An operational approach to semantics and translation for programming languages
The problems of semantics and translation for concurrent programming languages are studied in this thesis. A structural operational approach is introduced to specify the semantics of parallelism and communication. Using this approach, semantics for the concurrent programming languages CSP (Hoare's Communicating Sequential Processes), multitasking and exception handling in Ada, Brinch-Hansen's Edison and CCS (Milner's Calculus of Communicating Systems) are defined and some of their properties are studied. An operational translation theory for concurrent programming languages is given. The concept of the correctness of a translation is formalised, the problem of composing transitions is studied and a composition theorem is proved. A set of sufficient conditions for proving the correctness of a translation is given. A syntax-directed translation from CSP to CCS is given and proved correct. Through this example the proof techniques of this approach is demonstrated. Finally, as an application of operational semantics and translation, a proposal for implementing multitasking in Ada is given via a two-step syntax-directed translation.