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ACM Conference Features Expanded Focus on High Integrity Language Technology

Edmund Clark, Jeannette Wing Join Experts Assessing Challenges of Safety-Critical Software

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact: Virginia Gold

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PITTSBURGH – October 22, 2013 – Leading experts in language technology for high-integrity systems will present their findings at a forum featuring innovative research, practical experience, and workable solutions. The High Integrity Language Technology (HILT) conference, to be held November 10-14 at the Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center Hotel, is presented by ACM’s Special Interest Group on Ada (SIGAda).  Ada is the high-level programming language designed for applications where correctness, safety, reliability, and maintainability are primary requirements.  The program includes ACM Turing Award recipient Edmund M. Clarke of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) on “Model Checking and the Curse of Dimensionality” among the keynote speakers. 

“A significant factor affecting whether and how the requirements for high integrity software are met are the chosen language technologies,” says Jeff Boleng of Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI), who chairs HILT 2013. He added that the supporting tools are equally important.  “It’s not just the programming languages but the languages for expressing specifications, program properties, domain models, and other attributes of the software or overall system” he said. 

In her keynote, Jeannette Wing, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Research, will address formal methods from an industrial perspective.  She notes that the engines of formal methods are now more sophisticated, widely applicable, and scalable, resulting from advances in theorem proving, model checking, satisfiability modulo theories (SMT) solvers, and program analysis.  They affect a wide range of domains from biology to mathematics.  They also impact systems from asynchronous systems to spreadsheets; and they affect properties from security to program termination. She will cover outstanding challenges and new directions for research in formal methods. 

In another keynote, John Goodenough of CMU’s SEI will elaborate on “Building Confidence in System Behavior.” In his presentation he asks, “If the use of a language or tool increases our confidence in the behavior of high-integrity software systems, why does it do so? What do we mean by confidence, and what is a justified basis for asserting some level of confidence?” He will address recent research on the potential value of thinking about confidence in terms of eliminative induction, assurance cases, and confidence maps. 

Michael Whalen of University of Minnesota will deliver an invited presentation titled “Up and Out: Scaling Formal Analysis Using Model-Based Development and Architecture Modeling.”  He observes that systems are often constructed middle-out rather than top-down; compatibility with existing systems and architectures, or availability of specific components influences high-level requirements. He will emphasize that requirements and architectural design should be more closely aligned, meaning that requirements models must account for hierarchical system construction, and that architectural design notations must better support specification of requirements for system components.  He will also describe tools supporting iterative development of architecture and verification based on software models. 

The conference features an extensive technical program of tutorials and presentations by researchers, practitioners, developers, and users from academic institutions, industry and government.  Tutorials cover Bounded Model Checking, Contract-Based Programming, Domain-Specific Languages, and Proving Safety of Parallel Programs.  Sessions are devoted to Formal Verification Toolsets, High-Integrity Parallel Programming, Model-Based Integration and Code Generation, Architecture-Level Design Languages, Compositional Verification, and Approaches to Software Safety and Security. 

For registration information, go to


 About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.


About ACM SIGAda

The ACM Special Interest Group on Ada (SIGAda) is a powerful resource for the software community's ongoing understanding of the scientific, technical and organizational aspects of the Ada language's use, standardization, environments and implementations.