On Behavioral Programming
Prof. David Harel (The Weizmann Institute of Science)
The talk starts from a dream/vision paper I published in 2008, whose title, "Can Programming be Liberated, Period?", is a play on that of John Backus' famous Turing Award Lecture (and paper). I will propose that --- or rather ask whether --- programming can be made a lot closer to the way we humans think about dynamics, and the way we somehow manage to get others (e.g., our children, our employees, etc.) to do what we have in mind. Technically, the question is whether we can liberate programming from its three main straightjackets: (1) having to directly produce a precise artifact in some language; (2) having actually to produce two separate artifacts (the program and the requirements) and having then to pit one against the other; (3) having to program each piece/part/object of the system separately. The talk will then get a little more technical, providing some evidence of feasibility of the dream, via LSCs and the play-in/play-out approach to scenario-based programming, and its more recent Java variant. The entire body of work around these ideas can be framed as a paradigm, which we call behavioral programming.
Prof. David Harel has been a faculty member at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel since 1980. He was Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from 1989 to 1995, and was Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science between 1998 and 2004. He is also co-founder of I-Logix, Inc. He received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978 in record time of 20 months. He spent two years of postdoctoral work at IBM's Yorktown Heights research center, and sabbatical years at Carnegie-Mellon University, Cornell University and the University of Edinburgh. In the past he worked in several areas of theoretical computer science, including computability theory, logics of programs, database theory, and automata theory. Over the years his activity in these areas diminished, and he became involved in several other areas, including software and systems engineering, visual languages, layout of diagrams, modeling and analysis of biological systems, and the synthesis and communication of smell. He is the inventor of the language of Statecharts and co-inventor of Live Sequence Charts (LSCs), and was part of the team that designed the tools Statemate, Rhapsody, the Play-Engine and PlayGo. He devotes part of his time to expository work: He has delivered a lecture series on Israeli radio and has hosted a series of programs on Israeli television. Some of his writing is intended for a general audience (see, for example, Computers Ltd.: What They Really Can't Do (2000, 2012), and Algorithmics: The Spirit of Computing (1987, 1992, 2003, 2012), which was the Spring 1988 Main Selection of the Macmillan Library of Science. He has received a number of awards, including the ACM Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award (1992), the Israel Prize (2004), the ACM Software System Award (2007), the Emet Prize (2010), and four honorary doctorates. He is a Fellow of the ACM (1994), the IEEE (1995) and the AAAS (2007), and a member of the Academia Europaea (2006) and the Israel Academy of Sciences (2010).
As in previous years, the post-conference proceedings will be published in Springer's Lecture Notes in Computer Science series (LNCS).