Patrick Bahr IT University of Copenhagen

Asynchronous Modal FRP

Patrick Bahr and Rasmus Ejlers M√łgelberg
Proc. ACM Program. Lang., 7(ICFP), 2023.


Over the past decade, a number of languages for functional reactive programming (FRP) have been suggested, which use modal types to ensure properties like causality, productivity and lack of space leaks. So far, almost all of these languages have included a modal operator for delay on a global clock. For some applications, however, a global clock is unnatural and leads to leaky abstractions as well as inefficient implementations. While modal languages without a global clock have been proposed, no operational properties have been proved about them, yet.

This paper proposes Async RaTT, a new modal language for asynchronous FRP, equipped with an operational semantics mapping complete programs to machines that take asynchronous input signals and produce output signals. The main novelty of Async RaTT is a new modality for asynchronous delay, allowing each output channel to be associated at runtime with the set of input channels it depends on, thus causing the machine to only compute new output when necessary. We prove a series of operational properties including causality, productivity and lack of space leaks. We also show that, although the set of input channels associated with an output channel can change during execution, upper bounds on these can be determined statically by the type system.

Categories: Type Systems, Functional Programming

Tags: Functional Reactive Programming, Modal Types, Type Systems, Haskell, Garbage Collection