Towards Compatible and Interderivable Semantic Specifications for the Scheme Programming Language, Part I: Denotational Semantics, Natural Semantics, and Abstract Machines

Olivier Danvy


We derive two big-step abstract machines, a natural semantics, and the valuation function of a denotational semantics based on the small-step abstract machine for Core Scheme presented by Clinger at PLDI'98. Starting from a functional implementation of this small-step abstract machine, (1) we fuse its transition function with its driver loop, obtaining the functional implementation of a big-step abstract machine; (2) we adjust this big-step abstract machine so that it is in defunctionalized form, obtaining the functional implementation of a second big-step abstract machine; (3) we refunctionalize this adjusted abstract machine, obtaining the functional implementation of a natural semantics in continuation style; and (4) we closure-unconvert this natural semantics, obtaining a compositional continuation-passing evaluation function which we identify as the functional implementation of a denotational semantics in continuation style. We then compare this valuation function with that of Clinger's original denotational semantics of Scheme.

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ISSN: 0909-0878 

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