Verifying an Open Compiler Using Multi-language Semantics

  • James T. Perconti
  • Amal Ahmed
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8410)


Existing verified compilers are proved correct under a closed-world assumption, i.e., that the compiler will only be used to compile whole programs. We present a new methodology for verifying correct compilation of program components, while formally allowing linking with target code of arbitrary provenance. To demonstrate our methodology, we present a two-pass type-preserving open compiler and prove that compilation preserves semantics. The central novelty of our approach is that we define a combined language that embeds the source, intermediate, and target languages and formalizes a semantics of interoperability between them, using boundaries in the style of Matthews and Findler. Compiler correctness is stated as contextual equivalence in the combined language.

Note to reader: We use blue, red, and purple to typeset terms in various languages. This paper will be difficult to follow unless read/printed in color.


Operational Semantic Reduction Rule Source Language Target Code Contextual Equivalence 
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 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • James T. Perconti
    • 1
  • Amal Ahmed
    • 1
  1. 1.Northeastern UniversityUSA

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