University of Minnesota
Software Engineering Center

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Minnesota Extensible Language Tools

Software development is a time-consuming and error-prone process that often results in unreliable and insecure software. At least part of the reason for these undesirable results is that large semantic gap between the programmer's high-level understanding of the problem and the relatively low-level programming language in which the problem solutions are encoded. Thus, programmers cannot "say what they mean" but must encode their ideas as programming idioms at a lower level of abstraction. This wastes time and is the source of many errors. A long range goal is to improve the software development process and the quality of the resulting software artifacts by reducing the semantic gap. Extensible languages provide a promising way to achieve this goal. An extensible language can easily be extended with the unique combination of domain-specific language features that raises the level of abstraction to that of the task at hand. The extended language provides the programmer with language constructs, optimizations, and static program analyses to significantly simplify the software development process.

Recent Publications

Aspect Oriented Compilers

Aspect-oriented programming provides the programmer with means to cross-cut conventional program structures, in particular the class hierarchies of object-oriented programming. This paper studies the use of aspect orientation in structuring syntax directed compilers implemented as attribute grammars. Specifically, it describes a method for specifying definitions of related attributes as `aspects' and treating them as first-class objects, that can be stored, manipulated and combined.

Using Model Checking in a Parallelizing Compiler

In this paper we describe the usage of temporal logic model checking in a parallelizing compiler to analyze the structure of a source program and locate opportunities for optimization and parallelization. The source program is represented as a process graph in which the nodes are sequential processes and the edges are control and data dependence relationships between the computations at the nodes.