Trustworthy Systems

Recursive function definition for types with binders


Michael Norrish


Australian National University


This work describes the proof and uses of a theorem allowing definition of recursive functions over the type of λ-calculus terms, where terms with bound variables are identified up to α-equivalence. The theorem embodies what is effectively a principle of primitive recursion, and the analogues of this theorem for other types with binders are clear. The theorem’s side-conditions require that the putative definition be well-behaved with respect to fresh name generation and name permutation. A number of examples over the type of λ-calculus terms illustrate the use of the new principle.

BibTeX Entry

    address          = {Park City, Utah, United States},
    author           = {Norrish, Michael},
    booktitle        = {International Conference on Theorem Proving in Higher Order Logics},
    doi              = {10.1007/978-3-540-30142-4_18},
    editor           = {{Konrad Slind and Annette Bunker and Ganesh Gopalakrishnan}},
    month            = sep,
    pages            = {241---256},
    paperurl         = {},
    publisher        = {Springer},
    slides           = {},
    title            = {Recursive Function Definition for Types with Binders},
    year             = {2004}