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Questions tagged [lambda-calculus]

Church's formal system used in computatability, programming languages and proof theory to represent effective functions, programs and their computation, and proofs.

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7answers
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What is the contribution of lambda calculus to the field of theory of computation?

I'm just reading up on lambda calculus to "get to know it". I see it as an alternate form of computation as opposed to the Turing Machine. It's an interesting way of doing things with functions/...
48
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2answers
7k views

Realizability theory: difference in power between Lambda calculus and Turing Machines

I have three related subquestions, which are highlighted by bullet points below (no, they could not be split, if you are wondering). Andrej Bauer wrote, here, that some functions are realizable ...
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5answers
18k views

Relationship between Turing Machine and Lambda calculus?

Is there a relationship between the Turing Machine and the Lambda calculus - or did they just happen to arise about the same time?
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7answers
3k views

Using lambda calculus to derive time complexity?

Are there any benefits to calculating the time complexity of an algorithm using lambda calculus? Or is there another system designed for this purpose? Any references would be appreciated.
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3answers
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P and NP classes explanation through lambda-calculus

In the introduction and explanation P and NP complexity classes often given through Turing machine. One of the model of computation is the lambda-calculus. I understand, that all of models of ...
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4answers
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Is there a non Turing-complete model of computation whose halting problem is undecidable?

I cannot think of any such model, maybe some form of typed lambda calculus? some elementary cellular automaton? This would almost disprove Wolfram's "Principle of Computational Equivalence": ...
25
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2answers
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Are lambda calculus and combinatory logic the same?

I am currently reading "Lambda-Calculus and Combinators" by Hindley and Seldin. I'm not an expert, but have always taken an interest in lambda calculus because of involvement with functional ...
22
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2answers
2k views

What was the original intent for the creation of Lambda calculus?

I've read that initially Church proposed the $\lambda$-calculus as part of his Postulates of Logic paper (which is a dense read). But Kleene proved his "system" inconsistent after which, Church ...
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3answers
1k views

Can typed lambda calculi express *all* algorithms below a given complexity?

I know that the complexity of most varieties of typed lambda calculi without the Y combinator primitive is bounded, i.e. only functions of bounded complexity can be expressed, with the bound becoming ...
21
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1answer
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What is the difference between arrows and exponential objects in a cartesian closed category?

In a Cartesian Closed Category (CCC), there exist the so-called exponential objects, written $B^A$. When a CCC is considered as a model of the simply-typed $\lambda$-calculus, an exponential object ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there a typed lambda calculus which is consistent and Turing complete?

Is there a typed lambda calculus where the corresponding logic under the Curry-Howard correspondence is consistent, and where there are typeable lambda expressions for every computable function? This ...
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2answers
3k views

How do you get the Calculus of Constructions from the other points in the Lambda Cube?

The CoC is said to be the culmination of all three dimensions of the Lambda Cube. This isn't apparent to me at all. I think I understand the individual dimensions, and the combination of any two seems ...
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1answer
763 views

Scott's stochastic lambda calculi

Recently, Dana Scott proposed stochastic lambda calculus, an attempt to introduce probabilistic elements into (untyped) lambda calculus based on a semantics called graph model. You can find his ...
19
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1answer
351 views

A Lambda calculus for invertible (r-Turing computable) functions

I'm interested in the concept of "r-Turing completeness", as defined by Axelsen and Glück (2011). A system is r-Turing complete if it can compute the same set of functions as a reversible Turing ...
18
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3answers
2k views

Classification of Typed/Untyped Lambda Calculi

Can anyone explain briefly (if thats possible!) or refer me to a reference, summarizing the differences between untyped lambda calculus and the more common typed lambda calculi? I'm particularly ...
18
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4answers
3k views

What's the point of $\eta$-conversion in lambda calculus?

I think I'm not understanding it, but $\eta$-conversion looks to me as a $\beta$-conversion that does nothing, a special case of $\beta$-conversion where the result is just the term in the lambda ...
18
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3answers
2k views

Why can Lambda Calculus not represent some combinators?

