Four well-known methods for presenting semantics of a programming language are: denotational, deductive, operational, and algebraic. This essay presents algebraic laws for the structural features of a class of imperative programming languages which provide both sequential and concurrent composition; and it illustrates the way in which the laws are consistent with the other three semantic presentations of the same language. The exposition combines simplicity with generality by postponing consideration of the possibly more complex basic commands of particular programming languages. The proofs are given only as hints, but they are easily reconstructed, even with the aid of a machine.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tony Hoare
    • 1
  1. 1.Microsoft ResearchCambridgeUnited Kingdom

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