Lookup NU author(s): Professor Cliff Jones
One of the earliest approaches to giving formal semantics for programming languages was ``operational semantics''. Enthusiasm for this approach has waxed and waned. The main objective of this paper is to tease apart some concepts involved in writing such operational descriptions and (as separately as possible) to discuss useful notations. A subsidiary observation is that ``formal methods'' will only be used when their cost-benefit balance is positive. Here, learning mathematical ideas that are likely to be unfamiliar to educated software engineers must be considered as a cost; the benefit must be found in understanding, manipulating and recording ideas that are important in software.
Author(s): Jones CB
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Information Processing Letters
ISSN (print): 0020-0190
ISSN (electronic): 1872-6119
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Notes: Paper presented at the 2003 ETAPS-WMT conference to honour Professor W.M. Turski's Contribution to Computing Science on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday - held at Warsaw, Poland, 5-13 April 2003.
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