An Evaluation Semantics for Narrowing-Based Functional Logic Languages

by Michael Hanus, Salvador Lucas

Journal of Functional and Logic Programming, Vol. 2001, No. 2, 2001

We introduce a semantic characterization of narrowing, the computational engine of many functional logic languages. We use a functional domain for giving a denotation to the narrowing space associated to a given initial expression under an arbitrary narrowing strategy. Such a semantic description highlights (and favours) the operational notion of evaluation instead of the more usual model-theoretic notion of interpretation as the basis for the semantic description. The motivation is to obtain an abstract semantics which encodes information about the real operational framework used by a given (narrowing-based) functional logic language. Our aim is to provide a semantic foundation for the development of a general, suitable, and accurate framework for the analysis of functional logic programs.

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