Lambda: Introduction to Lambda Calculus
module plfa.Lambda where
The lambdacalculus, first published by the logician Alonzo Church in 1932, is a core calculus with only three syntactic constructs: variables, abstraction, and application. It captures the key concept of functional abstraction, which appears in pretty much every programming language, in the form of either functions, procedures, or methods. The simplytyped lambda calculus (or STLC) is a variant of the lambda calculus published by Church in 1940. It has the three constructs above for function types, plus whatever else is required for base types. Church had a minimal base type with no operations. We will instead echo Plotkin’s Programmable Computable Functions (PCF), and add operations on natural numbers and recursive function definitions.
This chapter formalises the simplytyped lambda calculus, giving its syntax, smallstep semantics, and typing rules. The next chapter Properties proves its main properties, including progress and preservation. Following chapters will look at a number of variants of lambda calculus.
Be aware that the approach we take here is not our recommended approach to formalisation. Using de Bruijn indices and inherentlytyped terms, as we will do in Chapter DeBruijn, leads to a more compact formulation. Nonetheless, we begin with named variables, partly because such terms are easier to read and partly because the development is more traditional.
The development in this chapter was inspired by the corresponding development in Chapter Stlc of Software Foundations (Programming Language Foundations). We differ by representing contexts explicitly (as lists pairing identifiers with types) rather than as partial maps (which take identifiers to types), which corresponds better to our subsequent development of DeBruijn notation. We also differ by taking natural numbers as the base type rather than booleans, allowing more sophisticated examples. In particular, we will be able to show (twice!) that two plus two is four.
Imports
open import Relation.Binary.PropositionalEquality using (_≡_; _≢_; refl) open import Data.String using (String; _≟_) open import Data.Nat using (ℕ; zero; suc) open import Data.Empty using (⊥; ⊥elim) open import Relation.Nullary using (Dec; yes; no; ¬_) open import Data.List using (List; _∷_; [])
Syntax of terms
Terms have seven constructs. Three are for the core lambda calculus:
 Variables
` x
 Abstractions
ƛ x ⇒ N
 Applications
L · M
Three are for the naturals:
 Zero
`zero
 Successor
`suc
 Case
case L [zero⇒ M suc x ⇒ N ]
And one is for recursion:
 Fixpoint
μ x ⇒ M
Abstraction is also called lambda abstraction, and is the construct from which the calculus takes its name.
With the exception of variables and fixpoints, each term form either constructs a value of a given type (abstractions yield functions, zero and successor yield natural numbers) or deconstructs it (applications use functions, case terms use naturals). We will see this again when we come to the rules for assigning types to terms, where constructors correspond to introduction rules and deconstructors to eliminators.
Here is the syntax of terms in BackusNaur Form (BNF):
L, M, N ::=
` x  ƛ x ⇒ N  L · M 
`zero  `suc M  case L [zero⇒ M suc x ⇒ N ] 
μ x ⇒ M
And here it is formalised in Agda:
Id : Set Id = String infix 5 ƛ_⇒_ infix 5 μ_⇒_ infixl 7 _·_ infix 8 `suc_ infix 9 `_ data Term : Set where `_ : Id → Term ƛ_⇒_ : Id → Term → Term _·_ : Term → Term → Term `zero : Term `suc_ : Term → Term case_[zero⇒_suc_⇒_] : Term → Term → Id → Term → Term μ_⇒_ : Id → Term → Term
We represent identifiers by strings. We choose precedence so that lambda abstraction and fixpoint bind least tightly, then application, then successor, and tightest of all is the constructor for variables. Case expressions are selfbracketing.
Example terms
Here are some example terms: the natural number two, a function that adds naturals, and a term that computes two plus two:
two : Term two = `suc `suc `zero plus : Term plus = μ "+" ⇒ ƛ "m" ⇒ ƛ "n" ⇒ case ` "m" [zero⇒ ` "n" suc "m" ⇒ `suc (` "+" · ` "m" · ` "n") ]
The recursive definition of addition is similar to our original
definition of _+_
for naturals, as given in
Chapter Naturals.
Here variable “m” is bound twice, once in a lambda abstraction and once in
the successor branch of the case; the first use of “m” refers to
the former and the second to the latter. Any use of “m” in the successor branch
must refer to the latter binding, and so we say that the latter binding shadows
the former. Later we will confirm that two plus two is four, in other words that
the term
plus · two · two
reduces to `suc `suc `suc `suc `zero
.
As a second example, we use higherorder functions to represent natural numbers. In particular, the number n is represented by a function that accepts two arguments and applies the first n times to the second. This is called the Church representation of the naturals. Here are some example terms: the Church numeral two, a function that adds Church numerals, a function to compute successor, and a term that computes two plus two:
twoᶜ : Term twoᶜ = ƛ "s" ⇒ ƛ "z" ⇒ ` "s" · (` "s" · ` "z") plusᶜ : Term plusᶜ = ƛ "m" ⇒ ƛ "n" ⇒ ƛ "s" ⇒ ƛ "z" ⇒ ` "m" · ` "s" · (` "n" · ` "s" · ` "z") sucᶜ : Term sucᶜ = ƛ "n" ⇒ `suc (` "n")
The Church numeral for two takes two arguments s
and z
and applies s
twice to z
.
Addition takes two numerals m
and n
, a
function s
and an argument z
, and it uses m
to apply s
to the
result of using n
to apply s
to z
; hence s
is applied m
plus
n
times to z
, yielding the Church numeral for the sum of m
and
n
. For convenience, we define a function that computes successor.
To convert a Church numeral to the corresponding natural, we apply
it to the sucᶜ
function and the natural number zero.
Again, later we will confirm that two plus two is four,
in other words that the term
plusᶜ · twoᶜ · twoᶜ · sucᶜ · `zero
reduces to `suc `suc `suc `suc `zero
.
Exercise mul
(recommended)
Write out the definition of a lambda term that multiplies
two natural numbers. Your definition may use plus
as
defined earlier.
 Your code goes here
Exercise mulᶜ
Write out the definition of a lambda term that multiplies
two natural numbers represented as Church numerals. Your
definition may use plusᶜ
as defined earlier (or may not
— there are nice definitions both ways).
