ATerms for manipulation and exchange of structured data: It's all about sharing
Information and Software Technology , Volume 49 - Issue 1 p. 55- 64
Some data types are so simple that they tend to be reimplemented over and over again. This is certainly true for terms, tree-like data structures that can represent prefix formulae, syntax trees, intermediate code, and more. We first describe the motivation to introduce Annotated Terms (ATERMs): unifying several term formats, optimizing storage requirements by introducing maximal subterm sharing, and providing a language-neutral exchange format. Next, we present a brief overview of the ATERM technology itself and of its wide range of applications. A discussion of competing technologies and the future of ATERMs concludes the paper.