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A language called ASL for describing structured algebraic specifications is presented. ASL is a declarative higher-order language. It contains constructs for building (possibly infinite) signatures, sets of terms, and sets of formulas as well as constructs embodying primitive operations on algebraic specifications. In particular, ASL includes a very general 'observability' operation which can be used to behaviourally abstract from a specification. The expressive power of these operations allowsdoi:10.1016/0304-3975(86)90051-4 fatcat:kowsnd4ngfhelfoxxr7nn5l6za