Pretty-Big-Step Semantics

  • Arthur Charguéraud
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7792)


In spite of the popularity of small-step semantics, big-step semantics remain used by many researchers. However, big-step semantics suffer from a serious duplication problem, which appears as soon as the semantics account for exceptions and/or divergence. In particular, many premises need to be copy-pasted across several evaluation rules. This duplication problem, which is particularly visible when scaling up to full-blown languages, results in formal definitions growing far bigger than necessary. Moreover, it leads to unsatisfactory redundancy in proofs. In this paper, we address the problem by introducing pretty-big-step semantics. Pretty-big-step semantics preserve the spirit of big-step semantics, in the sense that terms are directly related to their results, but they eliminate the duplication associated with big-step semantics.


Operational Semantic Evaluation Rule Evaluation Premise Exception Handler Intermediate Term 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur Charguéraud
    • 1
  1. 1.Inria Saclay – Île-de-France & LRIUniversité Paris Sud, CNRSFrance

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