LDTA 2004 Proceedings


The entire proceedings as a tgz file.


TXL - A Language for Programming Language Tools and Applications. Jim Cordy

TXL is a special-purpose programming language designed for creating, manipulating and rapidly prototyping language descriptions, tools and applications. TXL is designed to allow explicit programmer control over the interpretation, application, order and backtracking of both parsing and rewriting rules. Using first order functional programming at the higher level and term rewriting at the lower level, TXL provides for flexible programming of traversals, strategies, guards, scope of application and parameterized context. This flexibility has allowed TXL users to express and experiment with both new ideas in parsing, such as robust, island and agile parsing, and new paradigms in rewriting, such as XML markup, rewriting strategies and contextualized rules, without any change to TXL itself. In this paper I outline the history, evolution and concepts of TXL with emphasis on what makes it different from other language manipulation tools, and give examples of its use in expressing and applying recent new paradigms in language processing.

Key words: source transformation, term rewriting, grammars

Using Off-the-Shelf Formal Methods to Verify Attribute Grammar Properties. Shirley Goldrei and Anthony Sloane

Attribute Grammars are the specification language of many tools that automatically generate programming language implementations. We consider the problem of verifying properties of attribute grammar specifications, particularly properties that are not well supported by existing tools. Rather than propose methods for extending existing tool implementation techniques, we propose the use of off-the-shelf formal methods tools as the basis for attribute grammar verification. Off-the-shelf tools can provide significant expressive power at a much lower cost than extending an existing evaluator generator. As a specific example, we describe how to use the Alloy model finding and checking tool to verify properties of remote attribution constructs in the LIDO attribute grammar specification language. A naive application of this approach has significant performance overheads; we discuss techniques for limiting the scope of the problems that are solved to make the approach tractable.

Key words: Compiler generation, attribute grammars, formal methods, software verification.

Model Checking Multithreaded Programs by Means of Reduced Models. Sara Gradara, Antonella Santone, Gigliola Vaglini, Maria Luisa Villani

Java is largely used to develop distributed and concurrent systems, but testing multithreaded systems cannot guarantee the quality of the software; in contrast, verification techniques give us a higher confidence about the system and, among these, model checking methods automatically establish properties of complex systems. Such techniques are usually applied to specification languages, and several environments exist to verify temporal properties of concurrent specifications. In this paper we present an attempt to apply model checking techniques for verifying a subset of multithreaded Java programs. In particular, we use a tool based on the selective mu-calculus logic to check systems described through the CCS specification language.

Key words: state explosion, model checking, CCS, Java.

Calife: a Generic Graphical User Interface for Automata Tools (Tool Demonstration). Bertrand Tavernier

The Calife v3.0 platform is an environment developed under the GPL licence (freely downloadable at http://calife.criltechnology.com) allowing the specification and formal validation of systems described as synchronized product of automata.

The goal is not to provide another verification tool, but to interface (all?) ex- isting tools working on automata in a unique environment. Tools can be grouped using model definition associated with automata classes.

Language Analysis and Tools for Ambiguous Input Streams. Andrew Begel and Susan L. Graham

Automatically generated lexers and parsers for programming languages have a long history. Although they are well-suited for many languages, many widely-used generators, among them Flex and Bison, fail to handle input stream ambiguities that arise in embedded languages, in legacy languages, and in programming by voice. We have developed Blender, a combined lexer and parser generator that enables designers to describe many classes of embedded languages and to handle ambiguities in spoken input and in legacy languages. We have enhanced the incremental lexing and parsing algorithms in our Harmonia framework to analyze lexical, syntactic and semantic ambiguities. The combination of better language description and enhanced analysis provides a powerful platform on which to build the next generation of language analysis tools.

Key words: GLR, embedded languages, Harmonia, programming-by-voice

The Grammar Tool Box: a case study comparing GLR parsing algorithms. Adrian Johnstone, Elizabeth Scott, Giorgios Economopoulos

The Grammar Tool Box is a toolset for manipulating Context Free Grammars and objects associated with them such as parsers, languages and derivations. GTB has three main roles: as a pedagogic tool; as an experimental platform for novel algorithms and representations; and as a production tool for translator front end generation. In this paper we give an overview of GTB and its companion Javabased animator tool PAT. We illustrate the use of the toolset in the construction of a comparative study of three variants of the Tomita-style GLR parsing algorithm running on LR(0), SLR(1) and LR(1) tables for ANSI-C, ISO-Pascal and IBM VSCOBOL, and give results showing the size of the structures constructed by these parsers and the amount of searching required during the parse, which abstracts their runtime.

