POLAR a picture-oriented language for abstract representations

  • R. D. van den Bos
  • L. M. G. Feijs
  • R. C. van Ommering
Part III Cold
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 490)


Pictures have been used in informal specification methods for years, clarifying textual descriptions. This paper deals with integration of pictorial representations into formal specification techniques. The usage of pictures does not necessarily imply giving up formality, and this is illustrated with the pictorial language POLAR. This pictorial language shows the modular structure of possibly complex software systems. In large industrial applications of formal specification methods the manageability of complexity is a key factor and here the automatic generation of compact, pictorial representations can be employed directly. Although the approach has been carried out for the formal specification language COLD-K, it does not depend on a particular specification language and the ideas behind it can be used for other languages as well. The pictorial language POLAR as discussed in this paper, were found to be very useful in several large-scale case studies.


Modular Structure Pictorial Representation Parameter Restriction Terminal Symbol Lambda Calculus 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    D. Harel. On visual formalisms. Communications of the ACM, Vol. 31, no. 5 (1988).Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    D. Björner, C.B. Jones (eds.). The Vienna Development Method: the meta-language. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 61, Springer-Verlag (1978).Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    H.B.M. Jonkers. An Introduction to COLD-K, in: M. Wirsing, J.A. Bergstra (eds), Algebraic Methods: Theory, Tools and Applications, LNCS 394, Springer Verlag pp. 139–205 (1989).Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    L.M.G. Feijs, H.B.M. Jonkers, C.P.J. Koymans, G.R. Renardel de Lavalette. Formal Definition of the Design Language COLD-K, ESPRIT document METEOR/T7/PRLE/7 (rev. edition 1989).Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    D.L. Parnas. On the Criteria to be used in decomposing systems into modules. CACM 15 (Dec 1972), 840–841.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    H. Ehrig, H. Weber. Programming in the Large with Algebraic Module Specifications. Information Processing 86, H.-J. Kugler (ed.), Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. (North-Holland).Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    L.M.G. Feijs, H.B.M. Jonkers, J.H. Obbink, C.P.J. Koymans, G.R. Renardel de Lavalette, P.H. Rodenburg. A survey of the design language COLD. ESPRIT '86, Status Report of Continuing Work, The commission of the European Communities (Editors), Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. (North-Holland), 631–644.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    J.A. Bergstra, J. Heering, P. Klint. Module algebra. JACM Vol. 37 (1990) 335–372.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    E. W. Dijkstra. Formal Techniques and Sizeable Programs. Selected Writings on Computing: A Personal Perspective, Springer Verlag, ISBN 0 387 906525.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    R.M. Burstall, J.A. Goguen. An informal introduction to specifications using CLEAR, in: R. Boyer and J. Moore (eds.) The correctness problem in computer science, Academic Press, ISBN 0-12-122920-3 (1981).Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    C.A. Middelburg. The VIP VDM specification language, in: R. Bloomfield, L. Marshall, R. Jones (eds.) VDM '88, VDM — the way ahead, pp. 187–201, Springer Verlag LNCS 328 (1988).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. D. van den Bos
    • 1
  • L. M. G. Feijs
    • 1
  • R. C. van Ommering
    • 2
  1. 1.Philips Research LaboratoriesThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Philips Centre for Software TechnologyThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations