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“Universe Types for Topology and Encapsulation” by D. Cunningham, W. Dietl, S. Drossopoulou, A. Francalanza, P. Müller, and A. J. Summers. In Formal Methods for Components and Objects (FMCO), (F. S. de Boer, M. M. Bonsangue, S. Graf, and W.-P. de Roever, eds.), Dec. 2008, pp. 72-112.


The Universe Type System is an ownership type system for object-oriented programming languages that hierarchically structures the object store; it is used to reason modularly about programs.

We formalise Universe Types for a core subset of Java in two steps: We first define a Topological Type System that structures the object store hierarchically into an ownership tree, and demonstrate soundness of the Topological Type System by proving subject reduction. Motivated by concerns of modular verification, we then present an Encapsulation Type System that enforces the owner-as-modifier discipline; that is, that object updates are initiated by the owner of the object.

The contributions of this paper are, firstly, an extensive type-theoretic account of the Universe Type System, with explanations and complete proofs, and secondly, the clean separation of the topological from the encapsulation concerns.

Keywords: UT

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BibTeX entry:

   author = {D. Cunningham and W. Dietl and S. Drossopoulou and A.
        Francalanza and P. M{"u}ller and A. J. Summers},
   editor = {F. S. de Boer and M. M. Bonsangue and S. Graf and W.-P. de
   title = {{Universe Types for Topology and Encapsulation}},
   booktitle = {Formal Methods for Components and Objects (FMCO)},
   series = {Lecture Notes in Computer Science},
   month = dec,

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