 Your code goes here
Exercise primed
(stretch)
Some people find it annoying to write ` "x"
instead of x
.
We can make examples with lambda terms slightly easier to write
by adding the following definitions:
ƛ′_⇒_ : Term → Term → Term ƛ′ (` x) ⇒ N = ƛ x ⇒ N ƛ′ _ ⇒ _ = ⊥elim impossible where postulate impossible : ⊥ case′_[zero⇒_suc_⇒_] : Term → Term → Term → Term → Term case′ L [zero⇒ M suc (` x) ⇒ N ] = case L [zero⇒ M suc x ⇒ N ] case′ _ [zero⇒ _ suc _ ⇒ _ ] = ⊥elim impossible where postulate impossible : ⊥ μ′_⇒_ : Term → Term → Term μ′ (` x) ⇒ N = μ x ⇒ N μ′ _ ⇒ _ = ⊥elim impossible where postulate impossible : ⊥
The definition of plus
can now be written as follows:
plus′ : Term plus′ = μ′ + ⇒ ƛ′ m ⇒ ƛ′ n ⇒ case′ m [zero⇒ n suc m ⇒ `suc (+ · m · n) ] where + = ` "+" m = ` "m" n = ` "n"
Write out the definition of multiplication in the same style.
Formal vs informal
In informal presentation of formal semantics, one uses choice of
variable name to disambiguate and writes x
rather than ` x
for a term that is a variable. Agda requires we distinguish.
Similarly, informal presentation often use the same notation for
function types, lambda abstraction, and function application in both
the object language (the language one is describing) and the
metalanguage (the language in which the description is written),
trusting readers can use context to distinguish the two. Agda is
not quite so forgiving, so here we use ƛ x ⇒ N
and L · M
for the
object language, as compared to λ x → N
and L M
in our
metalanguage, Agda.
Bound and free variables
In an abstraction ƛ x ⇒ N
we call x
the bound variable
and N
the body of the abstraction. A central feature
of lambda calculus is that consistent renaming of bound variables
leaves the meaning of a term unchanged. Thus the five terms
ƛ "s" ⇒ ƛ "z" ⇒ ` "s" · (` "s" · ` "z")
ƛ "f" ⇒ ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "f" · (` "f" · ` "x")
ƛ "sam" ⇒ ƛ "zelda" ⇒ ` "sam" · (` "sam" · ` "zelda")
ƛ "z" ⇒ ƛ "s" ⇒ ` "z" · (` "z" · ` "s")
ƛ "😇" ⇒ ƛ "😈" ⇒ ` "😇" · (` "😇" · ` "😈" )
are all considered equivalent. Following the convention introduced
by Haskell Curry, who used the Greek letter α
(alpha) to label such rules,
this equivalence relation is called alpha renaming.
As we descend from a term into its subterms, variables that are bound may become free. Consider the following terms:

ƛ "s" ⇒ ƛ "z" ⇒ ` "s" · (` "s" · ` "z")
has boths
andz
as bound variables. 
ƛ "z" ⇒ ` "s" · (` "s" · ` "z")
hasz
bound ands
free. 
` "s" · (` "s" · ` "z")
has boths
andz
as free variables.
We say that a term with no free variables is closed; otherwise it is open. Of the three terms above, the first is closed and the other two are open. We will focus on reduction of closed terms.
Different occurrences of a variable may be bound and free. In the term
(ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x") · ` "x"
the inner occurrence of x
is bound while the outer occurrence is free.
By alpha renaming, the term above is equivalent to
(ƛ "y" ⇒ ` "y") · ` "x"
in which y
is bound and x
is free. A common convention, called the
Barendregt convention, is to use alpha renaming to ensure that the bound
variables in a term are distinct from the free variables, which can
avoid confusions that may arise if bound and free variables have the
same names.
Case and recursion also introduce bound variables, which are also subject to alpha renaming. In the term
μ "+" ⇒ ƛ "m" ⇒ ƛ "n" ⇒
case ` "m"
[zero⇒ ` "n"
suc "m" ⇒ `suc (` "+" · ` "m" · ` "n") ]
notice that there are two binding occurrences of m
, one in the first
line and one in the last line. It is equivalent to the following term,
μ "plus" ⇒ ƛ "x" ⇒ ƛ "y" ⇒
case ` "x"
[zero⇒ ` "y"
suc "x′" ⇒ `suc (` "plus" · ` "x′" · ` "y") ]
where the two binding occurrences corresponding to m
now have distinct
names, x
and x′
.
Values
A value is a term that corresponds to an answer.
Thus, `suc `suc `suc `suc `zero
is a value,
while plus · two · two
is not.
Following convention, we treat all function abstractions
as values; thus, plus
by itself is considered a value.
The predicate Value M
holds if term M
is a value:
data Value : Term → Set where Vƛ : ∀ {x N}  → Value (ƛ x ⇒ N) Vzero :  Value `zero Vsuc : ∀ {V} → Value V  → Value (`suc V)
In what follows, we let V
and W
range over values.
Formal vs informal
In informal presentations of formal semantics, using
V
as the name of a metavariable is sufficient to
indicate that it is a value. In Agda, we must explicitly
invoke the Value
predicate.
Other approaches
An alternative is not to focus on closed terms,
to treat variables as values, and to treat
ƛ x ⇒ N
as a value only if N
is a value.
Indeed, this is how Agda normalises terms.
We consider this approach in
Chapter Untyped.
Substitution
The heart of lambda calculus is the operation of substituting one term for a variable in another term. Substitution plays a key role in defining the operational semantics of function application. For instance, we have
(ƛ "s" ⇒ ƛ "z" ⇒ ` "s" · (` "s" · ` "z")) · sucᶜ · `zero
—→
(ƛ "z" ⇒ sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · "z")) · `zero
—→
sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · `zero)
where we substitute sucᶜ
for ` "s"
and `zero
for ` "z"
in the body of the function abstraction.
