PolyAML: A polymorphic aspect-oriented functional programming language

Daniel S. Dantas, David Walker, Geoffrey Washburn, Stephanie Weirich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Scopus citations


This paper defines PolyAML, a typed functional, aspect-oriented programming language. The main contribution of PolyAML is the seamless integration of polymorphism, run-time type analysis and aspect-oriented programming language features. In particular, PolyAML allows programmers to define type-safe polymorphic advice using pointcuts constructed from a collection of polymorphic join points. PolyAML also comes equipped with a type inference algorithm that conservatively extends Hindley-Milner type inference. To support first-class polymorphic point-cut designators, a crucial feature for developing aspect-oriented profiling or logging libraries, the algorithm blends the conventional Hindley-Milner type inference algorithm with a simple form of local type inference. We give our language operational meaning via a type-directed translation into an expressive type-safe intermediate language. Many complexities of the source language are eliminated in this translation, leading to a modular specification of its semantics. One of the novelties of the intermediate language is the definition of polymorphic labels for marking control-flow points. These labels are organized in a tree structure such that a parent in the tree serves as a representative for all of its children. Type safety requires that the type of each child is less polymorphic than its parent type. Similarly, when a set of labels is assembled as a pointcut, the type of each label is an instance of the type of the pointcut.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationICFP 2005 - Proceedings of the 10th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2005
Event10th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming, ICFP 2005 - Tallinn, Estonia
Duration: Sep 26 2005Sep 28 2005

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming, ICFP


Other10th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming, ICFP 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software


  • Ad-hoc polymorphism
  • Aspects-oriented programming
  • Functional programming
  • Type inference
  • Type systems


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