Structural Operational Semantics

  • Luca Aceto
  • Willem Jan Fokkink
  • Chris Verhoef


The importance of giving precise semantics to programming and specification
languages was recognized since the sixties with the development of the
first high-level programming languages (cf. e.g. [30, 206] for some early accounts).
The use of operational semantics - i.e. of a semantics that explicitly
describes how programs compute in stepwise fashion, and the possible
state-transformations they perform - was already advocated by McCarthy
in [147], and elaborated upon in references like [142, 143]. Examples of full-blown
languages that have been endowed with an operational semantics are
Algol 60 [140], PL/I [173], and CSP [178].
How to Cite
Aceto, L., Fokkink, W., & Verhoef, C. (1999). Structural Operational Semantics. BRICS Report Series, 6(30).