Language Design for Reactive Systems : On Modal Models, Time, and Object Orientation in Lingua Franca and SCCharts

Reactive systems play a crucial role in the embedded domain. They continuously interact with their environment, handle concurrent operations, and are commonly expected to provide deterministic behavior to enable application in safety-critical systems. In this context, language design is a key aspect, since carefully tailored language constructs can aid in addressing the challenges faced in this domain, as illustrated by the various concurrency models that prevent the known pitfalls of regular threads.

Today, many languages exist in this domain and often provide unique characteristics that make them specifically fit for certain use cases. This thesis evolves around two distinctive languages: the actor-oriented polyglot coordination language Lingua Franca and the synchronous statecharts dialect SCCharts. While they take different approaches in providing reactive modeling capabilities, they share clear similarities in their semantics and complement each other in design principles.

This thesis analyzes and compares key design aspects in the context of these two languages. For three particularly relevant concepts, it provides and evaluates lean and seamless language extensions that are carefully aligned with the fundamental principles of the underlying language. Specifically, Lingua Franca is extended toward coordinating modal behavior, while SCCharts receives a timed automaton notation with an efficient execution model using dynamic ticks and an extension toward the object-oriented modeling paradigm.



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