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THE FRAME MODEL OF COMPUTATION

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000148898D
Original Publication Date: 1974-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2007-Mar-30
Document File: 38 page(s) / 2M

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Wand, Mitchell: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Mitchell Wand Computer Science Department Indiana UniverasityBloomington, Indiana 47401 This report has been submitted for publication elsewhere and has been issued as a Technical Report for early dissemination of its contents. The Frame Model of Computation Mitchell Wand December 1, 1974Computer Science Department Indiana University Lindley Hall 101 Bloomington, Indiana 47401 Key words and phrases: frame model, formal semantics, modular programming, reduction, control regimes, coroutines, backtracking, direct semantics, axiomatic semantics. CR Categories: 5.24, 4.22 The Frame Model of Computation Mitchell Wand Indiana University Abstract: This paper gives an informal description of a new seman- tic model of computation called the frame model. A common criticism of formal semantic models is that they f a i l t o be perspicuous. One may spend so much time on coding details that essential concepts are obscured. An extreme example would be the use of a Turing machine as a semantic model. One reason the Turing machine makes an inadequate model is that its structure is quite different from the structure of programming languages or of "well-structured" computations. It is the purpose of thi3 paper t o describe a semantic model of computation whose structure we believe is well-suited to the description of computations. A well- structured model would also be a "frame" in the sense of Minsky [24]: a declarative structure whose components correspond to the terms i n which one normally thinks of a computation.

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THE FRAME MODEL OF COMPUTATION

Mitchell Wand

Computer Science Department Indiana Univerasity
Bloomington, Indiana 47401

This report has been submitted for publication elsewhere and has been issued as a Technical Report for early dissemination of its contents.

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The Frame Model of Computation
Mitchell Wand

    December 1, 1974
Computer Science Department Indiana University

Lindley Hall 101

Bloomington, Indiana 47401

Key words and phrases: frame model, formal semantics, modular programming, reduction, control regimes, coroutines, backtracking, direct semantics, axiomatic semantics.

CR Categories: 5.24, 4.22

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The Frame Model of Computation

  Mitchell Wand
Indiana University

Abstract: This paper gives an informal description of a new seman-
tic model of computation called the frame model.

[This page contains 1 picture or other non-text object]

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    A common criticism of formal semantic models is that they f a i l t o be perspicuous. One may spend so much time on coding details that essential concepts are obscured. An extreme example would be the use of a Turing machine as a semantic model. One reason the Turing machine makes an inadequate model is that its structure is quite different from the structure of programming languages or of "well-structured" computations. It is the purpose of thi3 paper t o describe a semantic model of computation whose structure we believe is well-suited to the description of computations. A well- structured model would also be a "frame" in the sense of Minsky
[24]: a declarative structure whose components correspond to the terms i n which one normally thinks of a computation.

   We view a semantic model as describing a class of programming languages which work i n essentially the same way, but have differ- ent elementary operations. We w i l l indicate two different ways in which the frame model may be turned into a programming language.

   Section 1 is concerned with some epistemological vinegar. Section 2 describes the internal workings of the model. Section 3 is essentially a defense of our choice of components. Section

4 returns t o the transition from model to language. Section 5 suggests the formal methods underlying our development, and Section 6 compares the frame model with related systems.

1. Semantic Models and Programming Languages


In a traditional semantic model, two steps must be performed

before the model can execute an algorithm. The programmer first expresses the algorithm as a program i n some programming language.

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The program is then transf...