working with the traditional mathematical notion of a function as a set of ordered pairs. One reason is that the latter but not the former permits many uncomputable functions. A second reason is that the latter but not the former prohibits functions from applying to themselves. We discussed this some at the end of Monday's meeting (and further discussion is best pursued in person). + (10 < x) < 20 +The result of the parenthesized expression is either `'true` or `'false`, assuming `x` evaluates to a number. But `'true < 20` doesn't mean anything, much less what we expect `10 < x < 20` to mean. So `<` doesn't implicitly associate to the left. Neither does it implicitly associate to the right. If you want expressions like `10 < x < 20` to be meaningful, they will need their own special rules. +Sequences are containers that keep track of the order of their arguments, and also those arguments' multiplicity (how many times each one appears). Other containers might also keep track of these things, and more structural properties too, or they might keep track of less. Let's say we also have **set containers** too, like this: -Booleans and pairs -================== + {10, 20, 30} -Our definition of these is reviewed in [[Assignment1]]. +Whereas the sequences `[10, 20, 10]`, `[10, 20]`, and `[20, 10]` are three different sequences, `{10, 20, 10}`, `{10, 20}`, and `{20, 10}` would just be different ways of expressing a single set. +We can let the `&` operator do extra-duty, and express the "consing" relation for sets, too: -It's possible to do the assignment without using a Scheme interpreter, however -you should take this opportunity to [get Scheme installed on your -computer](/how_to_get_the_programming_languages_running_on_your_computer), and -[get started learning Scheme](/learning_scheme). It will help you test out -proposed answers to the assignment. + 10 & {20} +evaluates to `{10, 20}`, and so too does: -There's also a (slow, bare-bones, but perfectly adequate) version of Scheme available for online use at . + 10 & {10, 20} +As I mentioned in class, we'll let `&&` express the operation by which two sequences are appended or concatenated to each other: + [10, 20] && [30, 40, 50] -Declarative/functional vs Imperatival/dynamic models of computation -=================================================================== +evaluates to `[10, 20, 30, 40, 50]`. For sets, we'll let `and` and `or` and `-` do extra duty, and express set intersection, set union, and set subtraction, when their arguments are sets. If the arguments of `and` and `or` are booleans, on the other hand, or the arguments of `-` are numbers, then they express the functions we were understanding them to express before. -Many of you, like us, will have grown up thinking the paradigm of computation is a sequence of changes. Let go of that. It will take some care to separate the operative notion of "sequencing" here from other notions close to it, but once that's done, you'll see that languages that have no significant notions of sequencing or changes are Turing complete: they can perform any computation we know how to describe. In itself, that only puts them on equal footing with more mainstream, imperatival programming languages like C and Java and Python, which are also Turing complete. But further, the languages we want you to become familiar with can reasonably be understood to be more fundamental. They embody the elemental building blocks that computer scientists use when reasoning about and designing other languages. +In addition to sequences, there's another kind of expression that might initially be confused with them. We might call these **tuples** or **multivalues**. They are written surrounded by parentheses rather than square brackets. Here's an example: -Jim offered the metaphor: think of imperatival languages, which include "mutation" and "side-effects" (we'll flesh out these keywords as we proceeed), as the pâté of computation. We want to teach you about the meat and potatoes, where as it turns out there is no sequencing and no changes. There's just the evaluation or simplification of complex expressions. +`(0, 'true,` λ`x. x)` -Now, when you ask the Scheme interpreter to simplify an expression for you, that's a kind of dynamic interaction between you and the interpreter. You may wonder then why these languages should not also be understood imperatively. The difference is that in a purely declarative or functional language, there are no dynamic effects in the language itself. It's just a static semantic fact about the language that one expression reduces to another. You may have verified that fact through your dynamic interactions with the Scheme interpreter, but that's different from saying that there are dynamic effects in the language itself. +That's a multivalue or tuple with 3 elements (also called a "triple"). -What the latter would amount to will become clearer as we build our way up to languages which are genuinely imperatival or dynamic. +In the programming languages and other formal systems we'll be looking at, tuples and sequences are usually understood and handled differently. This is because we apply different assumptions to them. In the case of a sequence, it's assumed that they will have homogeneously-typed elements, and that their length will be irrelevant to their own type. So you can have the sequence: -Many of the slogans and keywords we'll encounter in discussions of these issues call for careful interpretation. They mean various different things. + [20, 30] -For example, you'll encounter the claim that declarative languages are distinguished by their **referential transparency.