Twelfth Annual IEEE Symposium on

Logic in Computer Science (LICS 1997)

Paper: Towards a Mathematical Operational Semantics (at LICS 1997)

Authors: Daniele Turi Gordon Plotkin


We present a categorical theory of `well-behaved' operational semantics which aims at complementing the established theory of domains and denotational semantics to form a coherent whole. It is shown that, if the operational rules of a programming language can be modelled as a natural transformation of a suitable general form, depending on functorial notions of syntax and behaviour, then one gets the following for free: an operational model satisfying the rules and a canonical, internally fully abstract denotational model which satisfies the operational rules. The theory is based on distributive laws and bialgebras; it specialises to the known classes of well-behaved rules for structural operational semantics, such as GSOS.


    author = 	 {Daniele Turi and Gordon Plotkin},
    title = 	 {Towards a Mathematical Operational Semantics},
    booktitle =  {Proceedings of the Twelfth Annual IEEE Symp. on Logic in Computer Science, {LICS} 1997},
    year =	 1997,
    editor =	 {Glynn Winskel},
    month =	 {June}, 
    pages =      {280--291},
    location =   {Warsaw, Poland}, 
    publisher =	 {IEEE Computer Society Press}