This paper suggests that there are combinators (representing symbolic computations) that can not be represented by the Lambda calculus (if I understand things correctly):
18
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3answers
855 views

funsplit and polarity of Pi-types

In a recent thread on the Agda mailing list, the question of $\eta$ laws popped up, in which Peter Hancock made thought-provoking remark. My understanding is that $\eta$ laws come with negative ...
18
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2answers
531 views

Is it possible to decide $\beta$-equivalence within System F (or another normalizing typed λ-calculus)?

I know that's impossible to decide $\beta$-equivalence for untyped lambda calculus. Quoting Barendregt, H. P. The Lambda Calculus: Its Syntax and Semantics. North Holland, Amsterdam (1984).: If A ...
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0answers
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What's the expressive power of Simply Typed Lambda calculus?

The standard approach to simply typed lambda calculus considers computations over Church numerals. If input and outputs are Church numerals always typed as $Int$, where $Int = (\tau \rightarrow \tau) ...
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1answer
869 views

Why it's impossible to declare an induction principle for Church numerals

Imagine, we defined natural numbers in dependently typed lambda calculus as Church numerals. They might be defined in the following way: ...
17
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2answers
925 views

Smallest possible universal combinator

I am looking for the smallest possible universal combinator, measured by the number of abstractions and applications required to specify such a combinator in the lambda calculus. Examples of universal ...
16
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1answer
2k views

Historic Relationship between Typed Lambda Calculus and Lisp?

I was having a discussion with a friend recently (who is an advocate of strongly typed languages). He made the comment: The inventors of Lambda Calculus always intended it to be typed. Now we can ...
16
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1answer
392 views

Extensions of beta-theory of lambda calculus

The beta-eta-theory of the lambda-calculus is Post-complete. Can additional rules be added to extend the beta-theory of the lambda-calculus to get confluent theories other than the beta-eta theory? ...
15
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3answers
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Why do constructivists not seem to care too much about call/cc

So a little while back I first had someone tell me that call/cc could allow proof objects for classical proofs by implementing Peirce's law. I did some thinking about the topic recently and I can't ...
15
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3answers
868 views

Can we prove weak normalization for System F by induction on a transfinite ordinal

Weak normalization for the simple typed lambda calculus can be proved (Turing) by induction on $\omega^2$. An extended lambda calculus with recursors on natural numbers (Gentzen) has a weak ...
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2answers
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(How) Could we discover/analyze NP problems in the absence of the Turing model of computation?

From a purely abstract math/computational reasoning point of view, (how) could one even discover or reason about problems like 3-SAT, Subset Sum, Traveling Salesman etc.,? Would we be even able to ...
15
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2answers
438 views

Are there intermediate eta theories for the lambda calculus?

There are two main, studied theories of the lambda calculus, the beta theory and its Post-complete extension, the beta-eta theory. Do these two theories have an in-between, a kind of intermediate eta ...
15
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2answers
763 views

Fixed points in computability and logic

This question has also been posted on Math.SE, https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/1002540/fixed-points-in-computability-nd-logic I hope it is ok to also post it here. If not, or if it is too ...
15
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1answer
909 views

Can boolean algebra be expressed in simply typed lambda caclulus?

Boolean algebra can be expressed in untyped lambda calculus in (for example) this way. ...
14
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1answer
418 views

Are innermost reductions perpetual in untyped λ-calculus?

(I have already asked this at MathOverflow, but got no answers there.) Background In the untyped lambda calculus, a term may contain many redexes, and different choices about which one to reduce may ...
14
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1answer
558 views

How can non-terminating $\lambda$-terms be turned into fixed-point combinators?

I've been thinking about these questions: Is there a typed lambda calculus which is consistent and Turing complete? https://cs.stackexchange.com/questions/65003/if-%CE%BB-x-x-x-has-a-type-then-is-...
14
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1answer
844 views

η-conversion vs extensionality in extensions of lambda-calculus

I'm often confused by the relation between η-conversion and extensionality. Edit: According to comments, it seems I'm also confused about the relation between extensional equivalence and ...
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1answer
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Characterising invisible equivalences by confluent rewrite rules

In response to another question, Extensions of beta theory of lambda calculus, Evgenij offered the answer: beta + the rule {s = t | s and t are closed unsolvable terms} where a term M is solvable if ...
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0answers
283 views

Are there simple core languages which are consistent and expressive?

