CSE 230: Principles of Programming Languages
Notes on Chapter 2 of Algebraic Semantics (Stores, assignment, etc.)

2.1 The programming language studied in this book is so simple that it suffices to use just stores as states of the run-time system; we do not need the extra power of having environments in addition to stores, as in Section 3.3.1 of Stansifer. Unfortunately Stansifer's terminology clashes with ours, since Stansifer uses the term "state" for what I would rather call a "store," which is a map from locations to values (I would reserve "state" for the whole thing, which may include both environments and stores); moreover, Stansifer also uses the term "environment" for what I call "store" in the case where the is no "environment" (that is, a map from identifiers to values). However, this situation should not any cause confusion in discussing our semantics; all these terms can be used synonymously because there is only one thing that they could refer to anyway.

2.1.1 You can skim the technical discussion of the equality and disequality operations in this subsection, because the details are not needed until later; but you should read the notes for Section 1.6.3.

2.2 The semantics that we begin to define here is enormously more simple than that given in Chapter 9 of Stansifer (I hope you agree!), and has the additional advantage that it directly supports mechanical correctness proofs using OBJ.


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