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Explicit Substitutions for Contextual Type Theory

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Executive Summary

In this paper, the authors present an explicit substitution calculus which distinguishes between ordinary bound variables and meta-variables. Its typing discipline is derived from contextual modal type theory. They first present a dependently typed lambda calculus with explicit substitutions for ordinary variables and explicit meta-substitutions for meta-variables. They then present a weak head normalization procedure which performs both substitutions lazily and in a single pass thereby combining substitution walks for the two different classes of variables. Finally, they describe a bidirectional type checking algorithm which uses weak head normalization and prove soundness.

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