SCS Faculty Candidate Talk

  • Gates&Hillman Centers
  • Reddy Conference Room 4405

Towards Declarative Scripting: Combining Constraint Processing and Analytics

This is a high-level glance at current trends in the Analytics and Constraint Processing landscape from the perspective of declarative programming language use and design (the forest rather than the trees) as well as speculate and extrapolate some perspectives therefrom (what seems to be needed).  This presentation makes a statement concerning the current evolution of application software programming. In particular, it is noted that a new specific area of software development is rapidly gaining in importance; namely, scripting---i.e., application modules orchestration and choreography. This has become a clear need in particular for Data Analytics applications, which are typically multiplexed modules interacting between data and specific processing tools acting thereon, such as statistical analysis and simulation, optimization, graphing and HTML/LaTeX report generation, etc., ...

We take a look at some available scripting systems used in combination with constraint processing technology for application orchestration, making a note of their specific features, and discussing their pros and cons.  We also underline software engineering and maintenance issues faced when scripting constrained optimization. The question we seek to answer is, given the state of the art in declarative programming language design, is it possible to improve current scripting technology to be as concise and declarative as possible?

Hassan Aït-Kaci holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania (1984), and a Research Director Habilitation from University of Paris 7 (1990) also in CS. He was a member of research staff at MCC in Austin, TX, and at the Digital Paris Research Lab, where he contributed with the LIFE programming language. In 1994, he was appointed full professor at SFU, in Burnaby, BC, Canada, where he held a senior NSERC Industrial Research Chair. In 2000, he joined ILOG, a French multinational company specializing in developing high-performance AI, OR, and Graphics software tools. After ILOG’s acquisition by IBM in February 2009, he was a Senior Member of Technical Staff at IBM Canada. From January 2013 to January 2015, he was the holder of an ANR Chair of Excellence at the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (UCBL), heading the CEDAR project (Constraint Event-Driven Automated Reasoning). In 2015, he was in charge of the LivEMUSIC project (Living Environment Monitoring Use Scenarios with Intelligent Control) also at the UCBL.

Throughout his career, Dr. Aït-Kaci has contributed to the formal design and efficient implementation of very high-level and multi-paradigm programming environments. He pioneered the use of constraints for representing and processing knowledge (LogIn, LeFun, LIFE). His interests are in automated reasoning, knowledge representation, language processing, and machine learning.

Faculty Host: Seth Goldstein

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