** What's meant by this is not always exactly the same, and as a cluster, it's related to but not the same as this means for philosophers and linguists. +and the sequence: -The notion of **function** that we'll be working with will be one that, by default, sometimes counts as non-identical functions that map all their inputs to the very same outputs. For example, two functions from jumbled decks of cards to sorted decks of cards may use different algorithms and hence be different functions. +  -It's possible to enhance the lambda calculus so that functions do get identified when they map all the same inputs to the same outputs. This is called making the calculus **extensional**. Church called languages which didn't do this **intensional**. If you try to understand that kind of "intensionality" in terms of functions from worlds to extensions (an idea also associated with Church), you may hurt yourself. So too if you try to understand it in terms of mental stereotypes, another notion sometimes designated by "intension." +and even the sequence: -It's often said that dynamic systems are distinguished because they are the ones in which **order matters**. However, there are many ways in which order can matter. If we have a trivalent boolean system, for example---easily had in a purely functional calculus---we might choose to give a truth-table like this for "and": + [] - true and true = true - true and * = * - true and false = false - * and true = * - * and * = * - * and false = * - false and true = false - false and * = false - false and false = false +and these will all be of the same type, namely a sequence of numbers. You can have sequences with other types of elements, too, for example a sequence of booleans: -And then we'd notice that `* and false` has a different intepretation than `false and *`. (The same phenomenon is already present with the material conditional in bivalent logics; but seeing that a non-symmetric semantics for `and` is available even for functional languages is instructive.) + ['true, 'false, 'true] -Another way in which order can matter that's present even in functional languages is that the interpretation of some complex expressions can depend on the order in which sub-expressions are evaluated. Evaluated in one order, the computations might never terminate (and so semantically we interpret them as having "the bottom value"---we'll discuss this). Evaluated in another order, they might have a perfectly mundane value. Here's an example, though we'll reserve discussion of it until later: +or a sequence of sequences of numbers: - (\x. y) ((\x. x x) (\x. x x)) + [[10, 20], [], ] -Again, these facts are all part of the metatheory of purely functional languages. But *there is* a different sense of "order matters" such that it's only in imperatival languages that order so matters. +An excellent question that came up in class is "How do we tell whether `[]` expresses the empty sequence of numbers or the empty sequence of something else?" We will discuss that question in later weeks. It's central to some of the developments we'll be exploring. For now, just put that question on a mental shelf and assume that somehow this just works out right. - x := 2 - x := x + 1 - x == 3 +Now whereas sequences expect homogenously-typed elements, and their length is irrelevant to their own type, mulivalues or tuples are the opposite in both respects. They may have elements of heterogenous type, as our example: -Here the comparison in the last line will evaluate to true. +`(0, 'true,` λ`x. x)` - x := x + 1 - x := 2 - x == 3 +did. They need not, but they may. Also, the type of a multivalue or tuple does depend on its length, and moreover on the specific types of each of its elements. A tuple of length 2 (also called a "pair") whose first element is a number and second element is a boolean is a different type of thing that a tuple whose first element is a boolean and whose second element is a number. Most functions expecting the first as an argument will "crash" if you give them the second instead. -Here the comparison in the last line will evaluate to false. +Earlier I said that we can call these things "multivalues or tuples". Here I'll make a technical comment, that in fact I'll understand these slightly differently. Really I'll understand the bare expression `(10, x)` to express a multivalue, and to express a tuple proper, you'll have to write `Pair (10, x)` or something like that. The difference between these is that only the tuple proper is a single value that can be bound to a single variable. The multivalue isn't a single value at all, but rather a plurality of values. This is a bit subtle, and other languages we're looking at this term don't always make this distinction. But the result is that they have to say complicated things elsewhere. If we permit ourselves this fine distinction here, many other things downstream will go more smoothly than they do in the languages that don't make it. Ours is just a made-up language, but I've thought this through carefully, so humor me. We haven't yet introduced the apparatus to make sense of expressions like `Pair (10, x)`, so for the time being I'll just restrict myself to multivalues, not to tuples proper. The result will be that while we can say: -One of our goals for this course is to get you to understand *what is* that new -sense such that only so matters in imperatival languages. + let x be [10, 20] in ... -Finally, you'll see the term **dynamic** used in a variety of ways in the literature for this course: +that is, sequences are first-class values in our language, we can't say: -* dynamic versus static typing + let x be (10, 'true) in ... -* dynamic versus lexical scoping +or even: -* dynamic versus static control operators + let x be (10, 20) in ... -* finally, we're used ourselves to talking about dynamic versus static semantics +However, intuitively it ought to make sense to say: -For the most part, these uses are only loosely connected to each other. We'll tend to use "imperatival" to describe the kinds of semantic properties made available in dynamic semantics, languages which have robust notions of sequencing changes, and so on. + let (x, y) be (10, 'true) in ... -Map -=== +That should just bind the variable `x` to the value `10` and the variable `y` to the value `'true`, and go on to evaluate the rest of the expression with those bindings in place. In this particular example, we could equally have said: - - - - - - - - - - - -
