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We present a point of view concerning HOAS(Higher-Order Abstract Syntax) and an extensive exercise in HOAS along this point of view. The point of view is that HOAS can be soundly and fruitfully regarded as a definitional extension on top of FOAS (First-Order Abstract Syntax). As such, HOAS is not only an encoding technique, but also a higher-order view of a first-order reality. A rich collection of concepts and proof principles is developed inside the standard mathematical universe to give technical life to this point of view. The exercise consists of a new proof of Strong Normalization for System F. The concepts and results presented here have been formalized in the theorem prover Isabelle/HOL.
Date of Conference: 11-14 July 2010