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The Specification of Assemblers

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1 Author(s)
J. M. Spitzen ; Computer Science Group, Stanford Research Institute

The problem of applying formal techniques of program specification and verification to large complex programs is considered. It is argued that a practical solution requires a variety of techniques, including both procedural and nonprocedural specifications, hierarchical program organization, and the use of program transformations. In particular, a case is made for flexible problem-oriented choice of specification techniques and languages. These ideas are expanded by specifying a load-and-go assembler in three parts: a transduction grammar describing the correspondence between concrete and abstract syntax for assembly language programs; a set of transformations of the abstract form; and a nonconstructive axiomatic specification of the result of core assembly and loading of transformed abstract programs.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:SE-2 ,  Issue: 1 )