 Scheme (functional part) OCaml (functional part) C, Java, Pasval -Scheme (imperative part) -OCaml (imperative part) untyped lambda calculus -combinatorial logic --------------------------------------------------- Turing complete --------------------------------------------------- - more advanced type systems, such as polymorphic types - - - simply-typed lambda calculus (what linguists mostly use) - -
+ let x be 10; y be 'true in ... +but in other examples it will be substantially more convenient to be able to bind `x` and `y` simultaneously. Here's an example: -Rosetta Stone -============= +`let` +  `f be` λ `x. (x, 2*x)` +  `(x, y) be f 10` +`in [x, y]` -Here's how it looks to say the same thing in various of these languages. +which evaluates to `[10, 20]`. Note that we have the function `f` returning two values, rather than just one, just by having its body evaluate to a multivalue rather than to a single value. -The following site may be useful; it lets you run a Scheme interpreter inside your web browser: +It's a little bit awkward to say `let (x, y) be ...`, so I propose we instead always say `let (x, y) match ...`. (This will be even more natural as we continue generalizing what we've done here, as we will in the next section.) For consistency, we'll say `match` instead of `be` in all cases, so that we write even this: -* [Try Scheme in your web browser](http://tryscheme.sourceforge.net/) + let + x match 10 + in ... -  +rather than: -1. Function application and parentheses + let + x be 10 + in ... - In Scheme and the lambda calculus, the functions you're applying always go to the left. So you write `(foo 2)` and also `(+ 2 3)`. - Mostly that's how OCaml is written too: - foo 2 +### Patterns ### - But a few familiar binary operators can be written infix, so: +What we just introduced is what's known in programming circles as a "pattern". Patterns can look superficially like expressions, but the context in which they appear determines that they are interpreted as patterns not as expressions. The left-hand sides of the binding lists of a `let`-expression are always patterns. Simple variables are patterns. Interestingly, literal values are also patterns. So you can say things like this: - 2 + 3 + let + 0 match 0; + [] match []; + 'true match 'true + in ... - You can also write them operator-leftmost, if you put them inside parentheses to help the parser understand you: +(`[]` is also a literal value, like `0` and `'true`.) This isn't very useful in this example, but it will enable us to do interesting things later. So variables are patterns and literal values are patterns. Also, a multivalue of any pattern is a pattern. (Strictly speaking, it's only a multipattern, but I won't fuss about this here.) That's why we can have `(x, y)` on the left-hand side of a `let`-binding: it's a pattern, just like `x` is. Notice that `(x, 10)` is also a pattern. So we can say this: - ( + ) 2 3 + let + (x, 10) match (2, 10) + in x - I'll mostly do this, for uniformity with Scheme and the lambda calculus. +which evaluates to `2`. What if you did, instead: - In OCaml and the lambda calculus, this: + let + (x, 10) match (2, 100) + in x - foo 2 3 +or, more perversely: - means the same as: + let + (x, 10) match 2 + in x - ((foo 2) 3) +Those will be pattern-matching failures. The pattern has to "fit" the value its being matched against, and that requires having the same structure, and also having the same literal values in whatever positions the pattern specifies literal values. A pattern-matching failure in a `let`-expression makes the whole expression "crash." Shortly though we'll consider `case`-expressions, which can recover from pattern-match failures in a useful way. - These functions are "curried". MORE - `foo 2` returns a `2`-fooer, which waits for an argument like `3` and then foos `2` to it. `( + ) 2` returns a `2`-adder, which waits for an argument like `3` and then adds `2` to it. +We can also allow ourselves some other kinds of complex patterns. For example, if `p` and `ps` are two patterns, then `p & ps` will also be a pattern, that can match non-empty sequences and sets. When this pattern is matched against a non-empty sequence, we take the first value in the sequence and match it against the pattern `p`; we take the rest of the sequence and match it against the pattern `ps`. (If either of those results in a pattern-matching failure, then `p & ps` fails to match too.) For example: - In Scheme, on the other hand, there's a difference between `((foo 2) 3)` and `(foo 2 3)`. Scheme distinguishes between unary functions that return unary functions and binary functions. For our seminar purposes, it will be easiest if you confine yourself to unary functions in Scheme as much as possible. + let + x & xs match [10, 20, 30] + in (x, xs) - Scheme is very sensitive to parentheses and whenever you want a function applied to any number of arguments, you need to wrap the function and its arguments in a parentheses. So you have to write `(foo 2)`; if you only say `foo 2`, Scheme won't understand you. +evaluates to the multivalue `(10, [20, 30])`. - Scheme uses a lot of parentheses, and they are always significant, never optional. Often the parentheses mean "apply this function to these arguments," as just described. But in a moment we'll see other