We write substitution as N [ x := V ]
, meaning
“substitute term V
for free occurrences of variable x
in term N
”,
or, more compactly, “substitute V
for x
in N
”,
or equivalently, “in N
replace x
by V
”.
Substitution works if V
is any closed term;
it need not be a value, but we use V
since in fact we
usually substitute values.
Here are some examples:
(ƛ "z" ⇒ ` "s" · (` "s" · ` "z")) [ "s" := sucᶜ ]
yieldsƛ "z" ⇒ sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · ` "z")
.(sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · ` "z")) [ "z" := `zero ]
yieldssucᶜ · (sucᶜ · `zero)
.(ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "y") [ "y" := `zero ]
yieldsƛ "x" ⇒ `zero
.(ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x") [ "x" := `zero ]
yieldsƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x"
.(ƛ "y" ⇒ ` "y") [ "x" := `zero ]
yieldsƛ "y" ⇒ ` "y"
.
In the last but one example, substituting `zero
for x
in
ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x"
does not yield ƛ "x" ⇒ `zero
,
since x
is bound in the lambda abstraction.
The choice of bound names is irrelevant: both
ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x"
and ƛ "y" ⇒ ` "y"
stand for the
identity function. One way to think of this is that x
within
the body of the abstraction stands for a different variable than
x
outside the abstraction, they just happen to have the same name.
We will give a definition of substitution that is only valid when term substituted for the variable is closed. This is because substitution by terms that are not closed may require renaming of bound variables. For example:
(ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x" · ` "y") [ "y" := ` "x" · `zero]
should not yield
(ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x" · (` "x" · `zero))
.
Instead, we should rename the bound variable to avoid capture:
(ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x" · ` "y") [ "y" := ` "x" · `zero ]
should yield
ƛ "x′" ⇒ ` "x′" · (` "x" · `zero)
.
Here x′
is a fresh variable distinct from x
.
Formal definition of substitution with suitable renaming is considerably
more complex, so we avoid it by restricting to substitution by closed terms,
which will be adequate for our purposes.
Here is the formal definition of substitution by closed terms in Agda:
infix 9 _[_:=_] _[_:=_] : Term → Id → Term → Term (` x) [ y := V ] with x ≟ y ...  yes _ = V ...  no _ = ` x (ƛ x ⇒ N) [ y := V ] with x ≟ y ...  yes _ = ƛ x ⇒ N ...  no _ = ƛ x ⇒ N [ y := V ] (L · M) [ y := V ] = L [ y := V ] · M [ y := V ] (`zero) [ y := V ] = `zero (`suc M) [ y := V ] = `suc M [ y := V ] (case L [zero⇒ M suc x ⇒ N ]) [ y := V ] with x ≟ y ...  yes _ = case L [ y := V ] [zero⇒ M [ y := V ] suc x ⇒ N ] ...  no _ = case L [ y := V ] [zero⇒ M [ y := V ] suc x ⇒ N [ y := V ] ] (μ x ⇒ N) [ y := V ] with x ≟ y ...  yes _ = μ x ⇒ N ...  no _ = μ x ⇒ N [ y := V ]
Let’s unpack the first three cases:

For variables, we compare
y
, the substituted variable, withx
, the variable in the term. If they are the same, we yieldV
, otherwise we yieldx
unchanged. 
For abstractions, we compare
y
, the substituted variable, withx
, the variable bound in the abstraction. If they are the same, we yield the abstraction unchanged, otherwise we substitute inside the body. 
For application, we recursively substitute in the function and the argument.
Case expressions and recursion also have bound variables that are treated similarly to those in lambda abstractions. Otherwise we simply push substitution recursively into the subterms.
Examples
Here is confirmation that the examples above are correct:
_ : (ƛ "z" ⇒ ` "s" · (` "s" · ` "z")) [ "s" := sucᶜ ] ≡ ƛ "z" ⇒ sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · ` "z") _ = refl _ : (sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · ` "z")) [ "z" := `zero ] ≡ sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · `zero) _ = refl _ : (ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "y") [ "y" := `zero ] ≡ ƛ "x" ⇒ `zero _ = refl _ : (ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x") [ "x" := `zero ] ≡ ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x" _ = refl _ : (ƛ "y" ⇒ ` "y") [ "x" := `zero ] ≡ ƛ "y" ⇒ ` "y" _ = refl
Quiz
What is the result of the following substitution?
(ƛ "y" ⇒ ` "x" · (ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x")) [ "x" := `zero ]
(ƛ "y" ⇒ ` "x" · (ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x"))
(ƛ "y" ⇒ ` "x" · (ƛ "x" ⇒ `zero))
(ƛ "y" ⇒ `zero · (ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x"))
(ƛ "y" ⇒ `zero · (ƛ "x" ⇒ `zero))
Exercise _[_:=_]′
(stretch)
The definition of substitution above has three clauses (ƛ
, case
,
and μ
) that invoke a with
clause to deal with bound variables.
Rewrite the definition to factor the common part of these three
clauses into a single function, defined by mutual recursion with
substitution.
 Your code goes here
Reduction
We give the reduction rules for callbyvalue lambda calculus. To reduce an application, first we reduce the lefthand side until it becomes a value (which must be an abstraction); then we reduce the righthand side until it becomes a value; and finally we substitute the argument for the variable in the abstraction.
In an informal presentation of the operational semantics, the rules for reduction of applications are written as follows:
L —→ L′
 ξ·₁
L · M —→ L′ · M
M —→ M′
 ξ·₂
V · M —→ V · M′
 βƛ
(ƛ x ⇒ N) · V —→ N [ x := V ]
The Agda version of the rules below will be similar, except that universal quantifications are made explicit, and so are the predicates that indicate which terms are values.
The rules break into two sorts. Compatibility rules direct us to
reduce some part of a term. We give them names starting with the
Greek letter ξ
(xi). Once a term is sufficiently reduced, it will
consist of a constructor and a deconstructor, in our case ƛ
and ·
,
which reduces directly. We give them names starting with the Greek
letter β
(beta) and such rules are traditionally called beta rules.
A bit of terminology: A term that matches the lefthand side of a
reduction rule is called a redex. In the redex (ƛ x ⇒ N) · V
, we
may refer to x
as the formal parameter of the function, and V
as the actual parameter of the function application. Beta reduction
replaces the formal parameter by the actual parameter.
