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Laurent Dami, "A Lambda-Calculus for Dynamic Binding", Theoretical Computer Science, vol.192, no. 2, pp. , Feb, 1998


Dynamic binding is a runtime lookup operation which extracts values corresponding to some ``names'' from some ``environments'' (finite, unordered associations of names and values). Many situations related with flexible software assembly involve dynamic binding: first-class modules, mobile code, object-oriented message passing. This paper proposes lambda-N, a compact extension of the lambda-calculus to model dynamic binding, where variables are labelled by names, and where arguments are passed to functions along named channels. The resulting formalism preserves familiar properties of the lambda-calculus, has a Curry-style type inference system, and has a formal notion of compatibility for reasoning about extensible environments. It can encode record and record extensions, as well as first-class contexts with context-filling operations, and therefore provides a basic framework for expressing a wide range of name-based coordination mechanisms. An experimental functional language based on lambda-N illustrates the exploitation of dynamic binding in programming language design.


Author = "Laurent Dami",
Title = "A Lambda-Calculus for Dynamic Binding",
Journal = "Theoretical Computer Science",
Volume = "192",
Number = "2",
Pages = "",
Key = "lambda-calculus, dynamic binding, records",
Notes = "",
Month = "Feb",
Year = "1998"
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