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

Using Verified Data-flow Analysis-based Optimizations in Attribute Grammars

Building verified compilers is difficult, especially when complex analyses such as type checking or data-flow analysis must be performed. Both the type checking and program optimization communities have developed methods for proving the correctness of these processes and developed tools for using, respectively, verified type systems and verified optimizations.

Compiler Optimization Correctness by Temporal Logic

Rewrite rules with side conditions can elegantly express many classical compiler optimizations for imperative programming languages. In this paper, programs are written in an intermediate language and transformation-enabling side conditions are specified in a temporal logic suitable for describing program data flow.