Controlled Dataflow Languages


Philip T. Cox
Simon Gauvin

Author Addresses: 

Faculty of Computer Science
Dalhousie University
6050 University Ave.
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
B3H 4R2


In an important subclass of visual dataflow languages that includes many developed for industrial use, programs consist of acyclic diagrams embedded in control structures of some form. We present here a formalisation of this class of languages, which we call controlled dataflow. This work was motivated by a previous study of an exceptions mechanism for languages of this type, since to define how the exceptions mechanism would be incorporated into any CDL, we needed a formalism to precisely capture the syntax and semantics of this class, including a protocol for including language-specific control structures. To illustrate the formalism, we provide examples that show how it captures conditional execution, iteration and exception handling.

Tech Report Number: 
Report Date: 
June 2, 2008
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