Talk:Semantics (computer science)

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The common sense says there are three major approaches for semantics. One example is this book (which also cites Attribute grammar as an approach). Most of the major references in semantics agree on that.

Also, I have sorted the approaches by some criterion: first three major by year/widespread, and the other ones alphabetically. It makes more sense to keep this way, unless someone who know them all and has a NOPV could sort them all by year/widespread.

- Leonardo Lang 08:13, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Notes on my recent major edit: Summary of what I think I did:

  • More intuition for what denotational/operational/axiomatic mean
  • Considerable trimming of the descriptions of action semantics, etc. I don't think the "is it denotational, operational, or axiomatic?" game is all that illuminating for someone who's not already an expert.
  • Examples of why you'd want to relate multiple semantics, to give some context to the mention of abstract interpretation.
  • Misc. edits for prose style

k.lee 04:42, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

The current characterization of operational semantics looks a bit fuzzy. I wonder if it may be worth to distinguish reduction semantics (or rewriting semantics) out of operational semantics. In this view, operational semantics would be clearly restricted to the description of an algorithm that executes a program (typically a SECD machine, or the standard reduction strategy of lambda-calculus - see Barendregt's textbook) while reduction semantics would cover any description of the semantics of a language by oriented axioms, i.e. by rewrite rules. Typical questions relative to a reduction semantics are the confluence and the ability to contain the operational semantics (in its restricted sense) as a sequence of well-identified reduction steps. Take for instance the case of lambda-calculus: beta-reduction is confluent and contains the standard strategy of reduction; or take the case of lambda-calculus which, when extended with some apparatus for explicit substitution provides an oriented axiomatic semantics (i.e. a reduction semantics in the sense above) that contains the SECD machine algorithm. I do not have texbook references in mind for the reduction semantics terminology but many papers use this terminology. Hugo Herbelin (talk) 13:40, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Missing: declarative semantics[edit]

The article doesn't mention "declarative semantics" which is a widely used term. (e.g. >6,600 hits in google scholar [1]). pgr94 (talk) 13:55, 29 January 2011 (UTC)