Ott: Effective Tool Support for the Working Semanticist

Sewell, Peter and Zappa Nardelli, Francesco and Owens, Scott and Peskine, Gilles and Ridge, Thomas and Sarkar, Susmit and Strniša, Rok (2010) Ott: Effective Tool Support for the Working Semanticist. Journal of Functional Programming, 20 (1). pp. 71-122. ISSN 0956-7968. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0956796809990293

Abstract

Semantic definitions of full-scale programming languages are rarely given, despite the many potential benefits. Partly this is because the available metalanguages for expressing semantics – usually either for informal mathematics or the formal mathematics of a proof assistant – make it much harder than necessary to work with large definitions. We present a metalanguage specifically designed for this problem, and a tool, Ott, that sanity-checks such definitions and compiles them into proof assistant code for Coq, HOL, and Isabelle/HOL, together with code for production-quality typesetting, and OCaml boilerplate. The main innovations are (1) metalanguage design to make definitions concise, and easy to read and edit; (2) an expressive but intuitive metalanguage for specifying binding structures; and (3) compilation to proof assistant code. This has been tested in substantial case studies, including modular specifications of calculi from the TAPL text, a Lightweight Java with Java JSR 277/294 module system proposals, and a large fragment of OCaml (OCamllight, 310 rules), with mechanised proofs of various soundness results. Our aim with this work is to enable a phase change: making it feasible to work routinely, without heroic effort, with rigorous semantic definitions of realistic languages.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Computing > Programming Languages and Systems Group
Depositing User: Scott Owens
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2012 10:19
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2013 12:17
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/31902 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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