constructions in Scheme where the parentheses have different roles. They do lots of different work in Scheme. +When the pattern `p & ps` is matched against a non-empty set, we just arbitrarily choose one value in the set and match it against the pattern `p`; and match the rest of the set, with that value removed, against the pattern `ps`. You cannot control what order the values are chosen in. Thus: + let + x & xs match {10, 20, 30} + in (x, xs) -2. Binding suitable values to the variables `three` and `two`, and adding them. +might evaluate to `(20, {10, 30})` or to `(30, {10, 20})` or to `(10, {30, 20})`, or to one of these on Mondays and another on Tuesdays, and never to the third. You cannot control it or predict it. It's good style to only pattern match against sets when the final result will be the same no matter in what order the values are selected from the set. - In Scheme: +A question that came up in class was whether `x + y` could also be a pattern. In this language (and most languages), no. The difference between `x & xs` and `x + y` is that `&` is a *constructor* whereas `+` is a *function*. We will be talking about this more in later weeks. For now, just take it that `&` is special. Not every way of forming a complex expression corresponds to a way of forming a complex pattern. - (let* ((three 3)) - (let ((two 2)) - (+ three two))) +Since as we said, `x & xs` is a pattern, we can let `x1 & x2 & xs` be a pattern as well, the same as `x1 & (x2 & xs)`. And since when we're dealing with expressions, we said that: -Most of the parentheses in this construction *aren't* playing the role of applying a function to some arguments---only the ones in `(+ three two)` are doing that. + [x1, x2] +is the same as: - In OCaml: + x1 & x2 & [] - let three = 3 in - let two = 2 in - ( + ) three two +we might as well allow this for patterns, too, so that: - In the lambda calculus: + [x1, x2] - > Here we're on our own, we don't have predefined constants like `+` and `3` and `2` to work with. We've got to build up everything from scratch. We'll be seeing how to do that over the next weeks. +is a pattern, meaning the same as `x1 & x2 & []`. Note that while `x & xs` matches *any* non-empty sequence, of length one or more, `[x1, x2]` only matches sequences of length exactly two. - > But supposing you had constructed appropriate values for `+` and `3` and `2`, you'd place them in the ellided positions in: +For the time being, these are the only patterns we'll allow. But since the definition of patterns is recursive, this permits very complex patterns. What would this evaluate to: - (((\three (\two ((... three) two))) ...) ...) - - In an ordinary imperatival language like C: + let + ([x, y], [z:zs, w]) match ([[], 'true], [[10, 20, 30], 'false]) + in (z, y) - int three = 3; - int two = 2; - three + two; +Also, we will permit complex patterns in λ-expressions, too. So you can write: -2. Mutation +λ`(x, y).` φ - In C this looks almost the same as what we had before: +as well as: - int x = 3; - x = 2; +λ`x.` φ - Here we first initialize `x` to hold the value 3; then we mutate `x` to hold a new value. +You can even write: - In (the imperatival part of) Scheme, this could be done as: +λ `[x, 10].` φ - (let ((x (box 3))) - (set-box! x 2)) +just be sure to always supply that function with arguments that are two-element sequences whose second element is `10`. If you don't, you will have a pattern-matching failure and the interpretation of your expression will "crash". - In general, mutating operations in Scheme are named with a trailing `!`. There are other imperatival constructions, though, like `(print ...)`, that don't follow that convention. +Thus, you can now do things like this: - In (the imperatival part of) OCaml, this could be done as: +`let` +  `f match` λ`(x, y). (x, x + y, x + 2*y, x + 3*y);` +  `(a, b, c, d) match f (10, 1)` +`in (b, d)` - let x = ref 3 in - x := 2 +which evaluates `f (10, 1)` to `(10, 11, 12, 13)`, which it matches against the complex pattern `(a, b, c, d)`, binding all four of the contained variables, and then evaluates `(b, d)` under those bindings, giving us the result `(11, 13)`. - Of course you don't need to remember any of this syntax. We're just illustrating it so that you see that in Scheme and OCaml it looks somewhat different than we had above. The difference is much more obvious than it is in C. +Notice that in the preceding expression, the variables `a` and `c` were never used. So the values they're bound to are ignored or discarded. We're allowed to do that, but there's also a special syntax to indicate that this is what we're up to. This uses the special pattern `_`: - In the lambda calculus: sorry, you can't do mutation. At least, not natively. Later in the term we'll be learning how in fact, really, you can embed mutation inside the lambda calculus even though the lambda calculus has no primitive facilities for mutation. +`let` +  `f match` λ`(x, y). (x, x + y, x + 2*y, x + 3*y);` +  `(_, b, _, d) match f (10, 1)` +`in (b, d)` +The role of `_` here is just to occupy a slot in the complex pattern `(_, b, _, d)`, to make it a multivalue of four values, rather than one of only two. +One last wrinkle. What if you tried to make a pattern like this: `[x, x]`, where some variable occurs multiple times. This is known as a "non-linear pattern". Some languages permit these (and require that the values being bound against `x` in the two positions be equal). Many languages don't permit it. Let's agree not to do this. +### Case and if ... then ... else ... ### -3. Anonymous functions +In class we introduced this form of complex expression: - Functions are "first-class values" in the lambda calculus, in Scheme, and in OCaml. What that means is that they can be arguments to other functions. They can be the results of the