Key words: GLR parsing, grammar types, context free languages

The GTB and PAT tools (Tool Demonstration). Adrian Johnstone, Elizabeth Scott, Giorgios Economopoulos

The Grammar Tool Box is a toolset for manipulating Context Free Grammars and objects associated with them such as parsers, languages and derivations. GTB has three main roles: as a pedagogic tool; as an experimental platform for novel algorithms and representations; and as a production tool for translator front end generation. In this tool demonstration we give an overview of GTB and its companion Java-based animator tool PAT.

Key words: Parsing, software animation

Parameterized LR Parsing. Peter Thiemann, Matthias Neubauer

Common LR parser generators lack abstraction facilities for defining recurring patterns of productions. Although there are generators capable of supporting regular expressions on the right hand side of productions, no generator supports user defined patterns in grammars.

Parameterized LR parsing extends standard LR parsing technology by admitting grammars with parameterized non-terminal symbols. A generator can implement such a grammar in two ways, either by expansion or directly. We develop the theory required for the direct implementation and show that it leads to significantly smaller parse tables and that it has fewer parsing conflicts than the expanded grammar. Attribute evaluation for a parameterized non-terminal is possible in the same way as before, if the semantic functions related to the non-terminal are polymorphic with respect to the parameter.

We have implemented parameterized LR parsing in the context of Essence, a partial-evaluation based LR parser generator for Scheme.

Semantics-preserving migration of semantic rules after left recursion removal in attribute grammars. Wolfgang Lohmann, Günter Riedewald, Markus Stoy

Several tools for source-to-source transformation are based on top down parsers. This restricts the user to use grammars without left recursion. Removing left recursion of a given grammar often makes it unreadable, preventing a user from concentrating on the original grammar. Additionally, the question arises, whether the tool implements the semantics of the original language, if it is implemented based on a different grammar than in the original language definition. Moreover, existing implementations of semantics for the original grammar cannot be reused directly.

The paper contributes to the field of automatic migration of software (here semantic rules) induced by a grammar change. It revises removal of left recursion in the context of grammar adaptations and demonstrates, that during automatic removal of left recursion at the same time the semantic rules can be migrated. Thus, a programmer can continue to use semantic rules on a left recursive grammar. The problem is explained and justified.

Key words: grammar engineering, grammar adaptation, attribute grammar, migration of semantic rules, transformation, parsing

An Action Environment. Mark van den Brand, Jørgen Iversen, Peter D. Mosses

Some basic programming constructs (e.g., conditional statements) are found in many different programming languages, and can often be included without change when a new language is designed. When writing a semantic description of a language, however, it is usually not possible to reuse parts of previous descriptions without change.

This paper introduces a new formalism, ASDF, which has been designed specifically for giving reusable action semantic descriptions of individual language constructs. An initial case study in the use of ASDF has already provided reusable descriptions of all the basic constructs underlying Core ML.

The paper also describes the Action Environment, a new environment supporting use and validation of ASDF descriptions. The Action Environment has been implemented on top of the ASF+SDF Meta-Environment, exploiting recent advances in techniques for integration of different formalisms, and inheriting all the main features of the Meta-Environment.

Key words: ASF+SDF, ASDF, action semantics, modularity, reuse, language environment

The Action Environment (Tool Demonstration). Mark van den Brand, Jørgen Iversen, Peter D. Mosses

When writing semantic descriptions of programming languages it is highly desirable to reuse descriptions of constructs from previous language descriptions. This is usually not possible without adaptations, due to the lacking modularity of the formalism used. In [3] Doh and Mosses proposed organizing language descriptions such that each construct is described in a separate module, which promotes reuse. They used Action Semantics [5] and ASF+SDF [4] as description language, but experience showed that the notation was too cumbersome, so we developed the ASDF language, which is tailor-made for writing action semantic descriptions (ASDs) of single language constructs. Here we will demonstrate an environment which supports working with ASDF modules.


Last update: Thursday, 04-Mar-2004 12:51:16 CET