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FInCo 2007

Workshop on the Foundations of Interactive Computation

31 March 2007, Braga, Portugal
Satellite Workshop of ETAPS 2007








Since the 1960's, the practice of computing has unrecognizably changed. Rather than process data in batch mode, we expect our computers and other smart devices to interact with us and with each other, and to perform services on our behalf. Computation has become increasingly interactive. Concurrent, distributed, reactive, embedded, component-oriented, agent-oriented and service-oriented systems all fundamentally depend on interaction. However, a satisfactory formal foundation of interactive computation, analogous to one that recursive functions, Turing Machines, and lambda-calculus provide for algorithms, is still lacking. Furthermore, the implications of treating interaction as a first-class concept in the process of software design and construction remain to be fully understood.

Following the success of FInCo 2005, our goals are to work towards developing a unified conceptual and formal framework for understanding the principles of interaction, establishing language- and domain-independent models for it, and improving the development of software applications and systems through the application of interactive principles and models.

Call for Papers (1 page PDF)    |    Call for Papers (ASCII)  


Workshop Goals


The paradigm shift from algorithms to interactive computation captures the technology shift from mainframes to networks, wireless devices, and intelligent appliances, from number-crunching to embedded systems and graphical user interfaces, and from procedure-oriented to object-based and distributed computation. The following characteristics distinguish this new, interactive notion of computation:

Computational Problem: The notion of a computational problem includes performing a task or providing a service, rather than being restricted to algorithmically producing an answer to a question.

Observable Behavior: A computing component can no longer be modeled as a functional transformation from input to output, but rather in terms of an observable behavior consisting of interaction steps. For example, interactions may be interleaved inputs and outputs, modeled by dynamic streams; later input values may depend on earlier output values and vice versa.

Environments: The world, or environment of the computation is part of the model, playing an active part in the computation by dynamically supplying the computational system, or agent, with the inputs, and consuming the output values from the system. The environment cannot be assumed to be static, or even effectively computable; for example, it may include humans, or other elements of the real world. 

Concurrency: Computation may be concurrent, where the computing agent computes in parallel with its environment, and with other agents that may be in it.

The recognition that these characteristics are inherently outside the traditional (algorithmic) conceptualization of computation is the basis for this new paradigm for computing, built around the unifying concept of interaction. The interaction paradigm provides a new conceptualization of computational phenomena, placing the emphasis on interaction rather than on internal computational steps. Concurrent, distributed, reactive, embedded, component-oriented, agent-oriented and service-oriented systems all exploit interaction as a fundamental paradigm.  Contemporary approaches to Computational Models, Artificial Intelligence, Software Engineering, Programming Languages, and Networking are all part of this paradigm change. 

Peter Wegner.s claim (CACM, May 1997) that .interaction is more powerful than algorithms. challenges our fundamental assumptions about the nature of computation and the notion of computational problems, reinterpreting the Church-Turing thesis without attacking it directly.  It is an open invitation to researchers to develop the models, tools, and methods that can lend credence to this claim. Since then, pervasive/ubiquitous computing . which epitomizes interaction . has been proposed as the leading computing paradigm for the 21st century.

Many models capturing different aspects of interaction have been introduced, including interaction automata, process algebras, and co-algebraic approaches. We believe it is now time for researchers involved in interactive systems to join their efforts and collaborate to develop a common framework that focuses on constructive models of computation that exploit interaction as a first-class concept. Accordingly, this workshop provides an opportunity for direct interaction among researchers in this new area, with the following goals:

ETAPS is the proper event for hosting the FInCo workshop, since interaction is a pervasive aspect of today.s software applications. Our goal of bridging the theory and practice of interactive computation should attract participants from a variety of fields, representing research interests of most of the main ETAPS conferences.


Workshop Organizers

Dina Goldin

Computer Science
Brown University
Box 1910
Providence, RI 02912, USA

Email: dqg_AT_cs.brown.edu
URL: http://www.cs.brown.edu/people/dqg

Farhad Arbab
CWI and Leiden University
Kruislaan 413
1098 SJ Amsterdam,
The Netherlands

Email: farhad AT cwi.nl
URL: http://www.cwi.nl/~farhad



 Steering Committee

Prof. Dr. Manfred Broy
Technische Universitńt MŘnchen   
Institut fŘr Informatik
Boltzmannstr. 3
85748 Garching, Deutschland

