Bidirectional Programming and its Applications

Wang, Meng (2011) Bidirectional Programming and its Applications. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Oxford. (Full text available)

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Abstract

Many problems in programming involve pairs of computations that cancel out each other’s effects; some examples include parsing/printing, embed- ding/projection, marshalling/unmarshalling, compressing/de-compressing etc. To avoid duplication of effort, the paradigm of bidirectional programming aims at to allow the programmer to write a single program that expresses both computations. Despite being a promising idea, existing studies mainly focus on the view-update problem in databases and its variants; and the impact of bidirectional programming has not reached the wider community. The goal of this thesis is to demonstrate, through concrete language designs and case studies, the relevance of bidirectional programming, in areas of computer science that have not been previously explored. In this thesis, we will argue for the importance of bidirectional programming in programming language design and compiler implementation. As evidence for this, we will propose a technique for incremental refactoring, which relies for its correctness on a bidirectional language and its properties, and devise a framework for implementing program transformations, with bidirectional properties that allow program analyses to be carried out in the transformed program, and have the results reported in the source program. Our applications of bidirectional programming to new areas bring up fresh challenges. This thesis also reflects on the challenges, and studies their impact to the design of bidirectional systems. We will review various design goals, including expressiveness, robustness, updatability, efficiency and easy of use, and show how certain choices, especially regarding updatability, can have significant influence on the effectiveness of bidirectional systems.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing > Programming Languages and Systems Group
Depositing User: Meng Wang
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2016 20:32 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2017 15:08 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/55795 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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