This small interlude post is not about Coq nor CFML: I present a data structure from Okasaki’s Purely functional data structures, implemented in OCaml.
It comes as a preliminary explanation for an incoming formalization of it in CFML (see next post), including an complexity analysis!
In a recent paper, Arthur Charguéraud and François Pottier present a formal proof of an OCaml implementation of Tarjan’s union-find algorithm. The proof covers two aspects: first, functional correctness (“the algorithm is correct”), but also asymptotic complexity. For example, one of the results of the paper is that the
link function runs in \(O(α(n))\) elementary steps, \(α\) being the inverse of the Ackermann function.
Actually, the complexity results of the paper are not presented using the “big-O” notation, commonly used in asymptotic complexity proofs: the various constants are explicit and manipulated through the proof.
In these blog posts (current, interlude and final), I’ll describe a tentative extension of CFML, the Coq library François and Arthur used for their proof. Its goal is to enable asymptotic reasoning, big-O notations and such to be used to prove complexity of programs.