Controlled Dataflow Languages

Authors: 

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

Abstract: 

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: 
CS-2008-05
Report Date: 
June 2, 2008
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