Semantics will play an important role in the future development of software systems and domain-specific languages. This book provides a needed introductory presentation of the fundamental ideas behind these approaches, stresses their relationship by formulating and proving the relevant theorems, and illustrates the applications of semantics in computer science. Historically important application areas are presented together with some exciting potential applications. The text investigates the relationship between various methods and describes some of the main ideas used, illustrating these by means of interesting applications. The book provides a rigorous introduction to the main approaches to formal semantics of programming languages. 37 Tables, black and white; 4 Illustrations, black and white; XII, 274 p. 4 illus.