If a term is a value, then no reduction applies; conversely, if a reduction applies to a term then it is not a value. We will show in the next chapter that this exhausts the possibilities: every welltyped term either reduces or is a value.
For numbers, zero does not reduce and successor reduces the subterm. A case expression reduces its argument to a number, and then chooses the zero or successor branch as appropriate. A fixpoint replaces the bound variable by the entire fixpoint term; this is the one case where we substitute by a term that is not a value.
Here are the rules formalised in Agda:
infix 4 _—→_ data _—→_ : Term → Term → Set where ξ·₁ : ∀ {L L′ M} → L —→ L′  → L · M —→ L′ · M ξ·₂ : ∀ {V M M′} → Value V → M —→ M′  → V · M —→ V · M′ βƛ : ∀ {x N V} → Value V  → (ƛ x ⇒ N) · V —→ N [ x := V ] ξsuc : ∀ {M M′} → M —→ M′  → `suc M —→ `suc M′ ξcase : ∀ {x L L′ M N} → L —→ L′  → case L [zero⇒ M suc x ⇒ N ] —→ case L′ [zero⇒ M suc x ⇒ N ] βzero : ∀ {x M N}  → case `zero [zero⇒ M suc x ⇒ N ] —→ M βsuc : ∀ {x V M N} → Value V  → case `suc V [zero⇒ M suc x ⇒ N ] —→ N [ x := V ] βμ : ∀ {x M}  → μ x ⇒ M —→ M [ x := μ x ⇒ M ]
The reduction rules are carefully designed to ensure that subterms of a term are reduced to values before the whole term is reduced. This is referred to as callbyvalue reduction.
Further, we have arranged that subterms are reduced in a
lefttoright order. This means that reduction is deterministic:
for any term, there is at most one other term to which it reduces.
Put another way, our reduction relation —→
is in fact a function.
This style of explaining the meaning of terms is called
a smallstep operational semantics. If M —→ N
, we say that
term M
reduces to term N
, or equivalently,
term M
steps to term N
. Each compatibility rule has
another reduction rule in its premise; so a step always consists
of a beta rule, possibly adjusted by zero or more compatibility rules.
Quiz
What does the following term step to?
(ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x") · (ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x") —→ ???
(ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x")
(ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x") · (ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x")
(ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x") · (ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x") · (ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x")
What does the following term step to?
(ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x") · (ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x") · (ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x") —→ ???
(ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x")
(ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x") · (ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x")
(ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x") · (ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x") · (ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x")
What does the following term step to? (Where twoᶜ
and sucᶜ
are as
defined above.)
twoᶜ · sucᶜ · `zero —→ ???
sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · `zero)
(ƛ "z" ⇒ sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · ` "z")) · `zero
`zero
Reflexive and transitive closure
A single step is only part of the story. In general, we wish to repeatedly
step a closed term until it reduces to a value. We do this by defining
the reflexive and transitive closure —↠
of the step relation —→
.
We define reflexive and transitive closure as a sequence of zero or more steps of the underlying relation, along lines similar to that for reasoning about chains of equalities in Chapter Equality:
infix 2 _—↠_ infix 1 begin_ infixr 2 _—→⟨_⟩_ infix 3 _∎ data _—↠_ : Term → Term → Set where _∎ : ∀ M  → M —↠ M _—→⟨_⟩_ : ∀ L {M N} → L —→ M → M —↠ N  → L —↠ N begin_ : ∀ {M N} → M —↠ N  → M —↠ N begin M—↠N = M—↠N
We can read this as follows:

From term
M
, we can take no steps, giving a step of typeM —↠ M
. It is writtenM ∎
. 
From term
L
we can take a single step of typeL —→ M
followed by zero or more steps of typeM —↠ N
, giving a step of typeL —↠ N
. It is writtenL —→⟨ L—→M ⟩ M—↠N
, whereL—→M
andM—↠N
are steps of the appropriate type.
The notation is chosen to allow us to lay out example reductions in an appealing way, as we will see in the next section.
An alternative is to define reflexive and transitive closure directly,
as the smallest relation that includes —→
and is also reflexive
and transitive. We could do so as follows:
data _—↠′_ : Term → Term → Set where step′ : ∀ {M N} → M —→ N  → M —↠′ N refl′ : ∀ {M}  → M —↠′ M trans′ : ∀ {L M N} → L —↠′ M → M —↠′ N  → L —↠′ N
The three constructors specify, respectively, that —↠′
includes —→
and is reflexive and transitive. A good exercise is to show that
the two definitions are equivalent (indeed, one embeds in the other).
Exercise —↠≲—↠′
Show that the first notion of reflexive and transitive closure above embeds into the second. Why are they not isomorphic?
 Your code goes here
Confluence
One important property a reduction relation might satisfy is
to be confluent. If term L
reduces to two other terms,
M
and N
, then both of these reduce to a common term P
.
It can be illustrated as follows:
L
/ \
/ \
/ \
M N
\ /
\ /
\ /
P
Here L
, M
, N
are universally quantified while P
is existentially quantified. If each line stands for zero
or more reduction steps, this is called confluence,
while if the top two lines stand for a single reduction
step and the bottom two stand for zero or more reduction
steps it is called the diamond property. In symbols:
confluence : ∀ {L M N} → ∃[ P ]
( ((L —↠ M) × (L —↠ N))

→ ((M —↠ P) × (N —↠ P)) )
diamond : ∀ {L M N} → ∃[ P ]
( ((L —→ M) × (L —→ N))

→ ((M —↠ P) × (N —↠ P)) )
The reduction system studied in this chapter is deterministic. In symbols:
deterministic : ∀ {L M N}
→ L —→ M
→ L —→ N

→ M ≡ N
It is easy to show that every deterministic relation satisfies the diamond property, and that every relation that satisfies the diamond property is confluent. Hence, all the reduction systems studied in this text are trivially confluent.
