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Title: Automatic translation of scene description languages
Author: Clark, D. P.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2006
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This work presents a novel approach to translation, targeted in particular towards the translation of graphical scene description languages. A new approach to automatic language translation has been proposed. It is based on the concept of using an Independent Stylesheet for the specification of each language concerned in terms of lexis, syntax and semantics, and using a Generic Translator to perform translation between two languages according mainly to the corresponding stylesheets. This new approach is called Independent Stylesheet Language Translation (ISLT). The ISLT approach focuses on a class of translation problems, where accurate mapping between two languages cannot be fully accomplished. For instance, such a scenario is common among graphical scene description languages. Therefore, the aim of translation is to achieve a close semantic approximation of the source program in a target language, and that the approximation is syntactically correct with respect to a declared stylesheet of the target language. A generic software architecture for ISLT has been proposed, which consists of three main phases, namely Extraction, Transformation and Reconstruction. The Extraction phase involves the automatic generation of a parser based on the stylesheet of a source language, and the parser is then used to decompose a program, in the source language into an abstract program in the form of a Program Component List. The Transformation phase involves a series of iterative mapping process, supported by a Generic Mapping Thesaurus, for the transformation of an abstract program related to the source language, to that related to the target language. The Reconstruction phase utilises XSLT for the construction of a program in the target language based on an abstract program. A domain-specific implementation of ISLT, called Graphical Anamorphic Language Environment (GALE), has been developed for the translation of graphical scene description languages. Three example languages have been considered, and the results have demonstrated the technical feasibility and scalability of the proposed approach. The ISLT approach does not suffer from the huge cost of direct translation based approaches or the restriction on functionality and program content imposed upon by the use of an intermediary language. Furthermore, the semantic approximation in translation helps retain programmatic intent. It is believed that, in the long term, the ISLT approach is more cost-effective than the traditional approaches of direct translation and intermediate translation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available