Date: 05 Nov 1999

Strategic Pattern Matching

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Abstract

Stratego is a language for the specification of transformation rules and strategies for applying them. The basic actions of transformations are matching and building instantiations of first-order term patterns. The language supports concise formulation of generic and data type-specific term traversals. One of the unusual features of Stratego is the separation of scope from matching, allowing sharing of variables through traversals. The combination of first-order patterns with strategies forms an expressive formalism for pattern matching. In this paper we discuss three examples of strategic pattern matching: (1) Contextual rules allow matching and replacement of a pattern at an arbitrary depth of a subterm of the root pattern. (2) Recursive patterns can be used to characterize concisely the structure of languages that form a restriction of a larger language. (3) Overlays serve to hide the representation of a language in another (more generic) language. These techniques are illustrated by means of specifications in Stratego.