Date of Original Version




Abstract or Description

The LF logical framework codifies a methodology for representing deductive systems, such as programming languages and logics, within a dependently typed λ-calculus. In this methodology, the syntactic and deductive apparatus of a system is encoded as the canonical forms of associated LF types; an encoding is correct (adequate) if and only if it defines a compositional bijection between the apparatus of the deductive system and the associated canonical forms. Given an adequate encoding, one may establish metatheoretic properties of a deductive system by reasoning about the associated LF representation. The Twelf implementation of the LF logical framework is a convenient and powerful tool for putting this methodology into practice. Twelf supports both the representation of a deductive system and the mechanical verification of proofs of metatheorems about it. The purpose of this article is to provide an up-to-date overview of the LF λ-calculus, the LF methodology for adequate representation, and the Twelf methodology for mechanizing metatheory. We begin by defining a variant of the original LF language, called Canonical LF, in which only canonical forms (long βη-normal forms) are permitted. This variant is parameterized by a subordination relation, which enables modular reasoning about LF representations. We then give an adequate representation of a simply typed λ-calculus in Canonical LF, both to illustrate adequacy and to serve as an object of analysis. Using this representation, we formalize and verify the proofs of some metatheoretic results, including