Constraint handling rules. Compositional semantics and program transformation

Tacchella, Paolo (2008) Constraint handling rules. Compositional semantics and program transformation, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Informatica, 20 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/912.
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This thesis intends to investigate two aspects of Constraint Handling Rules (CHR). It proposes a compositional semantics and a technique for program transformation. CHR is a concurrent committed-choice constraint logic programming language consisting of guarded rules, which transform multi-sets of atomic formulas (constraints) into simpler ones until exhaustion [Frü06] and it belongs to the declarative languages family. It was initially designed for writing constraint solvers but it has recently also proven to be a general purpose language, being as it is Turing equivalent [SSD05a]. Compositionality is the first CHR aspect to be considered. A trace based compositional semantics for CHR was previously defined in [DGM05]. The reference operational semantics for such a compositional model was the original operational semantics for CHR which, due to the propagation rule, admits trivial non-termination. In this thesis we extend the work of [DGM05] by introducing a more refined trace based compositional semantics which also includes the history. The use of history is a well-known technique in CHR which permits us to trace the application of propagation rules and consequently it permits trivial non-termination avoidance [Abd97, DSGdlBH04]. Naturally, the reference operational semantics, of our new compositional one, uses history to avoid trivial non-termination too. Program transformation is the second CHR aspect to be considered, with particular regard to the unfolding technique. Said technique is an appealing approach which allows us to optimize a given program and in more detail to improve run-time efficiency or spaceconsumption. Essentially it consists of a sequence of syntactic program manipulations which preserve a kind of semantic equivalence called qualified answer [Frü98], between the original program and the transformed ones. The unfolding technique is one of the basic operations which is used by most program transformation systems. It consists in the replacement of a procedure-call by its definition. In CHR every conjunction of constraints can be considered as a procedure-call, every CHR rule can be considered as a procedure and the body of said rule represents the definition of the call. While there is a large body of literature on transformation and unfolding of sequential programs, very few papers have addressed this issue for concurrent languages. We define an unfolding rule, show its correctness and discuss some conditions in which it can be used to delete an unfolded rule while preserving the meaning of the original program. Finally, confluence and termination maintenance between the original and transformed programs are shown. This thesis is organized in the following manner. Chapter 1 gives some general notion about CHR. Section 1.1 outlines the history of programming languages with particular attention to CHR and related languages. Then, Section 1.2 introduces CHR using examples. Section 1.3 gives some preliminaries which will be used during the thesis. Subsequentely, Section 1.4 introduces the syntax and the operational and declarative semantics for the first CHR language proposed. Finally, the methodologies to solve the problem of trivial non-termination related to propagation rules are discussed in Section 1.5. Chapter 2 introduces a compositional semantics for CHR where the propagation rules are considered. In particular, Section 2.1 contains the definition of the semantics. Hence, Section 2.2 presents the compositionality results. Afterwards Section 2.3 expounds upon the correctness results. Chapter 3 presents a particular program transformation known as unfolding. This transformation needs a particular syntax called annotated which is introduced in Section 3.1 and its related modified operational semantics !0t is presented in Section 3.2. Subsequently, Section 3.3 defines the unfolding rule and prove its correctness. Then, in Section 3.4 the problems related to the replacement of a rule by its unfolded version are discussed and this in turn gives a correctness condition which holds for a specific class of rules. Section 3.5 proves that confluence and termination are preserved by the program modifications introduced. Finally, Chapter 4 concludes by discussing related works and directions for future work.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Tacchella, Paolo
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
constraint handling rules chr compositional semantics program transformation
Data di discussione
28 Aprile 2008

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