Re: Semantics Tools

Dave Berry <>
Wed, 26 Aug 1992 15:15:40 GMT

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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: Dave Berry <>
Organization: Laboratory for the Foundations of Computer Science, Edinburgh U
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1992 15:15:40 GMT
References: 92-08-114 92-08-153
Keywords: parse, optimize, semantics

We've done some work on producing tools from operational semantics. In
our case we've looked at debuggers (which are harder than compilers). In
my thesis I looked at the definition of evaluation step in terms of
operational semantics, and described a system that generated animating
interpreters from an operational semantics. Fabio da Silva is just
completing his thesis on another, more rigorous, approach. He includes an
algorithm from generating a deterministic semantics from a certain class
of non-deterministic semantics.

Both our systems require some form of determinacy restriction on the
semantics. I distinguish between a truly operational semantics, and one
written in the natural semantics style but that doesn't have an immediate
operational interpretation.

Unfortunately neither of us have published much. I just haven't had the
time since completing my thesis. We hope to produce a joint paper
sometime. As yet this is still theoretical work, but something may come
of it someday.



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