Examples
We start with a simple example. The Church numeral two applied to the successor function and zero yields the natural number two:
_ : twoᶜ · sucᶜ · `zero —↠ `suc `suc `zero _ = begin twoᶜ · sucᶜ · `zero —→⟨ ξ·₁ (βƛ Vƛ) ⟩ (ƛ "z" ⇒ sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · ` "z")) · `zero —→⟨ βƛ Vzero ⟩ sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · `zero) —→⟨ ξ·₂ Vƛ (βƛ Vzero) ⟩ sucᶜ · `suc `zero —→⟨ βƛ (Vsuc Vzero) ⟩ `suc (`suc `zero) ∎
Here is a sample reduction demonstrating that two plus two is four:
_ : plus · two · two —↠ `suc `suc `suc `suc `zero _ = begin plus · two · two —→⟨ ξ·₁ (ξ·₁ βμ) ⟩ (ƛ "m" ⇒ ƛ "n" ⇒ case ` "m" [zero⇒ ` "n" suc "m" ⇒ `suc (plus · ` "m" · ` "n") ]) · two · two —→⟨ ξ·₁ (βƛ (Vsuc (Vsuc Vzero))) ⟩ (ƛ "n" ⇒ case two [zero⇒ ` "n" suc "m" ⇒ `suc (plus · ` "m" · ` "n") ]) · two —→⟨ βƛ (Vsuc (Vsuc Vzero)) ⟩ case two [zero⇒ two suc "m" ⇒ `suc (plus · ` "m" · two) ] —→⟨ βsuc (Vsuc Vzero) ⟩ `suc (plus · `suc `zero · two) —→⟨ ξsuc (ξ·₁ (ξ·₁ βμ)) ⟩ `suc ((ƛ "m" ⇒ ƛ "n" ⇒ case ` "m" [zero⇒ ` "n" suc "m" ⇒ `suc (plus · ` "m" · ` "n") ]) · `suc `zero · two) —→⟨ ξsuc (ξ·₁ (βƛ (Vsuc Vzero))) ⟩ `suc ((ƛ "n" ⇒ case `suc `zero [zero⇒ ` "n" suc "m" ⇒ `suc (plus · ` "m" · ` "n") ]) · two) —→⟨ ξsuc (βƛ (Vsuc (Vsuc Vzero))) ⟩ `suc (case `suc `zero [zero⇒ two suc "m" ⇒ `suc (plus · ` "m" · two) ]) —→⟨ ξsuc (βsuc Vzero) ⟩ `suc `suc (plus · `zero · two) —→⟨ ξsuc (ξsuc (ξ·₁ (ξ·₁ βμ))) ⟩ `suc `suc ((ƛ "m" ⇒ ƛ "n" ⇒ case ` "m" [zero⇒ ` "n" suc "m" ⇒ `suc (plus · ` "m" · ` "n") ]) · `zero · two) —→⟨ ξsuc (ξsuc (ξ·₁ (βƛ Vzero))) ⟩ `suc `suc ((ƛ "n" ⇒ case `zero [zero⇒ ` "n" suc "m" ⇒ `suc (plus · ` "m" · ` "n") ]) · two) —→⟨ ξsuc (ξsuc (βƛ (Vsuc (Vsuc Vzero)))) ⟩ `suc `suc (case `zero [zero⇒ two suc "m" ⇒ `suc (plus · ` "m" · two) ]) —→⟨ ξsuc (ξsuc βzero) ⟩ `suc (`suc (`suc (`suc `zero))) ∎
And here is a similar sample reduction for Church numerals:
_ : plusᶜ · twoᶜ · twoᶜ · sucᶜ · `zero —↠ `suc `suc `suc `suc `zero _ = begin (ƛ "m" ⇒ ƛ "n" ⇒ ƛ "s" ⇒ ƛ "z" ⇒ ` "m" · ` "s" · (` "n" · ` "s" · ` "z")) · twoᶜ · twoᶜ · sucᶜ · `zero —→⟨ ξ·₁ (ξ·₁ (ξ·₁ (βƛ Vƛ))) ⟩ (ƛ "n" ⇒ ƛ "s" ⇒ ƛ "z" ⇒ twoᶜ · ` "s" · (` "n" · ` "s" · ` "z")) · twoᶜ · sucᶜ · `zero —→⟨ ξ·₁ (ξ·₁ (βƛ Vƛ)) ⟩ (ƛ "s" ⇒ ƛ "z" ⇒ twoᶜ · ` "s" · (twoᶜ · ` "s" · ` "z")) · sucᶜ · `zero —→⟨ ξ·₁ (βƛ Vƛ) ⟩ (ƛ "z" ⇒ twoᶜ · sucᶜ · (twoᶜ · sucᶜ · ` "z")) · `zero —→⟨ βƛ Vzero ⟩ twoᶜ · sucᶜ · (twoᶜ · sucᶜ · `zero) —→⟨ ξ·₁ (βƛ Vƛ) ⟩ (ƛ "z" ⇒ sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · ` "z")) · (twoᶜ · sucᶜ · `zero) —→⟨ ξ·₂ Vƛ (ξ·₁ (βƛ Vƛ)) ⟩ (ƛ "z" ⇒ sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · ` "z")) · ((ƛ "z" ⇒ sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · ` "z")) · `zero) —→⟨ ξ·₂ Vƛ (βƛ Vzero) ⟩ (ƛ "z" ⇒ sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · ` "z")) · (sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · `zero)) —→⟨ ξ·₂ Vƛ (ξ·₂ Vƛ (βƛ Vzero)) ⟩ (ƛ "z" ⇒ sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · ` "z")) · (sucᶜ · (`suc `zero)) —→⟨ ξ·₂ Vƛ (βƛ (Vsuc Vzero)) ⟩ (ƛ "z" ⇒ sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · ` "z")) · (`suc `suc `zero) —→⟨ βƛ (Vsuc (Vsuc Vzero)) ⟩ sucᶜ · (sucᶜ · `suc `suc `zero) —→⟨ ξ·₂ Vƛ (βƛ (Vsuc (Vsuc Vzero))) ⟩ sucᶜ · (`suc `suc `suc `zero) —→⟨ βƛ (Vsuc (Vsuc (Vsuc Vzero))) ⟩ `suc (`suc (`suc (`suc `zero))) ∎
In the next chapter, we will see how to compute such reduction sequences.
