, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 233-281

Toward formal development of programs from algebraic specifications: Implementations revisited

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The program development process is viewed as a sequence of implementation steps leading from a specification to a program. Based on an elementary notion of refinement, two notions of implementation are studied: constructor implementations which involve a construction “on top of” the implementing specification, and abstractor implementations which additionally provide for abstraction from some details of the implemented specification. These subsume most formal notions of implementation in the literature. Both kinds of implementations satisfy a vertical composition and a (modified) horizontal composition property. All the definitions and results are shown to generalise to the framework of an arbitrary institution, and a way of changing institutions during the implementation process is introduced. All this is illustrated by means of simple concrete examples.

An extended abstract of this paper appeared in [65]