From Programs to Systems 2014

From Programs to Systems – The Systems Perspective in Computing

ETAPS Workshop in honor of Joseph Sifakis

Grenoble, April 6, 2014

The focus of computing has been continuously shifting from programs to systems over the past decades. Programs can be represented as relations independent from the physical resources needed for their execution. Their behavior is often terminating, deterministic and platform-independent. On the contrary, systems are interactive. They continuously interact with an external environment. Their behavior is driven by stimuli from the environment, which, in turn, is affected by their outputs.

Systems are inherently complex and hard to design owing to unpredictable and subtle interactions with their environment, emergent behaviors, and occasional catastrophic cascading failures, rather than to complex data and algorithms. Compared to function software, their complexity is exacerbated by additional factors such as concurrent execution, uncertainty resulting
from interaction with unpredictable environments, heterogeneity of interaction between hardware and software, and nonrobustness (small variations in a certain part of the system can have large effects on overall system behavior).

Theory of computation is, by its very nature, of little help for studying systems. Even if we perfectly understand the properties of a program and the properties of a hardware target platform, we have no theory to predict the behavior of the program running on the platform.

The aim of this workshop is to discuss the Systems Perspective in Computing, by addressing the two following issues:

Extending programing theory to systems:

  • To what extent can formal techniques for software development be adapted/extended to system development?
  • Program correctness vs. system correctness;
  • Adapting SW engineering techniques to systems engineering;
  • Software modeling vs. system modeling;
  • How software verification techniques can be adapted to deal with quantitative properties?

 Foundations for system design:

  • Missing results (theory, methods and tools) enabling rigorous system design;
  • Building faithful system models;
  • Adaptive resources management– Mixed criticality systems;
  • Design space exploration;
  • Automated implementation techniques for distributed or many-core platforms.


09h15 - 09h30 Opening
09h30 - 10h30

Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli (University of California at Berkeley)
Let's get physical: computer science meets systems
(joint work with Pierluigi Nuzzo)

Janos Sztipanovits (Vanderbilt School of Engineering)
OpenMETA: A Model- and Component-Based Design Tool Chain for Cyber-Physical Systems
(joint work with Ted Bapty, Sandeep Neema, Larry Howard and Ethan Jackson)

10h30 - 11h00 Coffee Break
11h00 - 12h30

David Harel (Weizmann Institute of Science)
Steps Towards Scenario-Based Programming with a Natural Language Interface
(joint work with Gordon Michal)

Manfred Broy (Technische Universität München)
A Model of Dynamic Systems

Martin Wirsing (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
Assembly Theories for Communication-Safe Component Systems
(joint work with Rolf Hennicker, Alexander Knapp)

12h30 - 14h00 Lunch
14h00 - 16h00

Moshe Vardi (Rice University)
Compositional Temporal Synthesis
(joint work with Yoad Lustig and Sumit Nain)

Kim Guldstrand Larsen (Aalborg University)
Parametric and Quantitative Extensions of Modal Transition Systems
(joint work with Uli Fahrenberg, Axel Legay and Louis-Marie Traonouez)

Lenore Zuck (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Reasoning about Network Topologies in Space
(joint work with Kenneth McMillan)

Doron Peled (Bar Ilan University)
Compositional Branching-Time Measurements
(joint work with Radu Grosu, C.R. Ramakrishnan, Scott Smolka, Scott Stoller and Junxing Yang)

16h00 - 16h30 Coffee Break
16h30 - 17h30

Michel Raynal (IRISA Rennes)
What Can be Computed in a Distributed System ?

Joseph Sifakis (CNRS/VERIMAG and EPFL)
Toward a System Design Science


Saddek Bensalem (Verimag, Univ. of Grenoble, France)
Yassine Lakhnech (Verimag, Univ. of Grenoble, France)
Axel Legay (INRIA rennes, France)


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