DirectFlow: A Domain-Specific Language for Information-Flow Systems

  • Chuan-kai Lin
  • Andrew P. Black
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4609)

Abstract

Programs that process streams of information are commonly built by assembling reusable information-flow components. In some systems the components must be chosen from a pre-defined set of primitives; in others the programmer can create new custom components using a general-purpose programming language.

Neither approach is ideal: restricting programmers to a set of primitive components limits the expressivity of the system, while allowing programmers to define new components in a general-purpose language makes it difficult or impossible to reason about the composite system. We advocate defining information-flow components in a domain-specific language (DSL) that enables us to infer the properties of the components and of the composed system; this provides us with a good compromise between analysability and expressivity.

This paper presents DirectFlow, which comprises a DSL, a compiler and a runtime system. The language allows programmers to define objects that implement information-flow components without specifying how messages are sent and received. The compiler generates Java classes by inferring the message sends and methods, while the run-time library constructs information-flow networks by composition of DSL-defined components with standard components.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chuan-kai Lin
    • 1
  • Andrew P. Black
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science, Portland State University 

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