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A rewriting logic approach to operational semantics. (English) Zbl 1165.68041

Summary: This paper shows how Rewriting Logic Semantics (RLS) can be used as a computational logic framework for operational semantic definitions of programming languages. Several operational semantics styles are addressed: big-step and small-step Structural Operational Semantics (SOS), modular SOS, reduction semantics with evaluation contexts, continuation-based semantics, and the chemical abstract machine. Each of these language definitional styles can be faithfully captured as an RLS theory, in the sense that there is a one-to-one correspondence between computational steps in the original language definition and computational steps in the corresponding RLS theory. A major goal of this paper is to show that RLS does not force or pre-impose any given language definitional style, and that its flexibility and ease of use makes RLS an appealing framework for exploring new definitional styles.

MSC:

68Q55 Semantics in the theory of computing
03B70 Logic in computer science
68Q42 Grammars and rewriting systems
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