Exercise plusexample
Write out the reduction sequence demonstrating that one plus one is two.
 Your code goes here
Syntax of types
We have just two types:
 Functions,
A ⇒ B
 Naturals,
`ℕ
As before, to avoid overlap we use variants of the names used by Agda.
Here is the syntax of types in BNF:
A, B, C ::= A ⇒ B  `ℕ
And here it is formalised in Agda:
infixr 7 _⇒_ data Type : Set where _⇒_ : Type → Type → Type `ℕ : Type
Precedence
As in Agda, functions of two or more arguments are represented via
currying. This is made more convenient by declaring _⇒_
to
associate to the right and _·_
to associate to the left.
Thus:
(`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ) ⇒ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ
stands for((`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ) ⇒ (`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ))
.plus · two · two
stands for(plus · two) · two
.
Quiz

What is the type of the following term?
ƛ "s" ⇒ ` "s" · (` "s" · `zero)
(`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ) ⇒ (`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ)
(`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ) ⇒ `ℕ
`ℕ ⇒ (`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ)
`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ
`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ
`ℕ
Give more than one answer if appropriate.

What is the type of the following term?
(ƛ "s" ⇒ ` "s" · (` "s" · `zero)) · sucᶜ
(`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ) ⇒ (`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ)
(`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ) ⇒ `ℕ
`ℕ ⇒ (`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ)
`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ
`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ
`ℕ
Give more than one answer if appropriate.
Typing
Contexts
While reduction considers only closed terms, typing must consider terms with free variables. To type a term, we must first type its subterms, and in particular in the body of an abstraction its bound variable may appear free.
A context associates variables with types. We let Γ
and Δ
range
over contexts. We write ∅
for the empty context, and Γ , x ⦂ A
for the context that extends Γ
by mapping variable x
to type A
.
For example,
∅ , "s" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ , "z" ⦂ `ℕ
is the context that associates variable "s"
with type `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ
,
and variable "z"
with type `ℕ
.
Contexts are formalised as follows:
infixl 5 _,_⦂_ data Context : Set where ∅ : Context _,_⦂_ : Context → Id → Type → Context
Exercise Context≃
Show that Context
is isomorphic to List (Id × Type)
.
For instance, the isomorphism relates the context
∅ , "s" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ , "z" ⦂ `ℕ
to the list
[ ⟨ "z" , `ℕ ⟩ , ⟨ "s" , `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ ⟩ ]
 Your code goes here
Lookup judgment
We have two forms of judgment. The first is written
Γ ∋ x ⦂ A
and indicates in context Γ
that variable x
has type A
.
It is called lookup.
For example,
∅ , "s" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ , "z" ⦂ `ℕ ∋ "z" ⦂ `ℕ
∅ , "s" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ , "z" ⦂ `ℕ ∋ "s" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ
give us the types associated with variables "z"
and "s"
,
respectively. The symbol ∋
(pronounced “ni”, for “in”
backwards) is chosen because checking that Γ ∋ x ⦂ A
is analogous to
checking whether x ⦂ A
appears in a list corresponding to Γ
.
If two variables in a context have the same name, then lookup should return the most recently bound variable, which shadows the other variables. For example,
∅ , "x" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ , "x" ⦂ `ℕ ∋ "x" ⦂ `ℕ
.
Here "x" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ
is shadowed by "x" ⦂ `ℕ
.
Lookup is formalised as follows:
infix 4 _∋_⦂_ data _∋_⦂_ : Context → Id → Type → Set where Z : ∀ {Γ x A}  → Γ , x ⦂ A ∋ x ⦂ A S : ∀ {Γ x y A B} → x ≢ y → Γ ∋ x ⦂ A  → Γ , y ⦂ B ∋ x ⦂ A
The constructors Z
and S
correspond roughly to the constructors
here
and there
for the elementof relation _∈_
on lists.
Constructor S
takes an additional parameter, which ensures that
when we look up a variable that it is not shadowed by another
variable with the same name to its left in the list.
Typing judgment
The second judgment is written
Γ ⊢ M ⦂ A
and indicates in context Γ
that term M
has type A
.
Context Γ
provides types for all the free variables in M
.
For example:
∅ , "s" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ , "z" ⦂ `ℕ ⊢ ` "z" ⦂ `ℕ
∅ , "s" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ , "z" ⦂ `ℕ ⊢ ` "s" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ
∅ , "s" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ , "z" ⦂ `ℕ ⊢ ` "s" · ` "z" ⦂ `ℕ
∅ , "s" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ , "z" ⦂ `ℕ ⊢ ` "s" · (` "s" · ` "z") ⦂ `ℕ
∅ , "s" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ ⊢ ƛ "z" ⇒ ` "s" · (` "s" · ` "z") ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ
∅ ⊢ ƛ "s" ⇒ ƛ "z" ⇒ ` "s" · (` "s" · ` "z") ⦂ (`ℕ ⇒ `ℕ) ⇒ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ
Typing is formalised as follows:
infix 4 _⊢_⦂_ data _⊢_⦂_ : Context → Term → Type → Set where  Axiom ⊢` : ∀ {Γ x A} → Γ ∋ x ⦂ A  → Γ ⊢ ` x ⦂ A  ⇒I ⊢ƛ : ∀ {Γ x N A B} → Γ , x ⦂ A ⊢ N ⦂ B  → Γ ⊢ ƛ x ⇒ N ⦂ A ⇒ B  ⇒E _·_ : ∀ {Γ L M A B} → Γ ⊢ L ⦂ A ⇒ B → Γ ⊢ M ⦂ A  → Γ ⊢ L · M ⦂ B  ℕI₁ ⊢zero : ∀ {Γ}  → Γ ⊢ `zero ⦂ `ℕ  ℕI₂ ⊢suc : ∀ {Γ M} → Γ ⊢ M ⦂ `ℕ  → Γ ⊢ `suc M ⦂ `ℕ  ℕE ⊢case : ∀ {Γ L M x N A} → Γ ⊢ L ⦂ `ℕ → Γ ⊢ M ⦂ A → Γ , x ⦂ `ℕ ⊢ N ⦂ A  → Γ ⊢ case L [zero⇒ M suc x ⇒ N ] ⦂ A ⊢μ : ∀ {Γ x M A} → Γ , x ⦂ A ⊢ M ⦂ A  → Γ ⊢ μ x ⇒ M ⦂ A
Each type rule is named after the constructor for the corresponding term.
