Dec 31, 1983
This Note summarizes the commands of the ROSS language. ROSS is an object-oriented programming language developed at RAND. The goal of ROSS is to provide a programming environment in which users can conveniently design, test, and change large knowledge-based simulations of complex mechanisms. Object-oriented programming languages, and ROSS in particular, enforce a "message-passing" style of programming in which the system to be modeled is represented as a set of actors and their behaviors (rules for actor interaction). This style is especially suited to simulation, since the mechanism or process to be simulated may have a part-whole decomposition that maps naturally onto actors. The first section of this Note gives an overall view of the language and the philosophy behind object-oriented programming. The next eleven sections give detailed descriptions of the basic commands or behaviors of the language. The final two sections give advice on how to write English-like code in ROSS and how to optimize code, once debugged.