Tag Archives: Bidirectional Updating

A programmable editor for developing structured documents based on bidirectional transformations

Z. Hu, S-C. Mu and M. Takeichi. Higher-Order and Symbolic Computation, Vol 21(1-2), pp 89-118, May 2008.
[PDF]

This paper presents an application of bidirectional transformations to design and implementation of a novel editor supporting interactive refinement in the development of structured documents. The user performs a sequence of editing operations on the document view, and the editor automatically derives an efficient and reliable document source and a transformation that produces the document view. The editor is unique in its programmability, in the sense that transformation can be obtained through editing operations. The main tricks behind are the utilization of the view-updating technique developed in the database community, and a new bidirectional transformation language that can describe not only relationship between the document source and its view, but also data dependency in the view.

Bidirectionalizing tree transformation languages: a case study

S-C. Mu, Z. Hu and M. Takeichi. In JSSST Computer Software (コンピュータソフトウェア) Vol. 23(2), pp. 129-141, 2006.
[PDF]

A transformation from the source data to a target view is said to be bidirectional if, when the target is altered, the transformation somehow induces a way to reflect the changes back to the source, with
the updated source satisfying certain healthiness conditions. Several bidirectional transformation languages have been proposed. In this paper, on the other hand, we aim at making existing transformations bidirectional.
As a case study we chose the Haskell combinator library, HaXML, and embed it into Inv, a language the authors
previously developed to deal with bidirectional updating. With the embedding, existing HaXML transformations gain bidirectionality.

An algebraic approach to bidirectional updating

S-C. Mu, Z. Hu and M. Takeichi. In The Second Asian Symposium on Programming Language and Systems, pp. 2-18. November 2004.
[PDF]

In many occasions would one encounter the task of maintaining the consistency of two pieces of structured data related by some transform — synchronising bookmarks in different web browsers, the source and the view in an editor, or views in databases, to name a few. This paper proposes a formal model of such tasks, basing on a programming language allowing injective functions only, inspired by previous work on program inversion. The programmer designs the transformation as if she is writing a functional program, while the synchronisation behaviour is automatically derived by algebraic reasoning. The main advantage is being able to deal with duplication and structural changes. The result will be integrated to our structure XML editor in the Programmable Structured Document project.

A programmable editor for developing structured documents based on bidirectional transformations

Z. Hu, S-C. Mu and M. Takeichi. In Partial Evaluation and Semantics-Based Program Manipulation, pp. 178-189. August 2004.
[PDF]

This paper presents a novel editor supporting interactive refinement in the development of structured documents. The user performs a sequence of editing operations on the document view, and our system automatically derives an efficient and reliable document source and a transformation that produces the document view. The editor is unique in its programmability, in the sense that transformation can be obtained through editing operations. The
important techniques behind this editor are the utilization of the view-updating idea developed in the database community, and a bidirectional transformation language that concisely describes the relationship between the document source and its view, as well as data dependency in the view.

An injective language for reversible computation

S-C. Mu, Z. Hu and M. Takeichi. In Mathematics of Program Construction 2004, LNCS 3125, pp. 289-313, July 2004.
[PDF]

Erasure of information incurs an increase in entropy and dissipatse heat. Therefore, information-preserving computation is essential for constructing computers that use energy more effectively. A more recent motivation to understand reversible transformations also comes from the design of editors where editing actions on a view need to be reflected back to the source data.

In this paper we present a point-free functional language, with a relational semantics, in which the programmer is allowed to define injective functions only. Non-injective functions can be transformed into a program returning a history. The language is presented with many examples, and its relationship with Bennett’s reversible Turing machine is explained.

The language serves as a good model for program construction and reasoning for reversible computers, and hopefully for modelling bi-directional updating in an editor.