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© 2011

Introduction to the Theory of Programming Languages

Textbook

Part of the Undergraduate Topics in Computer Science book series (UTICS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XI
  2. Gilles Dowek, Jean-Jacques Lévy
    Pages 1-13
  3. Gilles Dowek, Jean-Jacques Lévy
    Pages 15-31
  4. Gilles Dowek, Jean-Jacques Lévy
    Pages 33-42
  5. Gilles Dowek, Jean-Jacques Lévy
    Pages 43-50
  6. Gilles Dowek, Jean-Jacques Lévy
    Pages 51-62
  7. Gilles Dowek, Jean-Jacques Lévy
    Pages 63-71
  8. Gilles Dowek, Jean-Jacques Lévy
    Pages 73-80
  9. Gilles Dowek, Jean-Jacques Lévy
    Pages 81-88
  10. Gilles Dowek, Jean-Jacques Lévy
    Pages 89-91
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 93-96

About this book

Introduction

The design and implementation of programming languages, from Fortran and Cobol to Caml and Java, has been one of the key developments in the management of ever more complex computerized systems. Introduction to the Theory of Programming Languages gives the reader the means to discover the tools to think, design, and implement these languages. It proposes a unified vision of the different formalisms that permit definition of a programming language: small steps operational semantics, big steps operational semantics, and denotational semantics, emphasising that all seek to define a relation between three objects: a program, an input value, and an output value. These formalisms are illustrated by presenting the semantics of some typical features of programming languages: functions, recursivity, assignments, records, objects, ... showing that the study of programming languages does not consist of studying languages one after another, but is organized around the features that are present in these various languages. The study of these features leads to the development of evaluators, interpreters and compilers, and also type inference algorithms, for small languages.

Keywords

Assignments Big Step Operational Semantics Compiler Denotational Semantics Evaluator Function Interpreter Objects Records Recursion Small Step Operational Semantics Type Inference

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Labo. d'InformatiqueÉcole PolytechniquePalaiseau CXFrance
  2. 2.Centre de Recherche Commun, INRIA-Microsoft ResearchParc Orsay UniversitéOrsay CedexFrance

About the authors

Gilles Dowek is a Professor at École Polytechnique. He is also a Researcher at the Laboratoire d'Informatique de l'École Polytechnique and the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA). His research concerns the formalization of mathematics and the mechanization of reasoning. His main contribution is a reformulation of the axiomatic method which provides a central role to the notion of computation. Jean-Jacques Lévy is a senior scientist at the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique and a Professor at École Polytechnique. He has successively worked on operational and denotational semantics of programming languages, on reduction strategies in lambda-calculus and in rewrite systems, on the computer aided design of circuits and on the semantics of concurrency with applications to distribution and mobility.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Introduction to the Theory of Programming Languages
  • Authors Gilles Dowek
    Jean-Jacques Lévy
  • Series Title Undergraduate Topics in Computer Science
  • Series Abbreviated Title Undergraduate Topics Computer Sci.
  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-85729-076-2
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011
  • Publisher Name Springer, London
  • eBook Packages Computer Science Computer Science (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-0-85729-075-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-0-85729-076-2
  • Series ISSN 1863-7310
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 96
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Theory of Computation
    Logics and Meanings of Programs
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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Reviews

From the reviews:

“The book is divided into eight chapters and an epilogue. … Faculty teaching an undergraduate programming languages course may find this book to be a useful reference. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners.” (J. Beidler, Choice, Vol. 48 (10), June, 2011)

“It is a short book--of about 100 pages--consisting of eight chapters and an epilogue. The book focuses on the formal description of programming language semantics and compilation using denotational semantics, small-step operational semantics (reduction semantics), and big-step operational semantics (natural semantics). … The book provides a good description of programming language concepts and motivates the necessary theory well. … The book is suitable for both professionals and graduate- and advanced undergraduate-level classes.” (Michael Oudshoorn, ACM Computing Reviews, November, 2011)