Machine Theory

Abstract state machines: A method for high-level system by Egon Börger, Robert Stärk

By Egon Börger, Robert Stärk

This e-book combines the beneficial properties of a textbook and a instruction manual Researchers will locate the following the main complete description of ASMs on hand this present day and execs will use it as a "modeling instruction manual of the operating software program engineer. As a textbook it helps self-study or it will probably shape the foundation of a lecture direction.

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37 Resolving conflicting writes to shared variables. Hardware design languages provide constructs to cope with the problem that for given variables v , multiple and possibly conflicting update requests for val (v ) by independent processes may occur concurrently. In the IEEE standard for VHDL’93, for example, such conflicts are resolved by an implementation-defined resolution mechanism which can be represented by an external function resolve, selecting one value out of a set competingVal (v ) of values currently offered to 36 37 We disregard in this example the peculiar handling of termination and timeout in Esterel, which is based upon the Watchdog construct.

This feature helps the system designer to control the amount of information which he wants to give to the programmer. The only (but crucial) assumption made is that in a given state the values of all monitored functions are determined. 2 Working Definition 35 Out functions are dynamic functions which are updated but not read by M and are monitored (read but not updated) by the environment or in general by other agents. 32 We call functions external for M if for M they are either static or monitored.

In the former case the question is how the agent interacts with its environment, in the latter case whether the multiple agents act in a synchronous or in an asynchronous manner, and furthermore whether they are distributed or not. We also consider the orthogonal classification whether (and how) the programs executed by the agents are structured, giving rise to submachine concepts. This leads us to define in this chapter basic ASMs as single-agent machines which may dispose of potentially unrestricted non-determinism and parallelism (appearing in the form of the “choose” and “forall” rules defined below) and to distinguish a version with flat programs from structured versions (Chap.

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