Most of the rules have a second name, derived from a convention in
logic, whereby the rule is named after the type connective that it
concerns; rules to introduce and to eliminate each connective are
labeled I
and E
, respectively. As we read the rules from top to
bottom, introduction and elimination rules do what they say on the
tin: the first introduces a formula for the connective, which
appears in the conclusion but not in the premises; while the second
eliminates a formula for the connective, which appears in a premise
but not in the conclusion. An introduction rule describes how to
construct a value of the type (abstractions yield functions, successor
and zero yield naturals), while an elimination rule describes how to
deconstruct a value of the given type (applications use functions,
case expressions use naturals).
Note also the three places (in ⊢ƛ
, ⊢case
, and ⊢μ
) where the
context is extended with x
and an appropriate type, corresponding to
the three places where a bound variable is introduced.
The rules are deterministic, in that at most one rule applies to every term.
Checking inequality and postulating the impossible
The following function makes it convenient to assert an inequality:
_≠_ : ∀ (x y : Id) → x ≢ y x ≠ y with x ≟ y ...  no x≢y = x≢y ...  yes _ = ⊥elim impossible where postulate impossible : ⊥
Here _≟_
is the function that tests two identifiers for equality.
We intend to apply the function only when the
two arguments are indeed unequal, and indicate that the second
case should never arise by postulating a term impossible
of
the empty type ⊥
. If we use Cc Cn to normalise the term
"a" ≠ "a"
Agda will return an answer warning us that the impossible has occurred:
⊥elim (.plfa.Lambda.impossible "a" "a" refl)
While postulating the impossible is a useful technique, it must be used with care, since such postulation could allow us to provide evidence of any proposition whatsoever, regardless of its truth.
Example type derivations
Type derivations correspond to trees. In informal notation, here is a type derivation for the Church numeral two,
∋s ∋z
 ⊢`  ⊢`
∋s Γ₂ ⊢ ` "s" ⦂ A ⇒ A Γ₂ ⊢ ` "z" ⦂ A
 ⊢`  _·_
Γ₂ ⊢ ` "s" ⦂ A ⇒ A Γ₂ ⊢ ` "s" · ` "z" ⦂ A
 _·_
Γ₂ ⊢ ` "s" · (` "s" · ` "z") ⦂ A
 ⊢ƛ
Γ₁ ⊢ ƛ "z" ⇒ ` "s" · (` "s" · ` "z") ⦂ A ⇒ A
 ⊢ƛ
Γ ⊢ ƛ "s" ⇒ ƛ "z" ⇒ ` "s" · (` "s" · ` "z") ⦂ (A ⇒ A) ⇒ A ⇒ A
where ∋s
and ∋z
abbreviate the two derivations,
 Z
"s" ≢ "z" Γ₁ ∋ "s" ⦂ A ⇒ A
 S  Z
Γ₂ ∋ "s" ⦂ A ⇒ A Γ₂ ∋ "z" ⦂ A
and where Γ₁ = Γ , "s" ⦂ A ⇒ A
and Γ₂ = Γ , "s" ⦂ A ⇒ A , "z" ⦂ A
.
The typing derivation is valid for any Γ
and A
, for instance,
we might take Γ
to be ∅
and A
to be `ℕ
.
Here is the above typing derivation formalised in Agda:
Ch : Type → Type Ch A = (A ⇒ A) ⇒ A ⇒ A ⊢twoᶜ : ∀ {Γ A} → Γ ⊢ twoᶜ ⦂ Ch A ⊢twoᶜ = ⊢ƛ (⊢ƛ (⊢` ∋s · (⊢` ∋s · ⊢` ∋z))) where ∋s = S ("s" ≠ "z") Z ∋z = Z
Here are the typings corresponding to computing two plus two:
⊢two : ∀ {Γ} → Γ ⊢ two ⦂ `ℕ ⊢two = ⊢suc (⊢suc ⊢zero) ⊢plus : ∀ {Γ} → Γ ⊢ plus ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ ⊢plus = ⊢μ (⊢ƛ (⊢ƛ (⊢case (⊢` ∋m) (⊢` ∋n) (⊢suc (⊢` ∋+ · ⊢` ∋m′ · ⊢` ∋n′))))) where ∋+ = (S ("+" ≠ "m") (S ("+" ≠ "n") (S ("+" ≠ "m") Z))) ∋m = (S ("m" ≠ "n") Z) ∋n = Z ∋m′ = Z ∋n′ = (S ("n" ≠ "m") Z) ⊢2+2 : ∅ ⊢ plus · two · two ⦂ `ℕ ⊢2+2 = ⊢plus · ⊢two · ⊢two
In contrast to our earlier examples, here we have typed two
and plus
in an arbitrary context rather than the empty context; this makes it easy
to use them inside other binding contexts as well as at the top level.
Here the two lookup judgments ∋m
and ∋m′
refer to two different
bindings of variables named "m"
. In contrast, the two judgments ∋n
and
∋n′
both refer to the same binding of "n"
but accessed in different
contexts, the first where “n” is the last binding in the context, and
the second after “m” is bound in the successor branch of the case.
