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Language peer sets for Base Language:
United States
United States/1968
Designed 1968
1960s languages
Third generation
High Cold War
Genus Single-assignment
Experimental and other
Single-assignment/United States
Dataflow/United States
State/flow/United States
Experimental and other
Experimental and other/1968
Experimental and other/us

Base Language(ID:8452/)

alternate simple view
Country: United States
Designed 1968
Published: 1971
Genus: Single-assignment
Sammet category: Experimental and other

Common Base Language for representing programs effectively to hardware, based on the VDM formalism, but taken to the position of interpretation of instructions. Effectively the first DF language, evolved into Dataflow, then Val

"The Computation Structures Group of Project MAC is working toward the design and specification of a base language for programs and information structures.  The base language is intended to serve as a common intermediate representation for programs expressed in a variety of source programming languages."

Influenced by McCarthy, Landin, VDM, Iliffe's hardware work. Dennis also communicated with Ershov at Novozibirsk on his internal translation experiments

Intimately involved with efficient parallel processing in hardware and its description, which was the subject of research by Dennis at MIT from 1964 onwards. The formalisation of the problem as solvable in some form by a computer language was about 1969, and it was with the DARPA grant in 1970 that it began as a focussed research initiative, wth the first published drafts of the Base Language paper

Related languages
GENIE Base Language   Incorporates some features of
OREGANO Base Language   Influence
Vienna Definition Language Base Language   Incorporated features of
Base Language Dataflow   Evolution of

  • Dennis (1966) Dennis, J. B. and Van Horn, E. C. "Programming semantics for multiprogrammed computations" CACM, Vol. 9, No. 3 (March 1966), pp143-155.
  • Dennis (1968) Dennis, Jack B. "Programming Generality, Parallelism and Computer Architecture" Computation Structures Group - Memo No. 32 MIT-Project MAC - MAC-M-409 Abstract
  • Dennis (1969) Dennis, J. B. "Future trends in time sharing systems" Time-Sharing Innovation for Operations Research and Decision-Making. Washington Operations Research Council 1969, pp 229-235.
  • Dennis (1969) Dennis, J. B. "Programming generality, parallelism and computer architecture". Information Processing 68, North-Holland, Amsterdam 1969, pp 484-492.
  • Dennis (1970) Dennis, Jack B. "On the Exchange of Information" Computation Structures Group - Memo No. 52 October, 1970 Abstract Extract: The Problem Extract: Conclusion
  • Dennis (1971) Dennis, J. B. "Coroutines and parallel computation", Princeton Conference an Information Sciences and Systems, Princeton, New Jersey, March 1971
  • Dennis (1971) Dennis, J. B. On the Design and Specification of a Common Base Language. Proceedings of the Symposium on Computers and Automata, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, New York, April, 1971
  • Dennis (1972) Dennis, J.B. "On the Design and Specification of a Common Base Language" June 1972, MIT LCS TR-101 Abstract Extract: Introduction Extract: Formal Semantics Extract: Representation Of Concurrency In The Base Language Extract: Conclusion Online copy
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