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ICFP 2020
Sun 23 - Sat 29 August 2020

Focusing is a technique from proof theory that exploits type information to prune inessential nondeterminism from proof search procedures. Viewed through the lens of the Curry-Howard correspondence, a focused typing derivation yields terms in normal form. This paper explores how to exploit focusing for reasoning about contextual equivalences and full abstraction. We present a focused polymorphic call-by-push-value calculus and prove a computational completeness result: for every well-typed term, there exists a focused term that is βη-equivalent to it. This completeness result yields a powerful way to refine the context lemmas for establishing contextual equivalences, cutting down the set that must be considered to just focused contexts. The paper demonstrates the application of focusing to establish program equivalences, including free theorems. It also uses focusing to prove full abstraction of a translation of the pure, total call-by-push-value language into a language with divergence and simple effect types, yielding a novel solution to a simple-to-state, but hitherto difficult to solve problem.