Nineteenth Annual IEEE Symposium on

Logic in Computer Science (LICS 2004)

Paper: The Sensible Graph Theories of Lambda Calculus (at LICS 2004)

Authors: Antonio Bucciarelli Antonino Salibra


Sensible λ-theories are equational extensions of the untyped lambda calculus that equate all the unsolvable λ-terms and are closed under derivation. A longstanding open problem in lambda calculus is whether there exists a non-syntactic model whose equational theory is the least sensible λ-theory H (generated by equating all the unsolvable terms). A related question is whether, given a class of models, there exist a minimal and maximal sensible λ-theory represented by it. In this paper we give a positive answer to this question for the semantics of lambda calculus given in terms of graph models. We conjecture that the least sensible graph theory, where "graph theory" means "λ-theory of a graph model", is equal to H, while in the main result of the paper we characterize the greatest sensible graph theory as the λ-theory B generated by equating λ-terms with the same Böhm tree. This result is a consequence of the fact that all the equations between solvable λ-terms, which have different Böhm trees, fail in every sensible graph model. Further results of the paper are: (i) the existence of a continuum of different sensible graph theories strictly included in B (this result positively answers Question 2 in [7, Section 6.3]); (ii) the non-existence of a graph model whose equational theory is exactly the minimal lambda theory λβ (this result negatively answers Question 1 in [7, Section 6.2] for the restricted class of graph models).


    author = 	 {Antonio Bucciarelli and Antonino Salibra},
    title = 	 {The Sensible Graph Theories of Lambda Calculus},
    booktitle =  {Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual IEEE Symp. on Logic in Computer Science, {LICS} 2004},
    year =	 2004,
    editor =	 {Harald Ganzinger},
    month =	 {July}, 
    pages =      {276--285},
    location =   {Turku, Finland}, 
    publisher =	 {IEEE Computer Society Press}