Plan in Maude: Specifying an Active Network Programming Language

Mark-Oliver Stehr and Carolyn Talcott

PLAN is a language designed for programming active networks, and can more generally be regarded as a model of mobile computation. PLAN generalizes the paradigm of imperative functional programming in an elegant way that allows for recursive, remote function calls, and it provides a clear mechanism for the interaction between host and mobile code. Techniques for specifying and reasoning about such languages are of growing importance. In this paper we describe our specification of PLAN in the rewriting logic language Maude. We show how techniques for specifying the operational semantics of imperative functional programs (syntax-based semantics) and for formalizing variable binding constructs and mobile environments (CINNI calculus) are used in combination with the natural representation of concurrency and distribution provided by rewriting logic to develop a faithful description of the informal PLAN semantics. We also illustrate the wide-spectrum approach to formal modeling supported by Maude: executing PLAN programs; analyzing PLAN programs using search and model-checking; proving properties of particular PLAN programs; and proving general properties of the PLAN language.

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