Formal Methods: Foundations and Applications

Volume 5902 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 336-349

A Simple and General Theoretical Account for Abstract Types

  • Hongwei XiAffiliated withBoston University


A common approach to hiding implementation details is through the use of abstract types. In this paper, we present a simple theoretical account of abstract types that make use of a recently developed notion of conditional type equality. This is in contrast to most of the existing theoretical accounts of abstract types, which rely on existential types (or similar variants). In addition, we show that this new approach to abstract types opens a promising avenue to the design and implementation of module systems that can effectively support large-scale programming.