The Calculus of Constructions is a very simple core functional language with dependent types. Per curry-howard isomorphism, it could, potentially, be very useful for writing programs and proofs. It, ...
13
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2answers
428 views

What are the equational laws for zero types?

Disclaimer: while I care about type theory, I don't consider myself an expert on type theory. In the simply typed lambda calculus, the zero type has no constructors and a unique eliminator: $$\frac{\...
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3answers
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What are the negative consequences of extending CIC with axioms?

Is it true that adding axioms to the CIC might have negative influences in the computational content of definitions and theorems? I understand that, in the theory's normal behavior, any closed term ...
13
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1answer
410 views

Lambda-Calculus terms that reduce to themselves

In my continuing quest to try to learn lambda calculus, Hindley & Seldin's "Lambda-Calculus and Combinators an Introduction" mentions the following paper (by Bruce Lercher) which proves that the ...
13
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2answers
320 views

Church-Rosser property for dependently typed lambda calculus?

It is well-known that the Church-Rosser property holds for $\beta \eta$-reduction in simply-typed lambda calculus. This implies that the calculus is consistent, in the sense that not all equations ...
12
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6answers
2k views

Functions that typed lambda calculus cannot compute

I just want to know some examples of the functions that can be computed by the untyped lambda calculus but not by typed lambda calculi. As I am a beginner, some reiteration of background information ...
12
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2answers
836 views

How exactly does lambda calculus capture the intuitive notion of computability?

I've been trying to wrap my head around the what, why and how of $\lambda$-calculus but I'm unable to come to grips with "why does it work"? "Intuitively" I get the computability model of Turing ...
12
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2answers
854 views

How is Lambda Calculus a specific type of Term Writing system?

Now we can see that Church was associated with the Simply Typed Lambda Calculus. Indeed, it seems he explained the Simply Typed Lambda Calculus in order to reduce misunderstanding about the Lambda ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Can Scheme's call/cc implement all known control flow structures?

The page "Advanced Scheme: Some Naughty Bits" states: Continuations are a powerful control-flow construct from which nearly any other control-flow structure [...] may be derived. I thought that ...
12
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1answer
374 views

Barendregt's proof of subject reduction for $\lambda2$

I found a problem in Barendregt's proof of subject reduction (Thm 4.2.5 of Lambda calculi with types). The last step of the proof (page 60), says: "and hence by Lemma 4.1.19(1), $\quad\Gamma,x:\rho\...
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0answers
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historical question: earliest description of beta-normal terms together with “neutral” terms in lambda calculus?

A bit of "folklore" in lambda calculus is the idea of characterizing the class of $\beta$-normal terms inductively as a syntactic category ($R$) defined in mutual induction with an auxiliary syntactic ...
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6answers
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What is the point of calling $\lambda$-calculus an algebra?

What is the difference of calling $\lambda$-calculus an algebra instead of a calculus? I raise this question because I read somewhere the line "$\lambda$-calculus is not a calculus but an algebra" (...
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5answers
366 views

Representing bound variables with a function from uses to binders

The problem of representing bound variables in syntax, and in particular that of capture-avoiding substitution, is well-known and has a number of solutions: named variables with alpha-equivalence, de ...
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3answers
248 views

Calculus of Constructions: compress expression to its smallest form

I'm aware that the Calculus of Constructions is strongly normalizing, meaning every expression has a normal for that cannot be beta,eta-reduced further. So in fact this is the most efficient ...
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2answers
420 views

Does the System F with pairs have the strong normalisation and subject reduction properties?

It is easy to look in a lot of textbooks the proofs of subject reduction and strong normalisation for System F, also, sometimes there are definitions of System F with pairs, where (t,r) is a term, not ...
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1answer
385 views

Extensionality of lambda calculus models

I'm translating a book on LISP and naturally it touches some elements of $\lambda$-calculus. So, a notion of extensionality is mentioned there alongside some models of $\lambda$-calculus, namely: $\...