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Abstract Syntax Can Make the Definition of Modelica Less Abstract
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. (PELAB)
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. (PELAB)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3435-4996
2007 (English)In: Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Equation-Based Object-Oriented Languages and Tools, Berlin, Germany, 2007, 111-126 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Modelica is an open standardized language used for modeling and simulation of complex physical systems. The language specification defines a formal concrete syntax, but the semantics is informally described using natural language. The latter makes the language hard to interpret, maintain and reason about, which affect both tool development and language evolution. Even if a completely formal semantics of the Modelica language can be seen as a natural goal, it is a well-known fact that defining understandable and concise formal semantics specifications for large and complex languages is a very hard problem. In this paper, we will discuss different aspects of formulating a Modelica specification; both in terms of what should be specified and how it can be done. Moreover, we will further argue that a “middle-way” strategy can make the specification both clearer and easier to reason about. A proposal is outlined, where the current informally specified semantics is complemented with several grammars, specifying intermediate representations of abstract syntax. We believe that this kind of evolutionary strategy is easier to gain acceptance for, and is more realistic in the short-term, than a revolutionary approach of using a fully formal semantics definition of the language.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. 111-126 p.
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12700ISBN: 978-91-7519-822-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-12700DiVA: diva2:16879
Conference
1st International Workshop on Equation-Based Object-Oriented Languages and Tools
Available from: 2007-11-16 Created: 2007-11-16 Last updated: 2014-10-08
In thesis
1. Safety, Security, and Semantic Aspects of Equation-Based Object-Oriented Languages and Environments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Safety, Security, and Semantic Aspects of Equation-Based Object-Oriented Languages and Environments
2007 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During the last two decades, the interest for computer aided modeling and simulation of complex physical systems has witnessed a significant growth. The recent possibility to create acausal models, using components from different domains (e.g., electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic) enables new opportunities. Modelica is one of the most prominent equation-based object-oriented (EOO) languages that support such capabilities, including the ability to simulate both continuous- and discrete-time models, as well as mixed hybrid models. However, there are still many remaining challenges when it comes to language safety and simulation security. The problem area concerns detecting modeling errors at an early stage, so that faults can be isolated and resolved. Furthermore, to give guarantees for the absence of faults in models, the need for precise language specifications is vital, both regarding type systems and dynamic semantics.

This thesis includes five papers related to these topics. The first paper describes the informal concept of types in the Modelica language, and proposes a new concrete syntax for more precise type definitions. The second paper provides a new approach for detecting over- and under-constrained systems of equations in EOO languages, based on a concept called structural constraint delta. That approach makes use of type checking and a type inference algorithm. The third paper outlines a strategy for using abstract syntax as a middle-way between a formal and informal language specification. The fourth paper suggests and evaluates an approach for secure distributed co-simulation over wide area networks. The final paper outlines a new formal operational semantics for describing physical connections, which is based on the untyped lambda calculus. A kernel language is defined, in which real physical models are constructed and simulated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för datavetenskap, 2007. 26 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1337
Keyword
Modeling, Simulation, Equation-Based, Object-Oriented, Modelica, Type System, Semantics, Language Safety, Secure Simulation
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-10134 (URN)978-91-85895-24-3 (ISBN)
Presentation
2007-12-07, Visionen, B, Linköpings universistet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
Report code: LIU-TEK-LIC-2007:46. On the day of the defence date the status of article IV was: In Progress; The status of article V was: Manuscript.Available from: 2007-11-16 Created: 2007-11-16 Last updated: 2014-10-08

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Broman, DavidFritzson, Peter

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