ECOOP Invited Speakers
The Return of Transactions
Major chip manufacturers have recently shifted their focus from speeding individual processors to multiplying them on the same chip and shipping multicore architectures. Boosting the performance of programs will thus necessarily go through parallelizing them. This is not trivial and the average programmer will badly need abstractions for synchronizing concurrent accesses to shared memory objects. The transaction abstraction looks promising for this purpose and there is a lot of interest around its use in modern parallel programming. This talk will investigate whether the "return" of the old transaction idea brings any interesting research question, especially for the programming language community.
Rachid Guerraoui is professor in computer science at EPFL. He has been affiliated with Ecole des Mines of Paris, the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, HP Labs in Palo Alto and MIT. His research interest includes distributed algorithms and distributed programming languages. His first scientific paper was published at ECOOP'92 on integrating the transaction abstraction into an object-oriented programming language.
Akinori Yonezawa systematically developed theories and practical implementations for concurrent object-oriented languages, from the early incarnation of Actors in the late 70’s to the ABCL language series in the early 90’s, eventually leading to the seminal book "Object-Oriented Concurrent Programming", published with Mario Tokoro in 1987. His contributions to concurrent object-oriented languages range from theoretical foundations and massively parallel and efficient implementations of programs, to incorporating computational reflection in concurrent language designs – long before reflection was considered mainstream in object-oriented languages. In his work on theoretical foundations, he tackled the problem of formalizing the notion of concurrent objects in various ways, defining succinct operational semantics for concurrent objects using higher-order calculi and other forms of logical systems, such as linear logic, to provide the much needed rigor to the discipline of concurrent object programming. On the implementation side, in the early 90’s he lead the team that implemented several variants of ABCL on supercomputers such as the Fujitsu AP1000 that embodied 512 nodes which was by far one of the largest and fastest parallel supercomputers in those days. He was also the first person to suggest a model of computational reflection for concurrent objects, and continuously extended the work so that reflective capabilities became both functionally powerful and efficiently implementable in today’s object oriented programming languages and systems. With JavaGo, he has continued to contribute in the area of object mobility and concurrency.
Wolfgang De Meuter
Wolfgang De Meuter has shown promising potential as a young researcher by proposing innovative ideas and by proving that these are conceptually sound and realistically implementable. He has focused his research and teaching on several different concepts such as formal semantics of prototype-based languages, innovation in AOP (e.g., monads for AOP and jumping aspects giving rise to cflow), and more recently programming languages for ambient systems. In his Ph.D. dissertation on "Move Considered Harmful: A Language Design Approach to Mobility and Distribution for Open Networks", he proposes a new conceptual model for strong code mobility in prototype-based object-oriented systems. The Ph.D. was the precursor of the AmbientTalk language that was recently developed by Wolfgang and his students. The language targets ambient-oriented environments where failure is the rule rather than the exception. It supports new service discovery techniques, techniques to deal with knowledge that is distributed over volatile connections, and advanced remote object referencing techniques, as well as replication and reversible computations. Like Dahl and Nygaard, Wolfgang challenges students to look at new things, be it virtual machine technology or context-aware programming, with a disciplined questioning eye. And he is not afraid to challenge old established concepts as witnessed by the title of his Ph.D. He encourages the development of sound concepts backed with the practice of prototype implementations in preparing a new generation of researchers. He also continues to work toward putting dynamic languages back on the scientific agenda.