First Class Overloading via Insersection Type Parameters

Elton CardosoCarlos CamarãoLucilia Figueiredo

The Hindley-Milner type system imposes the restriction that function parameters must have monomorphic types. Lifting this restriction and providing system F "first class" polymorphism is clearly desirable, but comes with the difficulty that inference of types for system F is undecidable. More practical type systems incorporating types of higher-rank have recently been proposed, that rely on system F but require type annotations for the definition of functions with polymorphic type parameters. However, these type annotations inevitably disallow some possible uses of higher-rank functions. To avoid this problem and to promote code reuse, we explore using intersection types for specifying the types of function parameters that are used polymorphically inside the function body, allowing a flexible use of such functions, on applications to both polymorphic or overloaded arguments.

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