The Category Theoretic Solution of Recursive Program Schemes

  • Stefan Milius
  • Lawrence S. Moss
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3629)


This paper provides a general account of the notion of recursive program schemes, their uninterpreted and interpreted solutions, and related concepts. It can be regarded as the category-theoretic version of the classical area of algebraic semantics. The overall assumptions needed are small indeed: working only in categories with “enough final coalgebras” we show how to formulate, solve, and study recursive program schemes. Our general theory is algebraic and so avoids using ordered, or metric structures. Our work generalizes the previous approaches which do use this extra structure by isolating the key concepts needed to study recursion, e. g., substitution in infinite trees, including second-order substitution. As special cases of our interpreted solutions we obtain the usual denotational semantics using complete partial orders, and the one using complete metric spaces. Our theory also encompasses implicitly defined objects which are not usually taken to be related to recursive program schemes at all. For example, the classical Cantor two-thirds set falls out as an interpreted solution (in our sense) of a recursive program scheme. In this short version of our paper we can only sketch some proofs.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Milius
    • 1
  • Lawrence S. Moss
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Theoretical Computer ScienceTechnical UniversityBraunschweigGermany
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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