The theory and applications of rewriting logic have been vigorously developed by researchers all over the world during the past years, with more than three hundred papers related to rewriting logic published so far (see the roadmap).
Four international workshops on rewriting logic have been held in the United States (RWLW'96), France (WRLA'98), Japan (WRLA'00) and Italy (WRLA'02), and a fifth is going to being held in Spain in 2004. Furthermore, several language implementations of rewriting logic (CafeOBJ, ELAN, Maude, etc.) and a variety of formal tools have also been developed and have been used in a wide range of applications.
Several snapshots of the state of rewriting logic research---some more global in scope, and others restricted to specific areas such as concurrency or object-based systems---have appeared so far [Meseguer at CONCUR'96], [Meseguer at Marktoberdorf'98], [Meseguer at RTA'00], [Meseguer at FMOODS'00], and [Martí-Oliet and Meseguer 2002].
Maude should be seen as our contribution to the broader collective effort of building good language implementations for rewriting logic. In this regard, a key distinguishing feature of Maude is its systematic and efficient use of reflection, exploiting the fact that rewriting logic is reflective, a feature that makes Maude remarkably extensible and powerful, and that allows many advanced metaprogramming and metalanguage applications.
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