Teaching a computer how to read data structure

Sachio Hirokawa

(University of Wales Swansea and Kyushu University)

Programs are made of data structures and algorithms. We specify the data structures and specify the operations on them. But we cannot actually run our programs without an instance of such data structures. And there is no canonical way to input such instances of data structures in conventional languages like C, Fortran, Pascal. Consider, for example, writing a program which calculates the normal form of a logical formula or a program which transforms a grammar into a standard form. They contain recursive data structures. The algorithms are easily found in text books. We would write the program in lisp or in prolog. Why not in C? A reason may be that lisp and prolog have built-in procedures to read data structures. And another reason may be that we do not like to write a parser of formulas or the language. I would like to report about a system being developed. It automatically generates such procedures from the definitions of data structures written in Pascal. I would like to talk about some experience and applications.
Tuesday 23rd May 1995, 14:30
Seminar Room 322
Department of Computer Science