A rewriting logic approach to operational semantics

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Abstract

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 newdefinitional styles. © 2009 Published by Elsevier Inc.

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Serbanuta, T. F., Roşu, G., & Meseguera, J. (2009). A rewriting logic approach to operational semantics. In Information and Computation (Vol. 207, pp. 305–340). Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ic.2008.03.026

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