Time and Location

  • Date: Wednesday, December 13
  • Time: 11:15 AM-12:15 PM
  • Location: Luddy Hall 1106 (BLIF-1106) “Dorsey Hall Auditorium”


(joint work with David Chiang and Colin McDonald)

Recursive calls over recursive data are useful for generating probability distributions, and probabilistic programming allows computations over these distributions to be expressed in a modular and intuitive way. Exact inference is also useful, but unfortunately, existing probabilistic programming languages do not perform exact inference on recursive calls over recursive data, forcing programmers to code many applications manually. We introduce a probabilistic language in which a wide variety of recursion can be expressed naturally, and inference carried out exactly. For instance, probabilistic pushdown automata and their generalizations are easy to express, and polynomial-time parsing algorithms for them are derived automatically. We eliminate recursive data types using program transformations related to defunctionalization and refunctionalization. These transformations are assured correct by a linear type system, and a successful choice of transformations, if there is one, is guaranteed to be found by a greedy algorithm.