Maude: Specification and programming in rewriting logic

M. Clavel, F. Durán, S. Eker, P. Lincoln, N. Martí-Oliet, J. Meseguer, J. F. Quesada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Maude is a high-level language and a high-performance system supporting executable specification and declarative programming in rewriting logic. Since rewriting logic contains equational logic, Maude also supports equational specification and programming in its sublanguage of functional modules and theories. The underlying equational logic chosen for Maude is membership equational logic, that has sorts, subsorts, operator overloading, and partiality definable by membership and equality conditions. Rewriting logic is reflective, in the sense of being able to express its own metalevel at the object level. Reflection is systematically exploited in Maude endowing the language with powerful metaprogramming capabilities, including both user-definable module operations and declarative strategies to guide the deduction process. This paper explains and illustrates with examples the main concepts of Maude's language design, including its underlying logic, functional, system and object-oriented modules, as well as parameterized modules, theories, and views. We also explain how Maude supports reflection, metaprogramming and internal strategies. The paper outlines the principles underlying the Maude system implementation, including its semicompilation techniques. We conclude with some remarks about applications, work on a formal environment for Maude, and a mobile language extension of Maude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-243
Number of pages57
JournalTheoretical Computer Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 28 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Functional modules
  • Internal strategies
  • Maude
  • Parameterization
  • Reflection
  • Rewriting logic
  • System modules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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