The aim of semantic descriptions is to give an exact definition of the implication of a programming language without uncertainties or ambiguities. This is useful when designing programs that use other programs as data, e.g. compilers, but also for programmers for reference.
On completion of the course, the student should be able to:
explain and apply formal semantic descriptions of programming languages and other formal languages, particularly in operational semantics.
construct simple semantic descriptions in operational semantics, and
apply methods to prove basic properties of semantic descriptions.
Use of formal semantics. Overview of semantic methods (operational, denotational and axiomatic semantics). Properties of semantic descriptions. Compositionality and structural induction. Structural operational semantics. Natural semantics. Techniques for describing the operational semantics of programming language constructs. Applications of operational semantics.
Lectures, lessons and seminars. Labs may occur.
The course is examined by oral and written examination spread throughout the course and active participation in seminars.
If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.
The course cannot be included in a degree together with the course Semantics and principles of programming languages (2AD514, 2AD516).