Operational semantics for signal handling

Maxim Strygin
(School of Computer Science University of Birmingham)
Hayo Thielecke
(School of Computer Science University of Birmingham)

Signals are a lightweight form of interprocess communication in Unix. When a process receives a signal, the control flow is interrupted and a previously installed signal handler is run. Signal handling is reminiscent both of exception handling and concurrent interleaving of processes. In this paper, we investigate different approaches to formalizing signal handling in operational semantics, and compare them in a series of examples. We find the big-step style of operational semantics to be well suited to modelling signal handling. We integrate exception handling with our big-step semantics of signal handling, by adopting the exception convention as defined in the Definition of Standard ML. The semantics needs to capture the complex interactions between signal handling and exception handling.

In Bas Luttik and Michel A. Reniers: Proceedings Combined 19th International Workshop on Expressiveness in Concurrency and 9th Workshop on Structured Operational Semantics (EXPRESS/SOS 2012), Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, September 3, 2012, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 89, pp. 149–163.
Published: 12th August 2012.

ArXived at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4204/EPTCS.89.11 bibtex PDF
References in reconstructed bibtex, XML and HTML format (approximated).
Comments and questions to: eptcs@eptcs.org
For website issues: webmaster@eptcs.org