A Graph-Based Semantics Workbench for Concurrent Asynchronous Programs

  • Claudio CorrodiEmail author
  • Alexander Heußner
  • Christopher M. Poskitt
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9633)


A number of novel programming languages and libraries have been proposed that offer simpler-to-use models of concurrency than threads. It is challenging, however, to devise execution models that successfully realise their abstractions without forfeiting performance or introducing unintended behaviours. This is exemplified by Scoop—a concurrent object-oriented message-passing language—which has seen multiple semantics proposed and implemented over its evolution. We propose a “semantics workbench” with fully and semi-automatic tools for Scoop, that can be used to analyse and compare programs with respect to different execution models. We demonstrate its use in checking the consistency of semantics by applying it to a set of representative programs, and highlighting a deadlock-related discrepancy between the principal execution models of the language. Our workbench is based on a modular and parameterisable graph transformation semantics implemented in the Groove tool. We discuss how graph transformations are leveraged to atomically model intricate language abstractions, and how the visual yet algebraic nature of the model can be used to ascertain soundness.


Semantic Model Operational Semantic Graph Transformation Execution Model Request Queue 
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.



We thank our interviewees from the Scoop development and research team for the many helpful and insightful discussions. We are also deeply grateful for the work of the Groove developers that we leverage in this paper, and especially for their Groove-y feedback and support. The underlying research was partially funded by ERC Grant CME #291389.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudio Corrodi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Alexander Heußner
    • 3
  • Christopher M. Poskitt
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceETH ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Software Composition GroupUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Software Technologies Research GroupUniversity of BambergBambergGermany
  4. 4.Singapore University of Technology and DesignSingaporeSingapore

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