Operational Semantics of Proto

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Mirko Viroli, Jacob Beal, Kyle Usbeck
Science of Computer Programming 78(6), pages 633-656
June 2013

The Proto spatial computing language simplifies the creation of scalable, robust, distributed programs by abstracting a network of locally communicating devices as a continuous geometric manifold. However, Proto’s successful application in a number of domains is challenging its coherence across different platforms and distributions. We thus present a complete operational semantics for the Proto language, as executed asynchronously on a network of fast message-passing devices. This semantics covers all of the operations of the three space-time operator families unique to Proto - restriction, feedback, and neighborhood - as well as the current pointwise operations that it shares with most other languages. This formalization will provide a reference to aid implementers in preserving language coherence across platforms, domains, and distributions. The formalization process has also advanced the Proto language in several ways, which we explain in detail.

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book Science of Computer Programming (SCP)