Handlers of Algebraic Effects

Gordon Plotkin, Matija Pretnar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present an algebraic treatment of exception handlers and, more generally, introduce handlers for other computational effects representable by an algebraic theory. These include nondeterminism, interactive input/output, concurrency, state, time, and their combinations; in all cases the computation monad is the free-model monad of the theory. Each such handler corresponds to a model of the theory for the effects at hand. The handling construct, which applies a handler to a computation, is based on the one introduced by Benton and Kennedy, and is interpreted using the homomorphism induced by the universal property of the free model. This general construct can be used to describe previously unrelated concepts from both theory and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgramming Languages and Systems
Subtitle of host publication18th European Symposium on Programming, ESOP 2009, Held as Part of the Joint European Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2009, York, UK, March 22-29, 2009. Proceedings
EditorsGiuseppe Castagna
PublisherSpringer-Verlag GmbH
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-00589-3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
PublisherSpringer Berlin / Heidelberg
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

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