Type Checking and Modules for Multi-Methods

Date
1994-03-01
Authors
Chambers, Craig
Leavens, Gary
Major Professor
Advisor
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Altmetrics
Authors
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Computer Science
Organizational Unit
Journal Issue
Series
Department
Computer Science
Abstract

Two major obstacles preventing the wider acceptance of multi-methods are concerns over the lack of encapsulation and modularity and the lack of static typechecking in existing multi-method-based languages. This paper addresses both of these problems. We present a polynomial-time static typechecking algorithm that checks conformance, completeness, and consistency of a group of method implementations with respect to declared message signatures. This algorithm improves on previous algorithms by handling separate type and inheritance hierarchies, the presence of abstract classes, and graph-based method lookup semantics. We prove formally that our algorithm fulfills its specification. We also present a module system that enables independently-developed code to be fully encapsulated and statically typechecked on a per-module basis. To guarantee that potential conflicts between independently-developed modules have been resolved, a simple well-formedness condition on the modules comprising a program is checked at link-time. The typechecking algorithm and module system are applicable to a range of multi-method-based languages, but the paper uses the Cecil language as a concrete example of how they can be applied.

Comments

© 1994 Craig Chambers and Gary T. Leavens.

Description
Keywords
Citation
DOI
Source
Collections