The main objectives are the areas in which co-ordinated research is needed, and in which major advances in technology can be expected by this consortium:
Calculi - to develop the theory of those calculi already proposed, to determine their expressive power and to develop systematically their interrelation.
Foundational Models and Abstract Machines - to develop common platforms for semantics and for implementations.
Logics for Concurrency and the (-calculus - to further develop logics for stating properties of and reasoning about systems
Programming Languages - the design and experimental implementation of practical programming languages combining concurrency and the (-calculus.
Approach and Methods: The co-operation between partners will be organised around an average of 2 workshops per year, which will formalise and ease collaborations between partners. Many of these collaborations already existed in the CONFER project.
We perceive experimental work as an integral part of the working group in the sense that it can contribute to verify the feasibility, potential impact and industrial viability of solutions proposed by theory, while simultaneously providing constant feedback and stimulus for theoretical work.
Impact of results
The work done in CONFER has been of very high quality on the frontiers of research. In many cases, results from CONFER have defined the state of the art and stimulated research far beyond the project in places such as the US, Australia and Japan. Results obtained in the CONFER project have already proved to be of high industrial relevance and are currently being exploited by ECRC and its shareholder companies Bull, ICL and Siemens, as well as by small and medium sized companies. Results obtained in the CONFER project are also influencing work on the international LOTOS standard which most likely will encompass mobility inspired by the (-calculus and CHOCS.
We expect that with the involvement of two industrial partners, ICL and France Telecom, as well as two national research centres, INRIA and CWI, results produced in the CONFER-2 working group will be exploited industrially as soon as they emerge.
CONFER-2 is a continuation of the CONFER Basic Research Project. It aims to unite the two areas of functional and concurrent computation both in theory and in practice. The two paradigms apply naturally to different classes of problems: functional programming supports abstraction and compositionality, concurrency becomes necessary in dealing with distributed and parallel systems.