[Agda] Re: [TYPES] strict unit type

Altenkirch Thorsten psztxa at exmail.nottingham.ac.uk
Tue May 1 11:24:25 CEST 2012

In general we shouldn't expect to decide eta equality by untyped
reduction. eta equality isa form of decidable extensionality and does not
correspond well to computation to a normal form.

Clearly, the case of the unit type shows that we need to know the type to
check equality.

Trying to decide eta equalities by reduction is very non-modular. This is
basically the point of Vladimir's email.

However, if we implement it as a type directed decision procedure things
are much better. E.g. to terms f,g : Pi x:A.B x are convertible if f x and
g x : B x are convertible (whewre x is a fresh variable) after beta
reduction. Similarily, two terms p,q : Sigma x:A.B x are convertible if
p.1 and q.1 : A are convertible after beta reduction and p.2 and q.2 : B
p.1 (or B q.1) are convertible after beta reduction. (The and here has to
be read sequentially, and the choice B p.1 or B p.2 actually causes some
technical problems).

This is also modular, because we can implement the equality for one type
without having to rethink the equalities at other types.


On 01/05/2012 04:10, "Frederic Blanqui" <frederic.blanqui at inria.fr> wrote:

>[ The Types Forum,
>http://lists.seas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/types-list ]
>Le 30/04/2012 21:04, Vladimir Voevodsky a écrit :
>> On Apr 29, 2012, at 8:27 PM, Frederic Blanqui wrote:
>>> [ The Types Forum,
>>>http://lists.seas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/types-list ]
>>> Hello Vladimir.
>>> Le 29/04/2012 22:10, Vladimir Voevodsky a écrit :
>>>> [ The Types Forum,
>>>>http://lists.seas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/types-list ]
>>>> Hello,
>>>> let Pt be the unit type ("one point"). In Coq-like systems it is
>>>>introduced through an eliminator and the associated iota-reduction
>>>>rule. This is in practice sufficient for proving all its expected
>>>>properties modulo propositional equality (or identity types) but does
>>>>not create a terminal object in the category of contexts.
>>>> I wonder if any one has considered type theories where Pt is
>>>>introduced as having a distinguished object tt together with reduction
>>>>rules of the following form (in the absence of dependent sums,
>>>>otherwise one needs more):
>>>> 1. any object of Pt other than tt reduces to tt,
>>> This has been done already with this reduction rule. Please, check the
>>>work of Roberto Di Cosmo and Delia Kesner for instance.
>>>> 2. Prod x : T , Pt reduces to Pt,
>>>> 3. Prod x : Pt , T reduces to T.
>>> On the other hand, I am not sure that these rules have been considered
>>>yet since, by doing so, you may well loose the property that reduction
>>>preserves typing: if t : T reduces to u, then u : T (a property often
>>>called "subject reduction"). Unless perhaps if you consider the
>>>following extra rules:
>>> 2'. (\lambda x:T. t) reduces to tt if t : Pt,
>>> 3'. (\lambda x:Pt, t) reduces to t{x=tt}.
>> Yes, I did. But also this would follow from the previous 3 rules. For
>>example  (\lambda x:T. t) for t:Pt will have the type, in normal form,
>>Pt and therefore will be reducible to tt by the first reduction.
>> Vladimir.
>Yes, 2' is a consequence of 2 & 1. But I do not see why 3' is a
>consequence of the other rules. By 1, you have (\lambda x:Pt. t) reduces
>to (\lambda x:Pt. t{x=tt}). Then, how to remove (\lambda x:Pt)?
>But, after all, it may not be necessary to consider this extra rule. I
>was thinking that having term-level rules corresponding to your
>type-level rules could help, but I am not sure anymore. It may well work
>fine to consider types up to your equivalence relation.
>On the other hand, there is a little problem with rule 3 in case x
>occurs free in T. You should instead consider:
>3. (Prod x:Pt, T) reduces to T{x=tt}.

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