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Balancing Expressiveness in Formal Approaches to Concurrency

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Cliff Jones



One might think that specifying and reasoning about concurrent programs would be easier with more expressive languages. This paper questions that view. Clearly too weak a notation can mean that useful properties either cannot be expressed or their expression is unnatural. But choosing too powerful a notation also has its drawbacks since reasoning receives little guidance. For example, few would suggest that programming languages themselves provide tractable specifications. Both rely/guarantee methods and separation logic(s) provide useful frameworks in which it is natural to reason about aspects of concurrency. Rather than pursue an approach of extending the notations of either approach, this paper starts with the issues that appear to be inescapable with concurrency and -only as a response thereto- examines ways in which these fundamental challenges can be met. Abstraction is always a key tool and its influence on how the key issues are tackled is examined in each case.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jones CB

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 2013

Pages: 27

Print publication date: 01/09/2013

Source Publication Date: September 2013

Report Number: 1394

Institution: Newcastle University

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne