Sound Gradual Typing is Nominally Alive and Well

OOPSLA 2017: [pdf] [pdf w/o appendices] [artifact w/o VM] [bibtex]

Authors: Fabian Muehlboeck and Ross Tate

Abstract

Recent research has identified significant performance hurdles that sound gradual typing needs to overcome. These performance hurdles stem from the fact that the run-time checks gradual type systems insert into code can cause significant overhead. We propose that designing a type system for a gradually typed language hand in hand with its implementation from scratch is a possible way around these and several other hurdles on the way to efficient sound gradual typing. Such a design process also highlights the type-system restrictions required for efficient composition with gradual typing. We formalize the core of a nominal object-oriented language that fulfills a variety of desirable properties for gradually typed languages, and present evidence that an implementation of this language suffers minimal overhead even in adversarial benchmarks identified in earlier work.

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