application of other functions to some arguments. They can be stored in data structures. And so on. +`if` φ `then` ψ `else` χ - First, we'll show what "anonymous" functions look like. These are functions that have not been bound as values to any variables. That is, there are no variables whose value they are. +Here φ should evaluate to a boolean, and ψ and χ should evaluate to the same type. The result of the whole expression will be the same as ψ, if φ evaluates to `'true`, else to the result of χ. - In the lambda calculus: +We said that that could be taken as shorthand for the following `case`-expression: - (\x M) +`case` φ `of` +  `'true then` ψ`;` +  `'false then` χ +`end` - is always anonymous! Here `M` stands for any expression of the language, simple or complex. It's only when you do +The `case`-expression has a list of patterns and expressions. Its initial expression φ is evaluated and then attempted to be matched against each of the patterns in turn. When we reach a pattern that can be matched---that doesn't result in a match-failure---then we evaluate the expression after the `then`, using any variable bindings in effect from the immediately preceding match. (Any match that fails has no effect on future variable bindings. In this example, there are no variables in our patterns, so it's irrelevant.) What that right-hand expression evaluates to becomes the result of the whole `case`-expression. We don't attempt to do any further pattern-matching after finding a pattern that succeeds. - ((\y N) (\x M)) +If a `case`-expression gets to the end of its list of patterns, and *none* of them have matched its initial expression, the result is a pattern-matching failure. So it's good style to always include a final pattern that's guaranteed to match anything. You could use a simple variable for this, or the special pattern `_`: - that `(\x M)` has a "name" (it's named `y` during the evaluation of `N`). + case 4 of + 1 then 'true; + 2 then 'true; + x then 'false + end - In Scheme, the same thing is written: + case 4 of + 1 then 'true; + 2 then 'true; + _ then 'false + end - (lambda (x) M) +will both evaluate to `'false`, without any pattern-matching failure. - Not very different, right? For example, if `M` stands for `(+ 3 x)`, then this is an anonymous function that adds 3 to whatever argument it's given: +There's a superficial similarity between the `let`-constructions and the `case`-constructions. Each has a list whose left-hand sides are patterns and right-hand sides are expressions. Each also has an additional expression that stands out in a special position: in `let`-expressions at the end, in `case`-expressions at the beginning. But the relations of these different elements to each other is different. In `let`-expressions, the right-hand sides of the list supply the values that get bound to the variables in the patterns on the left-hand sides. Also, each pattern in the list will get matched, unless there's a pattern-match failure before we get to it. In `case`-expressions, on the other hand, it's the initial expression that supplies the value (or multivalues) that we attempt to match against the pattern, and we stop as soon as we reach a pattern that we can successfully match against. Then the variables in that pattern are thereby bound when evaluating the corresponding right-hand side expression. - (lambda (x) (+ 3 x)) +### Recursive let ### - In OCaml, we write our anonymous function like this: +Given all these tools, we're (almost) in a position to define functions like the `factorial` and `length` functions we defined in class. - fun x -> (3 + x) +Here's an attempt to define the `factorial` function: - or: +`let` +  `factorial match` λ `n. if n == 0 then 1 else n * factorial (n-1)` +`in factorial` - fun x -> (( + ) 3 x) +or, using `case`: - In OCaml, parentheses only serve a grouping function and they often can be omitted. Or more could be added. For instance, we could equally well say: +`let` +  `factorial match` λ `n. case n of 0 then 1; _ then n * factorial (n - 1) end` +`in factorial` - fun x -> ( + ) 3 x +But there's a problem here. What value does `factorial` have when evaluating the expression `factorial (n - 1)`? - or: +As we said in class, the natural precedent for this with non-function variables would go something like this: - (fun x -> (( + ) (3) (x))) + let + x match 0; + y match x + 1; + x match x + 1; + z match 2 * x + in (y, z) - As we saw above, parentheses can often be omitted in the lambda calculus too. But not in Scheme. Every parentheses has a specific role. +We'd expect this to evaluate to `(1, 2)`, and indeed it does. That's because the `x` in the `x + 1` on the right-hand side of the third binding (`x match x + 1`) is evaluated under the scope of the first binding, of `x` to `0`. -4. Supplying an argument to an anonymous function +We should expect the `factorial` variable in the right-hand side of our attempted definition to behave the same way. It will evaluate to whatever value it has before reaching this `let`-expression. We actually haven't said what is the result of trying to evaluate unbound variables, as in: - Just because the functions we built aren't named doesn't mean we can't do anything with them. We can give them arguments. For example, in Scheme we can say: + let + x match y + 0 + in x - ((lambda (x) (+ 3 x)) 2) +Let's agree not to do that. We can consider such expressions only under the implied understanding that they are parts of larger expressions that assign a value to `y`, as for example in: - The outermost parentheses here mean "apply the function `(lambda (x) (+ 3 x))` to the argument `2`. + let + y match 1 + in let + x match y + 0 + in x - In OCaml: +Hence, let's understand our attempted definition of `factorial` to be part of such a larger expression: - (fun x -> ( + ) 3 x) 