Author's Final Manuscript
Parametric polymorphism is one of the lynchpins of modern typed programming. A function that can work seamlessly over a variety of types simplifies code, helps to avoid errors introduced through duplication, and and is easy to maintain. However, polymorphism comes at a very real cost, one that each language with support for polymorphism has paid in different ways. This paper describes this cost, proposes a theoretically simple way to reason about the cost—that kinds, not types, are calling conventions—and details one approach to dealing with polymorphism that works in the context of a language, Haskell, that prizes both efficiency and a principled type system.
This approach, levity polymorphism, allows the user to abstract over calling conventions; we detail and verify restrictions that are necessary in order to compile levity-polymorphic functions. Lev- ity polymorphism has opened up surprising new opportunities for library design in Haskell.
Eisenberg, Richard A. and Peyton Jones, Simon, "Levity Polymorphism (extended version)" (2017). Computer Science Faculty Research and Scholarship. 79.