This paper investigates the possible approaches to developing a mathematcial model of the process of abstraction in programming. In particular, two formal measures are considered for comparing the relative abstractive power of programming languages. A measure called expressiveness, proposed elsewhere by M. Felleisen, is found insufficient for the current task because it is concerned with expression only of runtime semantics. A second measure called S-expressiveness defined here, doesn't fully capture abstractive power either, but its shortcomings are different from those of Felleisen's measure. Implications for future research are discussed.
Shutt, John N.
(1999). S-Expressiveness and the Abstractive Power of Programming Languages. .
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