Ramified Structural Recursion and Corecursion

Norman Danner, James S. Royer

We investigate feasible computation over a fairly general notion of data and codata. Specifically, we present a direct Bellantoni-Cook-style normal/safe typed programming formalism, RS1, that expresses feasible structural recursions and corecursions over data and codata specified by polynomial functors. (Lists, streams, finite trees, infinite trees, etc. are all directly definable.) A novel aspect of RS1 is that it embraces structure-sharing as in standard functional-programming implementations. As our data representations use sharing, our implementation of structural recursions are memoized to avoid the possibly exponentially-many repeated subcomputations a naive implementation might perform. We introduce notions of size for representations of data (accounting for sharing) and codata (using ideas from type-2 computational complexity) and establish that type-level 1 RS1-functions have polynomial-bounded runtimes and satisfy a polynomial-time completeness condition. Also, restricting RS1 terms to particular types produces characterizations of some standard complexity classes (e.g., omega-regular languages, linear-space functions) and some less-standard classes (e.g., log-space streams).

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