Bisimilarity for the Region Calculus
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- Helsen, S. Higher-Order Symb Comput (2004) 17: 347. doi:10.1007/s10990-004-4868-x
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A region calculus is a programming language calculus with explicit instrumentation for memory management. Every value is annotated with a region in which it is stored and regions are allocated and deallocated in a stack-like fashion. The annotations can be statically inferred by a type and effect system, making a region calculus suitable as an intermediate language for a compiler of statically typed programming languages.
Although a lot of attention has been paid to type soundness properties of different flavors of region calculi, it seems that little effort has been made to develop a semantic framework. In this paper, we present a theory based on bisimulation, which serves as a coinductive proof principle for showing equivalences of polymorphically region-annotated terms. Our notion of bisimilarity is reminiscent of open bisimilarity for the π-calculus and we prove it sound and complete with respect to Morris-style contextual equivalence.
As an application, we formulate a syntactic equational theory, which is used elsewhere to prove the soundness of a specializer based on region inference. We use our bisimulation framework to show that the equational theory is sound with respect to contextual equivalence.