Complete and Decidable Type Inference for GADTs

Tom Schrijvers, Simon Peyton Jones, Martin Sulzmann and Dimitrios Vytiniotis

The 14th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming (ICFP 2009)
Edinburgh, Scotland, 31st August - 2nd September 2009


GADTs have proven to be an invaluable language extension, a.o. for ensuring data invariants and program correctness. Unfortunately, they pose a tough problem for type inference: we lose the principal-type property, which is necessary for modular type inference.

We present a novel and simplified type inference approach for local type assumptions from GADT pattern matches. Our approach is complete and decidable, while more liberal than previous such approaches.

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