The LMNtal system first compiles LMNtal source files into intermediate code. It then translates the intermediate code into Java programs, which is then compiled into Java bytecode and packaged into an .jar (Java archive) file. How to run the .jar file will be described below.

When invoked with the --interpret option, the second and subsequent steps of compilation is skipped and the intermediate code will be executed interpretively.

When invoked without specifying a source file, the LMNtal system enters the REPL (read-eval-print loop) mode, in which case expressions will be executed interpretively.

The system comes with library APIs. By default, the compiled version of the APIs will be used (this works also when invoked with the --interpret option). In this case the .jar files of the library APIs should be created beforehand and should be added to the classpath. By using shellscripts in the bin directory, you can invoke LMNtal after adding .jar files located in the lib directory. Alternatively, you can use the source code of the APIs by specifying the --use-source-library option, in which case .lmn files located under the lib/src directory will be read and compiled on demand.

LMNtal programs transtaled into Java bytecode will run an order of magnitude faster than the interpreted intermediate code.

How to Use

(Note to Cygwin users: The command names (lmnc, lmnr, lmntal) shown below works on UNIX/Linux and Windows. On Cygwin, please use lmnc_cyg, lmnr_cyg, and lmntal_cyg instead.)

Using shellscripts (Windows NT/2000/XP, Cygwin, UNIX/Linux)

Preparation (necessary only when using your own libraries)

Prepare compiled libraries (how to make lirary .jar files will be explained below) and put them in the lib directory.


$lmnc foo.lmn


$ lmnr foo.jar

Interactive execution (Read-Eval-Print loop)

$ lmntal

Interactive mode will start when filenames are not specified in the command line. The process to be executed can be given in multiple lines. Press the enter key twice to finish the process and execute it. For those who prefer starting execuition with one newline, the

The following list shows some interactive-mode commands:

:q                - quit
:h                - see help
:trace | :notrace - set trace mode
:verbose [0-9]    - set verbose level
:shuffle [0-3]    - set shuffle level

Here is an example of an interactive mode session:

% lmntal [PRESS ENTER]
        LMNtal version 0.70.20060105

Type :h to see help.
Type :q to quit.
Enter an empty line to run the input.

# A=f(f(f(f(f(A))))), c,c, ( c, X=f(Y) :- X=g(Y) ) [PRESS ENTER]
f(g(g(f(f(_4)))),_4), @601
# A=f(f(f(f(f(A))))), c,c, ( c, X=f(Y) :- X=g(Y) ) [PRESS ENTER]
g(f(f(f(g(_24)))),_24), @604

Doing manually (Windows 9x etc.)


  1. When standard or user-defined library APIs are used, add their
    .jar files into the classpath.
  2. Compile the source file:
    $ java runtime.FrontEnd foo.lmn
  3. foo.jar will be created.

Command-line options

-t            - trace mode
-v[0-9]       - set verbosity level ( -v = -v5 )
-s[0-3]       - set shuffle level ( -s = -s3 )
-g            - graphical mode (experimental)

There are many more options that can be specified. To see what options are available, do:

 lmntal --help

Verbosity Level

Expresses how verbosely an LMNtal process is displayed.

  0: silence
  2: default
  3: print `proxy atoms' and contents of rulesets
  4: expand operators
  5: expand atoms (default)
  6: expand rulesets

Shuffle Level

Expresses how randomly the execution goes on.

  0: (default) use an atom stack for each membrane (atoms are selected in LIFO manner)
  1: atoms are selected in some arbitrary manner, not random nor LIFO
  2: select atoms and membranes randomly from a membrane
  3: select atoms, membranes and rules randomly from a membrane

Graphical Mode (experimental)

In the graphical mode, a window is displayed that visualizes the content of the atoms and links at the root (top-level) membrane. Pressing space bar or clicking on 'Go ahead' button will proceed the computation step by step. Atoms can be dragged to arbitrary positions so that the graph can be viewed better. To terminate the execution, please close the window manually.

How to create libraries

(to be supplied soon)

Classes built by the translator

(to be supplied soon)

System rulesets

(to be supplied soon)


(to be supplied soon)

Front page List of pages Search Recent changes Backup   Help   RSS of recent changes