Major Section: SWITCHES-PARAMETERS-AND-MODES
Detailed comments about the arguments of this function may be found
elsewhere: see guard-evaluation-table. Here we provide an introduction to
the use of
New users are encouraged to execute one of the following forms in order to avoid evaluation errors due to guards:
(set-guard-checking :none) (set-guard-checking nil)The former avoids all guard-checking on user-defined functions and should generally work fine for new users, the only drawback being efficiency loss on compute-intensive problems. All settings other than
:nonecheck guards, but a value of
nilallows evaluation to continue in the logic when guards fail (avoiding the raw Lisp definition in that case).
You may put one of the above forms in the
file in your current directory (see cbd) or your home directory;
Note that guards are not part of the ACL2 logic, and hence new users can
completely ignore the notion of guard (and the rest of this
documentation section after this paragraph!). For example,
(car 3) and
nil can be proved equal in the ACL2 logic, as follows, even though the
car requires its first argument to be a
(thm (equal (car 3) nil))Moreover, unless your functions or top-level forms call built-in ACL2 functions that are defined in
programmode, the following property will hold.
(set-guard-checking :none)will allow evaluation of forms such as
(car 3)to take place without error in the top level loop, not only when proving theorems.
If you feel bold, then you may wish to read the rest of this documentation topic; also see guard.
See guard-evaluation-table for a succinct table, with associated discussion, that covers in detail the material presented in the rest of the present topic.
The top-level ACL2 loop has a variable which controls which sense of
execution is provided. To turn ``guard checking on,'' by which we mean
that guards are checked at runtime, execute the top-level form
:set-guard-checking t. To allow guard violations, do
:set-guard-checking nil, or do
:set-guard-checking :none to turn off
all guard-checking, so that raw Lisp definitions of user-defined functions
are avoided unless their guard is
t. The status of guard-checking is
reflected in the prompt.
ACL2 !>means guard checking is on and
ACL2 >means guard checking is off. The exclamation mark can be thought of as ``barring'' certain computations. The absence of the mark suggests the absence of error messages or unbarred access to the logical axioms. Thus, for example
ACL2 !>(car 'abc)will signal an error, while
ACL2 >(car 'abc)will return
We will return at the end of this documentation topic to discuss two other
:set-guard-checking. We also note
that evaluation of built-in
:program mode functions always takes place in
Whether guards are checked during evaluation is independent of the
default-defun-mode. We note this simply because it is easy to
program mode'' with ``evaluation in Common Lisp'' and
thus with ``guard checking on;'' and it is easy to confuse
logic mode'' with ``evaluation in the logic'' and with ``guard
checking off.'' But the
default-defun-mode determines whether
newly submitted definitions introduce programs or add logical
axioms. That mode is independent of whether evaluation checks
guards or not. You can operate in
logic mode with runtime guard
checking on or off. Analogously, you can operate in
mode with runtime guard checking on or off.
For further discussion on evaluation and guards see guards-and-evaluation, in particular the exception for safe-mode in the ``Aside'' there. See guard for a general discussion of guards.
Now we fulfill our promise above to discuss two other values for
:set-guard-checking :nowarn :set-guard-checking :allThe meaning of these values is perhaps best described by the following example provided by David Rager.
ACL2 !>(defun my-test (expr) (declare (xargs :guard (true-listp expr) :verify-guards nil)) (if (atom expr) expr (cons (my-test (car expr)) (my-test (cdr expr)))))If you think about evaluation of
The admission of MY-TEST is trivial, using the relation O< (which is known to be well-founded on the domain recognized by O-P) and the measure (ACL2-COUNT EXPR). We could deduce no constraints on the type of MY- TEST. However, in normalizing the definition we used primitive type reasoning.
Summary Form: ( DEFUN MY-TEST ...) Rules: ((:FAKE-RUNE-FOR-TYPE-SET NIL)) Warnings: None Time: 0.01 seconds (prove: 0.00, print: 0.00, other: 0.01) MY-TEST ACL2 !>(my-test '(a b c))
ACL2 Warning [Guards] in TOP-LEVEL: Guard-checking will be inhibited on recursive calls of the executable counterpart (i.e., in the ACL2 logic) of MY-TEST. To check guards on all recursive calls: (set-guard-checking :all) To leave behavior unchanged except for inhibiting this message: (set-guard-checking :nowarn)
(A B C) ACL2 !>
(my-test '(a b c)), you will see that it leads to the recursive call
(my-test 'a), which one might expect to cause a guard violation since the symbol
ais not a
true-listp. However, as the warning above explains, we do not by default check guards on recursive calls. The reason is efficiency -- imagine a simple definition with a guard that is slow to evaluate. The values
:set-guard-checkinghave been introduced as ways of dealing with the above warning. The value
:nowarnsimply turns off the warning above. The value
:allcauses all guards to be checked, even on recursive calls and even on all calls of non-built-in
programmode functions -- unless, of course, a call is made of a function whose guard has been verified (see verify-guards), where the arguments satisfy the guard, in which case the corresponding call is made in raw Lisp without subsidiary guard-checking. We still say that ``guard-checking is on'' after
:set-guard-checkingis invoked with values
:all, otherwise (after value
nil) we say ``guard-checking is off.
For technical reasons,
:all does not have its advertised effect in the
case of built-in
program-mode functions. If you are interested in
this technical detail, see the comment ``In the boot-strap world...'' in
We conclude with a remark about the use of
experimenting with ACL2 as a logic or as a programming language. If one
views ACL2 as a logic, one may wish to use
while if instead one views ACL2 as a functional programming language, one may
wish to use
:set-guard-checking :all. The following transcript
illustrates this distinction by way of example. Specifically,
(car 3) is
nil in the ACL2 logic, but may be viewed as a programming
error. The default of
:set-guard-checking t is problematic for learning
program mode functions, since one can get raw Lisp
errors. In the example below, the raw Lisp error occurs because
implicitly has a guard of
(foo 3) is evaluated in raw
Lisp, which leads to a raw Lisp call of c[(car 3)].
ACL2 !>(defun foo (x) (declare (xargs :mode :program)) (car x))
Summary Form: ( DEFUN FOO ...) Rules: NIL Warnings: None Time: 0.01 seconds (prove: 0.00, print: 0.00, other: 0.01) FOO ACL2 !>(foo 3) Error: Attempt to take the car of 3 which is not listp. [condition type: TYPE-ERROR]
Restart actions (select using :continue): 0: Abort entirely from this (lisp) process. [Current process: Initial Lisp Listener]  ACL2(1): [RAW LISP] :pop ACL2 !>:set-guard-checking :none
Turning off guard checking entirely. To allow execution in raw Lisp for functions with guards other than T, while continuing to mask guard violations, :SET-GUARD-CHECKING NIL. See :DOC set-guard-checking.
ACL2 >(foo 3) NIL ACL2 >:set-guard-checking :all
Turning guard checking on, value :ALL.
ACL2 !>(foo 3)
ACL2 Error in TOP-LEVEL: The guard for the function symbol CAR, which is (OR (CONSP X) (EQUAL X NIL)), is violated by the arguments in the call (CAR 3). See :DOC trace for a useful debugging utility. See :DOC set-guard-checking for information about suppressing this check with (set-guard-checking :none), as recommended for new users.