ISR Distinguished Speaker

Leon J. Osterweil

Dean, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
“Reasoning About Precise Process Definitions ”
Friday, November 9, 2001 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Faculty Host: 

Email RSVP required to Rick Martin at by Monday, November 5.

University Club (UClub) Library (building #801)

No cost to attend.


Click here for directions and parking information.


This talk discusses the challenges in developing process definitions that are sufficiently precise to support powerful reasoning. The focus of the talk is on issues in defining languages capable of being effective vehicles for such definitions. The talk first addresses various motivations for being precise about processes. It then proceeds to address a set of desiderata that a language must satisfy if it is to be successful in supporting process definitions that can respond to these motivating factors.

The centerpiece of the talk is the introduction of Little-JIL, a specific process definition language that addresses these desiderata. In addition to being sufficiently precise, Little-JIL is also sufficiently broad to support definition of diverse processes, is sufficiently clear to be readily accessible to humans, and is also executable. The features of this language will be presented. Having presented the features, the talk will then focus on the integration of the features into carefully designed abstractions. These abstractions have proven useful in supporting effective reasoning about processes, actual execution of processes, and expedited understandings of processes. A specific example of successful reasoning about a specific auction process is presented to illustrate some key points of the presentation.

About the Speaker: 

Leon J. Osterweil is currently Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he is also a professor in the Department of Computer Science, co-director of the Laboratory for Advanced Software Engineering Research (LASER), and founding co-director of the Electronic Enterprise Institute. Previously he had been a Professor in, and Chair of, Computer Science Departments at both the University of California, Irvine, and the University of Colorado, Boulder. He was the founding director of the Irvine Research Unit in Software (IRUS) and the Southern California SPIN. He has been the Program Committee Chair for such conferences as The 16th International Conference on Software Engineering, The Second International Symposium on Software Testing, Analysis and Validation, the Fourth International Software Process Workshop, the Second Symposium on Software Development Environments, and both the Second and Fifth International Conferences on the Software Process. He was also the General Chair of the Sixth ACM Sigsoft Conference on the Foundations of Software Engineering. He has been a member of the editorial boards of the ACM Transactions on Software Engineering Methods, IEEE Software, and Software Process Improvement and Practice. He has presented keynote talks at such meetings as CASE 92 in Montreal, Quality Week 2000 in San Francisco, the Inaugural Symposium of JAIST (the Japan Advanced Institute for Software Technology) in Kanazawa, Japan, and ICSE 9 (the Ninth International Conference on Software Engineering) where he introduced the concept of Process Programming. His ICSE 9 paper has been awarded a prize as the most influential paper of ICSE 9, awarded as a 10-year retrospective. He has consulted for such organizations as IBM, Bell Laboratories, SAIC, MCC, and TRW, and SEI's Process Program Advisory Board. Osterweil is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.