Modular structural operational semantics

Peter D. Mosses. Modular structural operational semantics. Journal of Logic and Algebraic Programming, 60-61:195-228, 2004. [doi]


Modular SOS (MSOS) is a variant of conventional Structural Operational Semantics (SOS). Using MSOS, the transition rules for each construct of a programming language can be given incrementally, once and for all, and do not need reformulation when further constructs are added to the language. MSOS thus provides an exceptionally high degree of modularity in language descriptions, removing a shortcoming of the original SOS framework.

After sketching the background and reviewing the main features of SOS, the paper explains the crucial differences between SOS and MSOS, and illustrates how MSOS descriptions are written. It also discusses standard notions of semantic equivalence based on MSOS. Appendix A shows how the illustrative MSOS rules given in the paper would be formulated in conventional SOS.