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A universe of strictly positive families

Morris, Peter and Altenkirch, Thorsten and Ghani, Neil (2009) A universe of strictly positive families. International Journal of Foundations of Computer Science, 20 (1). pp. 83-107. ISSN 0129-0541

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Abstract

In order to represent, compute and reason with advanced data types one must go beyond the traditional treatment of data types as being inductive types and, instead, consider them as inductive families. Strictly positive types (SPTs) form a grammar for defining inductive types and, consequently, a fundamental question in the the theory of inductive families is what constitutes a corresponding grammar for inductive families. This paper answers this question in the form of strictly positive families or SPFs. We show that these SPFs can be used to represent and compute with a variety of advanced data types and that generic programs can naturally be written over the universe of SPFs.