Email: broy_AT_in.tum.de
URL: http://www4.in.tum.de/~broy

Dina Goldin

Computer Science
Brown University
Box 1910
Providence, RI 02912, USA

Email: dqg_AT_cs.brown.edu
URL: http://www.cs.brown.edu/people/dqg

Mirko Viroli
UniversitÓ degli Studi di Bologna
via Venezia 52
47023 Cesena, Italy
Email: mviroli_AT_deis.unibo.it
: http://www.ingce.unibo.it/~mviroli


Peter Wegner
Computer Science
Brown University
Box 1910

Providence, RI 02912, USA
Email: pw_AT_cs.brown.edu
: http://www.ingce.unibo.it/~mviroli

Program Committee (incomplete)

Gul Agha, UIUC, USA
Luca de Alfaro, UC Santa Cruz, USA
Luis Barbosa, Universidade do Minho, Portugal
Antonio Brogi, UniversitÓ di Pisa, Italy
Jon Doyle, North Carolina State University, USA
Giorgio Delzanno, UniversitÓ di Genova, Italy
JosÚ Luiz Fiadeiro, University of Leicester, UK
Rob van Glabbeek, National ICT, Australia
Kees van Hee,
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Orna Kupferman, Hebrew University, Israel
R. Prescott Loui, Washington U. in St. Louis, USA
Peter McBurney, University of Liverpool, UK
John-Jules Meyer, Utrecht U., the Netherlands
Ugo Montanari, UniversitÓ di Pisa, Italy
Rocco De Nicola, UniversitÓ degli Studi di Firenze, Italy
Andrea Omicini, UniversitÓ di Bologna - Cesena, Italy
Catuscia Palamidessi, INRIA and LIX ╔cole Polytechnique, France
Jean-Eric Pin, UniversitÚ Paris Denis Diderot and CNRS, France
Vladimiro Sassone, University of Southampton, UK
Douglas C. Schmidt, Vanderbilt University, USA
Carolyn Talcott, SRI International, USA
Bernhard Thalheim, Kiel University, Germany

Invited Speaker

Event-driven Design in Practice and Theory
Bertrand Meyer, ETH Zurich and Eiffel Software

The event-driven style of design, where operations occur not as a result of a preset scenario but in reaction to occurrences beyond the control of the program, is growing ever more important in areas ranging from GUI design and Web services to general concurrent programming. This talks describes a library for event-driven design, its applications to a variety of problems, and a theoretical framework for discussing the event-driven mode of computation.


09:00 - 09:15   


Farhad Arbab (CWI and Leiden University, Netherlands)

09:15 - 10:30


Event-driven Design in Practice and Theory

Bertrand Meyer, ETH Zurich and Eiffel Software

10:30 - 11:00


11:00 - 12:20

SESSION 1: specification and analysis of interactive agents

11:00 - 11:40

A Formal Framework for Interactive Agents

Carolyn L. Talcott (SRI International, USA)

11:40 - 12:20

Observable Behavior of Dynamic Systems: Component-Based Reasoning for Concurrent Objects

Johan Dovland, Einar Broch Johnsen, and Olaf Owe (Univ. Oslo, Norway)

12:30 - 14:00


included in the workshop registration fee

14:00 - 16:00

SESSION 2: modeling interaction

14:00 - 14:40

Interaction in Time and Space        
Gabriel Ciobanu (A.I.Cusa Univ., Romania)

14:40 - 15:20

Validating for Liveness in Hidden Adversary Systems
Saikat Mukherjee, Srinath Srinivasa, and SatishChandra D. (IIIT Bangalore, India)

15:20 - 16:00

AGAPIA v0.1: A Programming Language for Interactive Systems and its Typing System
Cezara Drặgoi and Gheorghe Ştefặnescu (Univ. Bucharest, Romania)

16:00 - 16:30 BREAK
16:30 - 17:10

SESSION 3: programming languages for interactive computing

16:30 - 17:10

Programming Languages for Interactive Computing

Roly Perera (Dynamic Aspects, United Kingdom)

17:15 - 18:15


Models and Languages for Interactive Systems

all speakers

18:15 - 18:30

Dina Goldin (Brown University, USA)



joint workshops post-conference dinner, tickets (45 Euros) must be purchased in advance

Important Dates

  • paper submission: Jan. 31, 2007

  • notification of acceptance: Feb. 28, 2007

  • workshop: Mar. 31, 2007

Miscellaneous Links

Maintained by Dina Goldin finco07_AT_cs.brown.edu