Relational cost analysis aims at formally establishing bounds on the difference in the evaluation costs of two programs. As a particular case, one can also use relational cost analysis to establish bounds on the difference in the evaluation cost of the same program on two different inputs. One way to perform relational cost analysis is to use a relational type-and-effect system that supports reasoning about relations between two executions of two programs.
Building on this basic idea, we present a type-and-effect system, called ARel, for reasoning about the relative cost of array-manipulating, higher-order functional-imperative programs. The key ingredient of our approach is a new lightweight type refinement discipline that we use to track relations (differences) between two mutable arrays. This discipline combined with Hoare-style triples built into the types allows us to express and establish precise relative costs of several interesting programs which imperatively update their data. We have implemented ARel using ideas from bidirectional typechecking.
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Anders MiltnerPrinceton University, Solomon MainaUniversity of Pennsylvania, Kathleen FisherTufts University, USA, Benjamin C. PierceUniversity of Pennsylvania, David WalkerPrinceton University, Steve ZdancewicUniversity of PennsylvaniaPre-print