Many approaches to the semantics of programming languages are characterized
by the class of languages under investigation and for each of them a class
of possible models, describing the intended semantics, and a set of formulas
used to choose among the possible models those of interested for a particular
application.
An abstract concept representing this situation is that of institution
by Burstall
and Goguen.
Using this and similar notions it is possible to state theorems and results,
to propose methodologies independently from the particular metaformalism
used and moreover a rigorous notion of relationship among different formalisms
can be rigorously phrased.
The main contributions of this group to the Institution area are the
following.
The specialization of the notion of institution to those institutions
representing
algebraic formalism, in
Algebraic-oriented Institutions
and the definition of operations to enrich a generic formalism (ie an
institution)
by some feature, with a particular interest for abstract operations used for
concurrency, as in
Institutions for Very Abstract Specifications
and its forthcoming extended version, in preparation.
The transport of (theoretical) results and (theoretical) tools from one frame
into another one, as deductive systems in
Relationships between Logical
Frameworks and, more generally, the missing structure of a logical system
in the (forthcoming)
May I Borrow Your Logic? (Transporting Logical Structures along Maps).