2 +`let` +  `factorial match` λ `n. n` +`in let` +  `factorial match` λ `n. case n of 0 then 1; _ then n * factorial (n - 1) end` +`in factorial 4` +This would evaluate to what `4 * factorial 3` does, but with the `factorial` in the expression bound to the identity function λ `n. n`. In other words, we'd get the result `12`, not the correct answer `24`. -5. Binding variables to values with "let" +For the time being, we will fix this solution by just introducing a special new construction `letrec` that works the way we want. Now in: - Let's go back and re-consider this Scheme expression: +`let` +  `factorial match` λ `n. n` +`in letrec` +  `factorial match` λ `n. case n of 0 then 1; _ then n * factorial (n - 1) end` +`in factorial 4` - (let* ((three 3)) - (let ((two 2)) - (+ three two))) +the initial binding of `factorial` to the identity function gets ignored, and the `factorial` in the right-hand side of our definition is interpreted to mean the very same function that we are hereby binding to `factorial`. Exactly how this works is a deep and exciting topic, that we will be looking at very closely in a few weeks. For the time being, let's just accept that `letrec` does what we intuitively want when defining functions recursively. - Scheme also has a simple `let` (without the ` *`), and it permits you to group several variable bindings together in a single `let`- or `let*`-statement, like this: +**It's important to make sure you say letrec when that's what you want.** You may not *always* want `letrec`, though, if you're ever re-using variables (or doing other things) that rely on the bindings occurring in a specified order. With `letrec`, all the bindings in the construction happen simultaneously. This is why you can say, as Jim did in class: - (let* ((three 3) (two 2)) - (+ three two)) +`letrec` +  `even? match` λ `n. case n of 0 then 'true; _ then odd? (n-1) end` +  `odd? match` λ `n. case n of 0 then 'false; _ then even? (n-1) end` +`in (even?, odd?)` - Often you'll get the same results whether you use `let*` or `let`. However, there are cases where it makes a difference, and in those cases, `let*` behaves more like you'd expect. So you should just get into the habit of consistently using that. It's also good discipline for this seminar, especially while you're learning, to write things out the longer way, like this: +Here neither the `even?` nor the `odd?` pattern is matched before the other. They, and also the `odd?` and the `even?` variables in their right-hand side expressions, are all bound at once. - (let* ((three 3)) - (let ((two 2)) - (+ three two))) +As we said, this is deep and exciting, and it will make your head spin before we're done examining it. But let's trust `letrec` to do its job, for now. - However, here you've got the double parentheses in `(let* ((three 3)) ...)`. They're doubled because the syntax permits more assignments than just the assignment of the value `3` to the variable `three`. Myself I tend to use `[` and `]` for the outer of these parentheses: `(let* [(three 3)] ...)`. Scheme can be configured to parse `[...]` as if they're just more `(...)`. - Someone asked in seminar if the `3` could be replaced by a more complex expression. The answer is "yes". You could also write: +### Comparing recursive-style and iterative-style definitions ### - (let* [(three (+ 1 2))] - (let [(two 2)] - (+ three two))) - - The question also came up whether the `(+ 1 2)` computation would be performed before or after it was bound to the variable `three`. That's a terrific question. Let's say this: both strategies could be reasonable designs for a language. We are going to discuss this carefully in coming weeks. In fact Scheme and OCaml make the same design choice. But you should think of the underlying form of the `let`-statement as not settling this by itself. +Finally, we're in a position to revisit the two definitions of `length` that Jim presented in class. Here is the first: - Repeating our starting point for reference: +`letrec` +  `length match` λ `xs. case xs of [] then 0; _:ys then 1 + length ys end` +`in length` - (let* [(three 3)] - (let [(two 2)] - (+ three two))) +This function accept a sequence `xs`, and if its empty returns `0`, else it says that its length is `1` plus whatever is the length of its remainder when you take away the first element. In programming circles, this remainder is commonly called the sequence's "tail" (and the first element is its "head"). - Recall in OCaml this same computation was written: +Thus if we evaluated `length [10, 20, 30]`, that would give the same result as `1 + length [20, 30]`, which would give the same result as `1 + (1 + length )`, which would give the same result as `1 + (1 + (1 + length []))`. But `length []` is `0`, so our original expression evaluates to `1 + (1 + (1 + 0))`, or `3`. - let three = 3 in - let two = 2 in - ( + ) three two +Here's another way to define the `length` function: -6. Binding with "let" is the same as supplying an argument to a lambda +`letrec` +  `aux match` λ `(n, xs). case xs of [] then n; _:ys then aux (n + 1, ys) end` +`in` λ `xs. aux (0, xs)` - The preceding expression in Scheme is exactly equivalent to: +This may be a bit confusing. What we have here is a helper function `aux` (for "auxiliary") that accepts *two* arguments, the first being a counter of how long we've counted in the sequence so far, and the second argument being how much more of the sequence we have to inspect. If the sequence we have to inspect is empty, then we're finished and we can just return our counter. (Note that we don't return `0`.) If not, then we add `1` to the counter, and proceed to inspect the tail of the sequence, ignoring the sequence's first element. After the `in`, we can't just return the `aux` function, because it expects two arguments, whereas `length` should just be a function of a single argument, the sequence whose length we're inquiring about. What we do instead is return a λ-generated function, that expects a single sequence argument `xs`, and then returns the result of calling `aux` with that sequence together with an initial counter of `0`. - (((lambda (three) (lambda (two) (+ three two))) 3) 2) +So for example, if we evaluated `length [10, 20, 30]`, that would give the same result as `aux (0, [10, 20, 30])`, which would give the same result as `aux (1, [20, 30])`, which would give the same result as `aux (2, )`, which would give the same result as `aux(3, [])`, which would give `3`. (This should make it clear why when `aux` is called with the empty sequence, it returns the result `n` rather than `0`.) - The preceding expression in OCaml is exactly equivalent to: +Programmers will sometimes define functions in the second style because it can be evaluated more efficiently than the first style. You don't need to worry about things like efficiency in this seminar. But you should become acquainted with, and comfortable with, both styles of recursive definition. - (fun three -> (fun two -> ( + ) three two)) 3 2 +It may be helpful to contrast these recursive-style definitons to the way one would more naturally define the `length` function in an imperatival language. This uses some constructs we haven't explained yet, but I trust their meaning will be intuitively clear enough. - Read this several times until you understand it. +`let` +  `empty? match` λ `xs.` *this definition left as an exercise*; +  `tail match` λ `xs.` *this definition left as an exercise*; +  `length match` λ `xs. let` +                                         `n := 0;` +                                         `while not (empty? xs) do` +                                           `n := n + 1;` +                                           `xs := tail xs` +                                         `end` +                                      `in n` +`in length` -7. Functions can also be bound to variables (and hence, cease being "anonymous"). +Here there is no recursion. Rather what happens is that we *initialize* the variable `n` with the value `0`, and then so long as our sequence variable `xs` is non-empty, we *increment* that variable `n`, and *overwrite* the variable `xs` with the tail of the sequence that it is then bound to, and repeat in a loop (the `while ... do ... end` construction). This is similar to what happens in our second definition of `length`, using `aux`, but here it happens using *mutation* or *overwriting* the values of variables, and a special looping construction, whereas in the preceding definitions we achieved the same effect instead with recursion. - In Scheme: +We will be looking closely at mutation later in the term. For the time being, our focus will instead be on the recursive and *immutable* style of doing things---meaning no variables get overwritten. - (let* [(bar (lambda (x) B))] M) +It's helpful to observe that in expressions like: - then wherever `bar` occurs in `M` (and isn't rebound by a more local `let` or `lambda`), it will be interpreted as the function `(lambda (x) B)`. + let + x match 0; + y match x + 1; + x match x + 1; + z match 2 * x + in (y, z) - Similarly, in OCaml: +the variable `x` has not been *overwritten* (mutated). Rather, we have *two* variables `x` and its just that the second one is *hiding* the first so long as its scope is in effect. Once its scope expires, the original variable `x` is still in place, with its orginal binding. A different example should help clarify this. What do you think this: - let bar = fun x -> B in - M + let + x match 0; + (y, z) match let + x match x + 1 + in (x, 2*x) + in ([y, z], x) - This in Scheme: +evaluates to? Well, consider the right-hand side of the second binding: - (let* [(bar (lambda (x) B))] (bar A)) + let + x match x + 1 + in (x, 2*x) - as we've said, means the same as: +This expression evaluates to `(1, 2)`, because it uses the outer binding of `x` to `0` for the right-hand side of its own binding `x match x + 1`. That gives us a new binding of `x` to `1`, which is in place when we evaluate `(x, 2*x)`. That's why the whole thing evaluates to `(1, 2)`. So now returning to the outer expression, `y` gets bound to `1` and `z` to `2`. But now what is `x` bound to in the final line,`([y, z], x)`? The binding of `x` to `1` was in place only until we got to `(x, 2*x)`. After that its scope expired, and the original binding of `x` to `0` reappears. So the final line evaluates to `([1, 2], 0)`. - ((lambda (bar) (bar A)) (lambda (x) B)) +This is very like what happens in ordinary predicate logic if you say: - which, as we'll see, is equivalent to: +∃ `x. F x and (` ∀ `x. G x ) and H x` - ((lambda (x) B) A) +The `x` in `F x` and in `H x` are governed by the outermost quantifier, and only the `x` in `G x` is governed by the inner quantifier. - and that means the same as: - - (let* [(x A)] B) - - in other words: evaluate `B` with `x` assigned to the value `A`. - - Similarly, this in OCaml: - - let bar = fun x -> B in - bar A - - is equivalent to: - - (fun x -> B) A - - and that means the same as: - - let x = A in - B - -8. Pushing a "let"-binding from now until the end - - What if you want to do something like this, in Scheme? - - (let* [(x A)] ... for the rest of the file or interactive session ...) - - or this, in OCaml: - - let x = A in - ... for the rest of the file or interactive session ... - - Scheme and OCaml have syntactic shorthands for doing this. In Scheme it's written like this: - - (define x A) - ... rest of the file or interactive session ... - - In OCaml it's written like this: - - let x = A;; - ... rest of the file or interactive session ... - - It's easy to be lulled into thinking this is a kind of imperative construction. *But it's not!