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Call-by-Push-Value: A Subsuming Paradigm

Paul Blain Levy

Discussion led by Coşku Acay on September 15, 2017

Call-by-push-value is a new paradigm that subsumes the call-by-name and call-by-value paradigms, in the following sense: both operational and denotational semantics for those paradigms can be seen as arising, via translations that we will provide, from similar semantics for call-by-observable.

To explain call-by-observable, we first discuss general operational ideas, especially the distinction between values and computations, using the principle that “a value is, a computation does”. Using an example program, we see that the lambda-calculus primitives can be understood as push/pop commands for an operand-stack.

We provide operational and denotational semantics for a range of computational effects and show their agreement. We hence obtain semantics for call-by-name and call-by-value, of which some are familiar, some are new and some were known but previously appeared mysterious.