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Evaluators

Evaluators are sets of constraints logically grouped together. The primary purpose of evaluators is to increase modularity and readability of AirScript code.

Defining evaluators

An evaluator consists of a declaration which specifies evaluator metadata and a body which contains descriptions of integrity constraints.

Evaluator declaration starts with the ev keyword, followed by the name of the evaluator, parameter declarations, and a semicolon. For example:

ev foo([a, b, c], [p]):

An evaluator name must:

  • Be a string consisting of alpha-numeric characters and underscores.
  • Start with a letter.
  • Be unique among the evaluators declared in and imported by a module.

Evaluator parameters define an evaluator’s view into the execution trace. Specifically, they define the set of columns in the main and the auxiliary trace segments the evaluator can access. For example, the evaluator declared above can access 3 columns of the main trace segment (which can be referenced as a, b, and c), and 1 column in the auxiliary trace segment (which can be referenced as p).

If an evaluator needs to access only the main trace segment, we can omit the parameters for the auxiliary trace segment. For example:

ev bar([a, b, c]):

If, however, an evaluator needs to access only the auxiliary trace segments, we must define the main trace segment parameters as an empty set like so:

ev baz([], [p]):

An evaluator body must contain at least one integrity constraint. For example:

ev foo([a, b]):
    enf a' = a + b

In general, an evaluator body may contain any set of expressions allowed in the integrity constraints section subject to the following caveats:

  • Evaluators can access only the trace columns defined via its parameters.
  • Evaluators can access only constants and periodic columns defined in the same module.
  • Evaluators can access random values defined in the root module.

Evaluators can be declared anywhere in a module, but usually are declared towards the end of the module.

Using evaluators

An evaluator defined in a module or imported from a different module can be invoked via the enf keyword. For example (public inputs and boundary constraints omitted for brevity):

trace_columns:
    main: [a, b]

integrity_constraints:
    enf foo([a, b])

ev foo([x, y]):
    enf x' = x + y

In the above example, evaluator foo is invoked using trace columns a and b, but notice that within the evaluator we refer to these columns by different names (specifically, x and y respectively). The above example is equivalent to:

trace_columns:
    main: [a, b]

integrity_constraints:
    enf a' = a + b

That is, we can think of evaluators as being inlined at their call sites.

Evaluators can be invoked multiple times. For example:

trace_columns:
    main: [a, b, c]

integrity_constraints:
    enf foo([a, b])
    enf foo([c, a])

ev foo([x, y]):
    enf x' = x + y

This is equivalent to:

trace_columns:
    main: [a, b, c]

integrity_constraints:
    enf a' = a + b
    enf c' = c + a

Evaluators can also invoke other evaluators. For example:

trace_columns:
    main: [a, b]

integrity_constraints:
    enf foo([a, b])

ev foo([x, y]):
    enf x' = x + y
    enf bar([y, x])

ev bar([x, y]):
    enf x' = x * y

The above is equivalent to:

trace_columns:
    main: [a, b]

integrity_constraints:
    enf a' = a + b
    enf b' = b * a

In conditional constraints

Evaluators can also be used in conditional constraints. The combination of evaluator and selector syntax is especially powerful as it enables describing complex constraints in a simple and modular way.


Last update: December 15, 2023
Authors: kmurphypolygon