In type theory, a refinement type is a type endowed with a predicate which is assumed to hold for any element of the refined type. Refinement types can express preconditions when used as function arguments or postconditions when used as return types: for instance, the type of a function which accepts natural numbers and returns natural numbers greater than 5 may be written as . Refinement types are thus related to behavioral subtyping.
The concept of refinement types was first introduced in Freeman and Pfenning's 1991 Refinement types for ML , which presents a type system for a subset of Standard ML. The type system "preserves the decidability of ML's type inference" whilst still "allowing more errors to be detected at compile-time". In more recent times, refinement type systems have been developed for languages such as Haskell, TypeScript and Scala.
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- Vazou, Niki. Liquid Haskell: Refinement Types for Haskell. The 45th ACM SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages (POPL 2018).
- Panagiotis, Vekris; Cosman, Benjamin; Jhala, Ranjit (2016). "Refinement types for TypeScript". Proceedings of the 37th ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation. pp. 310–325. arXiv:1604.02480. doi:10.1145/2908080.2908110.