* It's really just a shorthand for the compound `let`-expressions we've already been looking at, taking the maximum syntactically permissible scope. (Compare the "dot" convention in the lambda calculus, discussed above.) - -9. Some shorthand - - OCaml permits you to abbreviate: - - let bar = fun x -> B in - M - - as: - - let bar x = B in - M - - It also permits you to abbreviate: - - let bar = fun x -> B;; - - as: - - let bar x = B;; - - Similarly, Scheme permits you to abbreviate: - - (define bar (lambda (x) B)) - - as: - - (define (bar x) B) - - and this is the form you'll most often see Scheme definitions written in. - - However, conceptually you should think backwards through the abbreviations and equivalences we've just presented. - - (define (bar x) B) - - just means: - - (define bar (lambda (x) B)) - - which just means: - - (let* [(bar (lambda (x) B))] ... rest of the file or interactive session ...) - - which just means: - - (lambda (bar) ... rest of the file or interactive session ...) (lambda (x) B) - - or in other words, interpret the rest of the file or interactive session with `bar` assigned the function `(lambda (x) B)`. - - -10. Shadowing - - You can override a binding with a more inner binding to the same variable. For instance the following expression in OCaml: - - let x = 3 in - let x = 2 in - x - - will evaluate to 2, not to 3. It's easy to be lulled into thinking this is the same as what happens when we say in C: - - int x = 3; - x = 2; - - but it's not the same! In the latter case we have mutation, in the former case we don't. You will learn to recognize the difference as we proceed. - - The OCaml expression just means: - - (fun x -> ((fun x -> x) 2) 3) - - and there's no more mutation going on there than there is in: - -
``````∀x. (F x or ∀x (not (F x)))
-	``````
- - When a previously-bound variable is rebound in the way we see here, that's called **shadowing**: the outer binding is shadowed during the scope of the inner binding. - - -Some more comparisons between Scheme and OCaml ----------------------------------------------- - -11. Simple predefined values - - Numbers in Scheme: `2`, `3` - In OCaml: `2`, `3` - - Booleans in Scheme: `#t`, `#f` - In OCaml: `true`, `false` - - The eighth letter in the Latin alphabet, in Scheme: `#\h` - In OCaml: `'h'` - -12. Compound values - - These are values which are built up out of (zero or more) simple values. - - Ordered pairs in Scheme: `'(2 . 3)` - In OCaml: `(2, 3)` - - Lists in Scheme: `'(2 3)` - In OCaml: `[2; 3]` - We'll be explaining the difference between pairs and lists next week. - - The empty list, in Scheme: `'()` - In OCaml: `[]` - - The string consisting just of the eighth letter of the Latin alphabet, in Scheme: `"h"` - In OCaml: `"h"` - - A longer string, in Scheme: `"horse"` - In OCaml: `"horse"` - - A shorter string, in Scheme: `""` - In OCaml: `""` - - - -What "sequencing" is and isn't ------------------------------- - -We mentioned before the idea that computation is a sequencing of some changes. I said we'd be discussing (fragments of, and in some cases, entire) languages that have no native notion of change. - -Neither do they have any useful notion of sequencing. But what this would be takes some care to identify. - -First off, the mere concatenation of expressions isn't what we mean by sequencing. Concatenation of expressions is how you build syntactically complex expressions out of simpler ones. The complex expressions often express a computation where a function is applied to one (or more) arguments, - -Second, the kind of rebinding we called "shadowing" doesn't involve any changes or sequencing. All the precedence facts about that kind of rebinding are just consequences of the compound syntactic structures in which it occurs. - -Third, the kinds of bindings we see in: - - (define foo A) - (foo 2) - -Or even: - - (define foo A) - (define foo B) - (foo 2) - -don't involve any changes or sequencing in the sense we're trying to identify. As we said, these programs are just syntactic variants of (single) compound syntactic structures involving `let`s and `lambda`s. - -Since Scheme and OCaml also do permit imperatival constructions, they do have syntax for genuine sequencing. In Scheme it looks like this: - - (begin A B C) - -In OCaml it looks like this: - - begin A; B; C end - -Or this: - - (A; B; C) - -In the presence of imperatival elements, sequencing order is very relevant. For example, these will behave differently: - - (begin (print "under") (print "water")) - - (begin (print "water") (print "under")) - -And so too these: - - begin x := 3; x := 2; x end - - begin x := 2; x := 3; x end - -However, if A and B are purely functional, non-imperatival expressions, then: - - begin A; B; C end - -just evaluates to C (so long as A and B evaluate to something at all). So: - - begin A; B; C end - -contributes no more to a larger context in which it's embedded than C does. This is the sense in which functional languages have no serious notion of sequencing. - -We'll discuss this more as the seminar proceeds. +### That's enough ### +This was a lot of material, and you may need to read it carefully and think about it, but none of it should seem profoundly different from things you're already accustomed to doing. What we worked our way up to was just the kind of recursive definitions of `factorial` and `length` that you volunteered in class, before learning any programming. +You have all the materials you need now to do this week's [[assignment|assignment1]]. Some of you may find it easy. Many of you will not. But if you understand what we've done here, and give it your time and attention, we believe you can do it. +There are also some [[advanced notes|week1 advanced notes]] extending this week's material.