By Peter D. Mosses
Motion Semantics is a singular method of the formal description of programming languages. Its abstractness is at an intermediate point, among that of denotational and operational semantics. motion Semantics has substantial pragmatic benefits over all past techniques, in its comprehensibility and accessibility, and particularly within the usefulness of its semantic descriptions of reasonable programming languages. during this quantity, Dr Peter Mosses offers a radical advent to motion semantics, and gives vast illustrations of its use. Graduates of machine technology or maths who've an curiosity within the semantics of programming languages will locate motion Semantics a such a lot valuable booklet.
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Extra resources for Action Semantics
Each equation defines the semantics of a particular sort of phrase in terms of the semantics of its components, if any, using constants and operations for constructing semantic entities. The required compositionality of semantic functions is generally apparent from the semantic equations. Mathematically, a set of semantic equations is simply an inductive definition of maps from syntax to semantics. Those familiar with algebraic semantics may understand the equations as a presentation of a target algebra; then the unique homomorphism to the target algebra from the initial algebra of abstract syntax corresponds to the semantic functions.
We may choose to specify a module gradually, by giving several incomplete specifications which, when combined, form the complete module. For clarity, the later specifications should explicitly indicate that a previous module with the same title is being continued. For instance, we may give an incomplete module that introduces some notation—and perhaps specifies its most essential properties—deferring the detailed definitions to an appendix where the module is completed. A similar effect could be achieved using extra submodules, but the accompanying specification of dependencies becomes a bit tedious on a large scale.
1 provides a simple illustration of abstract syntax, and explains how to specify the structure of abstract syntax trees using grammars. 3 Context-Sensitive Syntax Context-/ree syntax deals with those aspects of structure that can be described by context-free grammars, such as those written in the popular BNF formalism. Aspects which fall outside context-free syntax are called context-sensitive and include 'declaration of identifiers before use' and 'well-typedness of expressions'. Characteristic for them is that they involve a kind of matching between distant parts of programs that is inherently more complex than mere 'parenthesis-matching'.
Action Semantics by Peter D. Mosses