And here are typings for the remainder of the Church example:
⊢plusᶜ : ∀ {Γ A} → Γ ⊢ plusᶜ ⦂ Ch A ⇒ Ch A ⇒ Ch A ⊢plusᶜ = ⊢ƛ (⊢ƛ (⊢ƛ (⊢ƛ (⊢` ∋m · ⊢` ∋s · (⊢` ∋n · ⊢` ∋s · ⊢` ∋z))))) where ∋m = S ("m" ≠ "z") (S ("m" ≠ "s") (S ("m" ≠ "n") Z)) ∋n = S ("n" ≠ "z") (S ("n" ≠ "s") Z) ∋s = S ("s" ≠ "z") Z ∋z = Z ⊢sucᶜ : ∀ {Γ} → Γ ⊢ sucᶜ ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ ⊢sucᶜ = ⊢ƛ (⊢suc (⊢` ∋n)) where ∋n = Z ⊢2+2ᶜ : ∅ ⊢ plusᶜ · twoᶜ · twoᶜ · sucᶜ · `zero ⦂ `ℕ ⊢2+2ᶜ = ⊢plusᶜ · ⊢twoᶜ · ⊢twoᶜ · ⊢sucᶜ · ⊢zero
Interaction with Agda
Construction of a type derivation may be done interactively. Start with the declaration:
⊢sucᶜ : ∅ ⊢ sucᶜ ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ
⊢sucᶜ = ?
Typing Cc Cl causes Agda to create a hole and tell us its expected type:
⊢sucᶜ = { }0
?0 : ∅ ⊢ sucᶜ ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ
Now we fill in the hole by typing Cc Cr. Agda observes that
the outermost term in sucᶜ
is ƛ
, which is typed using ⊢ƛ
. The
⊢ƛ
rule in turn takes one argument, which Agda leaves as a hole:
⊢sucᶜ = ⊢ƛ { }1
?1 : ∅ , "n" ⦂ `ℕ ⊢ `suc ` "n" ⦂ `ℕ
We can fill in the hole by typing Cc Cr again:
⊢sucᶜ = ⊢ƛ (⊢suc { }2)
?2 : ∅ , "n" ⦂ `ℕ ⊢ ` "n" ⦂ `ℕ
And again:
⊢suc′ = ⊢ƛ (⊢suc (⊢` { }3))
?3 : ∅ , "n" ⦂ `ℕ ∋ "n" ⦂ `ℕ
A further attempt with Cc Cr yields the message:
Don't know which constructor to introduce of Z or S
We can fill in Z
by hand. If we type Cc Cspace, Agda will confirm we are done:
⊢suc′ = ⊢ƛ (⊢suc (⊢` Z))
The entire process can be automated using Agsy, invoked with Cc Ca.
Chapter Inference will show how to use Agda to compute type derivations directly.
Lookup is injective
The lookup relation Γ ∋ x ⦂ A
is injective, in that for each Γ
and x
there is at most one A
such that the judgment holds:
∋injective : ∀ {Γ x A B} → Γ ∋ x ⦂ A → Γ ∋ x ⦂ B → A ≡ B ∋injective Z Z = refl ∋injective Z (S x≢ _) = ⊥elim (x≢ refl) ∋injective (S x≢ _) Z = ⊥elim (x≢ refl) ∋injective (S _ ∋x) (S _ ∋x′) = ∋injective ∋x ∋x′
The typing relation Γ ⊢ M ⦂ A
is not injective. For example, in any Γ
the term ƛ "x" ⇒ "x"
has type A ⇒ A
for any type A
.
Nonexamples
We can also show that terms are not typeable. For example, here is
a formal proof that it is not possible to type the term
`zero · `suc `zero
. It cannot be typed, because doing so
requires that the first term in the application is both a natural and
a function:
nope₁ : ∀ {A} → ¬ (∅ ⊢ `zero · `suc `zero ⦂ A) nope₁ (() · _)
As a second example, here is a formal proof that it is not possible to
type ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x" · ` "x"
. It cannot be typed, because
doing so requires types A
and B
such that A ⇒ B ≡ A
:
nope₂ : ∀ {A} → ¬ (∅ ⊢ ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "x" · ` "x" ⦂ A) nope₂ (⊢ƛ (⊢` ∋x · ⊢` ∋x′)) = contradiction (∋injective ∋x ∋x′) where contradiction : ∀ {A B} → ¬ (A ⇒ B ≡ A) contradiction ()
Quiz
For each of the following, give a type A
for which it is derivable,
or explain why there is no such A
.
∅ , "y" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ , "x" ⦂ `ℕ ⊢ ` "y" · ` "x" ⦂ A
∅ , "y" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ , "x" ⦂ `ℕ ⊢ ` "x" · ` "y" ⦂ A
∅ , "y" ⦂ `ℕ ⇒ `ℕ ⊢ ƛ "x" ⇒ ` "y" · ` "x" ⦂ A
For each of the following, give types A
, B
, and C
for which it is derivable,
or explain why there are no such types.
∅ , "x" ⦂ A ⊢ ` "x" · ` "x" ⦂ B
∅ , "x" ⦂ A , "y" ⦂ B ⊢ ƛ "z" ⇒ ` "x" · (` "y" · ` "z") ⦂ C
Exercise multype
(recommended)
Using the term mul
you defined earlier, write out the derivation
showing that it is well typed.
 Your code goes here
Exercise mulᶜtype
Using the term mulᶜ
you defined earlier, write out the derivation
showing that it is well typed.
 Your code goes here
Unicode
This chapter uses the following unicode:
⇒ U+21D2 RIGHTWARDS DOUBLE ARROW (\=>)
ƛ U+019B LATIN SMALL LETTER LAMBDA WITH STROKE (\Gl)
· U+00B7 MIDDLE DOT (\cdot)
— U+2014 EM DASH (\em)
↠ U+21A0 RIGHTWARDS TWO HEADED ARROW (\rr)
ξ U+03BE GREEK SMALL LETTER XI (\Gx or \xi)
β U+03B2 GREEK SMALL LETTER BETA (\Gb or \beta)
Γ U+0393 GREEK CAPITAL LETTER GAMMA (\GG or \Gamma)
≠ U+2260 NOT EQUAL TO (\=n or \ne)
∋ U+220B CONTAINS AS MEMBER (\ni)
∅ U+2205 EMPTY SET (\0)
⊢ U+22A2 RIGHT TACK (\vdash or \)
⦂ U+2982 Z NOTATION TYPE COLON (\:)
😇 U+1F607 SMILING FACE WITH HALO
😈 U+1F608 SMILING FACE WITH HORNS
We compose reduction —→
from an em dash —
and an arrow →
.
Similarly for reflexive and transitive closure —↠
.