Bashar Nuseibeh, Lero: Modelling the World: can't be done, now what?

Janos Sztipanovits, Vanderbilt University: Model Integration and Cyber Physical Systems:  A Semantics Perspective

Jasmin Fisher, Microsoft Research Cambridge: Executable Biology: Towards Computer Programmes that Mimic Life

David Harel, Weizmann Institute of Science: Some Thoughts on Behavioral Programming

Bashar Nuseibeh

Title: Modelling the World: can't be done, now what?


Bashar Nuseibeh is Professor of Software Engineering and Chief Scientist at Lero - the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre. He is also a Professor of Computing at the Open University, UK, where he served as Director of Research (2002-2008), and a Visiting Professor at Imperial College London and the National Institute of Informatics, Japan. Previously he was a Reader at Imperial College London and Head of its Software Engineering Laboratory. His research interests are in software requirements engineering and design, software process modelling and technology, security and privacy, and technology transfer. He has published over 160 refereed papers and consulted widely with industry, working with organisations such as the UK National Air Traffic Services (NATS), Texas Instruments, Praxis Critical Systems, Philips Research Labs, and NASA. Bashar is Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Editor Emeritus of of the Automated Software Engineering Journal, and a member of the Editorial Board of several other international journals. He has served as programme chair of ASE'98, RE'01, and ICSE'05, was Chair of the Steering Committee of ICSE, and is Chair IFIP Working Group 2.9 (Requirements Engineering). He received a 2002 Philip Leverhulme Prize, an ICSE'2003 Most Influential Paper award, a Senior Research Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Leverhulme Trust (2005-2007), and a Microsoft Research Award (2011). He was elected a Fellow of Automated Software Engineering in 2007, and is a Fellow of the BCS and IET, and a Chartered Engineer.

Janos Sztipanovits

Title: Model Integration and Cyber Physical Systems:  A Semantics Perspective

Recent attention to Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) is driven by the need for deeper integration of design disciplines that dominate physical and computational domains. Consequently, heterogeneity is the norm as well as the main challenge in CPS design: components and systems are modeled using multiple physical, logical, functional and non-functional modeling aspects. The scope of relevant design domains includes (1) physical domains, such as  structure, mechanical dynamics, thermal, propulsion, fluid, electrical, acoustics/vibration and (2) computational/networking domains, such as system control, sensors, health management, mission management, communication. However, the practice of multi-modeling – using established domain-specific modeling languages and tools independently in the design process – is insufficient. Modeling and analyzing cross-domain interactions among physical and computational/networking domains and understanding the effects of heterogeneous abstraction layers in the design flow are fundamental part of CPS design theories. I will cast this challenge as a  model integration problem and discuss solutions for capturing interdependencies across the modeling domains using constructs for meta-model composition and integration. 

Short Biography

Dr. Janos Sztipanovits is the E. Bronson Ingram Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Vanderbilt University. He is founding director of the Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS). His research areas are at the intersection of systems and computer science and engineering. His current research interest includes the foundation and applications of model-based methods for the design of Cyber Physical Systems.

Dr. Jasmin Fisher

Title: Executable Biology: Towards Computer Programmes that Mimic Life

As time goes by, it becomes more and more apparent that the puzzles of life involve more and more molecular pieces that fit together in increasingly complex ways. Biology is not an exact science. It is messy and noisy, and most often vague and ambiguous. We cannot assign clear rules to the way cells behave and interact with one another. And we often cannot quantify the exact amounts of molecules, such as genes and proteins, in the resolution of a single cell. To make matters worse (so to speak), the combinatorial complexity observed in biological networks (e.g., metabolic and signalling pathways) is staggering, which renders the comprehension and analysis of such systems a major challenge. Recent efforts to create executable models of complex biological phenomena – an approach called Executable Biology – entail great promise for new scientific discoveries, shading new light on the puzzle of life. At the same time, this ‘new wave of the future’ forces Computer Science to stretch far and beyond, and in ways never considered before, in order to deal with the enormous complexity observed in biology. In this talk, I will summarize some of the success stories in using formal methods to model biology, as well as some of the major milestones on the way to conquer biological complexity.

Short biography

Dr. Jasmin Fisher received her PhD in Neuroimmunology from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and is currently a Researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge and an associated Lecturer at Cambridge University. She started her work on the application of formal methods to biology as a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Computer Science at the Weizmann Institute (2003-2004), where she worked with Prof. David Harel, and then continued to work also on the development of novel formalisms and tools that are specifically-tailored for modelling biological processes as a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Computer Science at the EPFL in Switzerland (2004-2007), together with Prof. Tom Henzinger. Her research focuses on the construction and analysis of executable models that mimic aspects of biological phenomena in order to better understand complex biological systems. She is mainly interested in processes of cell fate determination and signalling networks operating during normal development and cancer. Her e-mail address is and her webpage is

David Harel

Title: Some Thoughts on Behavioral Programming

The talk starts from a dream/vision paper I published in 2008, whose title 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.

Short biography

David Harel is the William Sussman Professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science. His research interests are in several areas of computer science. In the past these included computability (especially levels of undecidability), logics of programs (especially dynamic logic), database theory (especially query languages and their power), and automata theory.  In recent years, has activity is focused on software and systems engineering, object-oriented analysis and design, visual languages, layout of diagrams, modeling and analysis of biological systems, and the synthesis and communication of smell.

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Page last updated: 05/07/2011