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Dipartimento di Informatica e Scienze dell'Informazione

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Multiparadigm Specification Languages:
a First Attempt at Foundations

E. Astesiano and M. Cerioli .
In C.A. Middelburg D.J. Andrews, J.F. Groote, editor, * Semantics
of Specification Languages (SoSL'93)*, Workshops in Computing, pages
168--185. Springer Verlag, 1994.

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This paper is a first attempt at a formal foundation of specification
languages allowing their basic modules to be defined in several
formalisms. More precisely a rigorous notion of a compositional tool
for importing/exporting specifications between two instances of one
specification metalanguage on different basic algebraic frameworks is
proposed.

Adopting the notion of institution as a synonym for formalism, we
introduce and develop the concept of simulation of an
institution by another.

Then we deal with the simulation of basic and structured
specifications, introducing the concept of simulation independent
metalanguage, a generalization of institution independent languages,
which allows ``putting together theories from different
formalisms to make specifications''.

Since simulation generalizes the notion of implementation and allows
relating implementations in different formalisms, a third dimension
is added to the well known horizontal and vertical compositions of
specifications, typical of Clear and ASL.
The compressed postscript version of this paper is available through anonymous ftp
at ftp.disi.unige.it, in
/person/CerioliM/SOSL93.ps.z
(72806 Kb)