A Functional Correspondence between Monadic Evaluators and Abstract Machines for Languages with Computational Effects

Mads Sig Ager
Olivier Danvy
Jan Midtgaard

November 2003


We extend our correspondence between evaluators and abstract machines from the pure setting of the lambda-calculus to the impure setting of the computational lambda-calculus. Specifically, we show how to derive new abstract machines from monadic evaluators for the computational lambda-calculus. Starting from a monadic evaluator and a given monad, we inline the components of the monad in the evaluator and we derive the corresponding abstract machine by closure-converting, CPS-transforming, and defunctionalizing this inlined interpreter. We illustrate the construction first with the identity monad, obtaining yet again the CEK machine, and then with a state monad, an exception monad, and a combination of both.

In addition, we characterize the tail-recursive stack inspection presented by Clements and Felleisen at ESOP 2003 as a canonical state monad. Combining this state monad with an exception monad, we construct an abstract machine for a language with exceptions and properly tail-recursive stack inspection. The construction scales to other monads--including one more properly dedicated to stack inspection than the state monad--and other monadic evaluators

Available as PostScript, PDF, DVI.


Last modified: 2003-10-11 by webmaster.