Abstract Semantics

Researchers: Adam Cataldo
Eleftherios Matsikoudis
Haiyang Zheng
Advisor:Edward A. Lee

In the abstract semantics project, we study formal models of computation which express concurrency. We call the semantics abstract because we may express models in a high-level framework; that is, we may abstract away certain details in our models. In large-scale system design, different models of computation will be used at different levels of the hierarchy of a system. We thus concern ourselves with the interaction of models of computation across hierarchies.

To support hierarchical systems, we need to understand how we can compose models which require state rollback with those that do not. Models which require rollback include continuous time models, like Simulink, and hybrid system models. We seek an operational semantics for such interacting systems.

We also seek a denotational semantics for timed discrete-event programming languages, to provide a means for reasoning about the correctness of the individual languages, like VHDL and DEVS. We hope this will allow hidden commonalities of seemingly different timed systems to emerge.

Along these lines, we are studying extensions to dataflow to provide an operational semantics for timed models. This may allow us to extend domain-theoretic results in a meaningful way within this denotational framework.

Last updated 10/17/05