[m-dev.] not_reached inst

Simon Taylor staylr at gmail.com
Thu Apr 12 00:12:56 AEST 2007

On 11-Apr-2007, Ian MacLarty <maclarty at csse.unimelb.edu.au> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 11, 2007 at 02:43:31PM +1000, Simon Taylor wrote:
> > On 11-Apr-2007, Ian MacLarty <maclarty at csse.unimelb.edu.au> wrote:
> > > I've been reading David Overton's PHD thesis and discovered the not_reached
> > > inst.
> > > 
> > > I would find it useful to use this inst in some Mercury code that is being
> > > automatically generated.  The not_reached insts is however not documented
> > > anywhere in the reference manual.  Could we make the not_reached inst
> > > "official" by documenting it in the reference manual?  Are there any problems
> > > with using the not_reached inst in Mercury programs?
> > 
> > In what context do you want to use not_reached insts?  What would the
> > documented behaviour be?
> What I want is the inst bound({}) (where {} is the empty set) which, according
> to Overton's PhD, is what not_reached is defined as.
> Now it may be the case that class d is empty (perhaps because no members of d
> have been added to the ontology yet).  In this case I'd like to be able to
> generate the inst:
> :- inst d == not_reached.
> but still have the same modes as above, so that developers could write
> and compile code using the d inst (even though no procedures that used
> the d inst could ever be called).

OK, allowing `not_reached' or some way to write `bound(unique, [])' in user
code is probably a reasonable way to deal with this, but it hasn't been well
tested.  I'm not sure that the compiler will handle it correctly because of
the assumption that not_reached insts only occur after a goal that cannot
succeed.  For example, inst_util.abstractly_unify_inst gives the unification
of a not_reached inst with anything a determinism of `det', where it should
probably be `failure'.

	:- module inst_test.
	:- interface.
	:- type abc ---> a ; b ; c.

	:- pred p(abc, abc, abc).
	:- mode p(in(not_reached), in, out) is nondet.

	:- implementation.
	:- import_module std_util.

	p(X, Y, Z) :- X = Y, Z = a.

inst_test.m:008: In `p'(in(not_reached), in, out):
inst_test.m:008:   warning: determinism declaration could be tighter.
inst_test.m:008:   Declared `nondet', inferred `det'.

A hack that might give you what you want without any change is to use a
constructor in the bound inst that isn't valid for the type (e.g. bound([])
for this example).  That should be illegal but currently the compiler doesn't

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