5th International Workshop on Programming based on Actors, Agents, and Decentralized Control

October 26, 2015
Pittsburgh, USA

AGERE! 2015

5th International Workshop on Programming based on Actors, Agents, and Decentralized Control

with SPLASH, October 26, 2015 @ Pittsburgh, USA

ăgo ăgo, ăgis, egi, actum, ăgĕre

latin verb meaning to act, to lead, to do, common root for actors and agents.

The fundamental turn of software into concurrency and distribution is not only a matter of performance, but also of design and abstraction. It calls for programming paradigms that, compared to current mainstream paradigms, would allow us to more naturally think about, design, develop, execute, debug, and profile systems exhibiting different degrees of concurrency, autonomy, decentralization of control, and physical distribution.

AGERE! is an ACM SIGPLAN workshop dedicated to focusing on and developing the research on programming systems, languages and applications based on actors, agents and any related programming paradigm promoting a decentralized mindset in solving problems and in developing systems to implement such solutions.

All stages of software development are considered interesting for the workshop, including requirements, modeling, formalisation, prototyping, design, implementation, tooling, testing, and any other means of producing running software based on actors and agents as first-class abstractions. The scope of the workshop includes aspects that concern both the theory and the practice of design and programming using such paradigms, so as to bring together researchers working on models, languages and technologies, as well as practitioners using such technologies to develop real-world systems and applications.

Topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Foundations: ideas, concepts, formalization of the computation and programming models for concurrent objects, actors, agents, and decentralized control programming
  • Programming languages: theory and practice of languages based on actors/concurrent objects/agents (typing, modularity, mechanism for extensibility, reuse, etc)
  • Libraries, frameworks and middleware platforms based on actors, concurrent objects, agents and high-level paradigms for concurrent/distributed/asynchronous programming
  • Programming techniques
  • Actor-based / agent-based programming idioms
  • Integration with mainstream programming models and languages: theoretical and practical aspects of exploiting actors/agents and related models/technologies with other reference approaches to concurrent/asynchronous programming, such as software transactional memory, data-flow programming and reactive programming
  • Design principles underlying relevant paradigms and bridging the gap between design and programming
  • Design patterns for actor/agent based systems
  • Validation and verification: theory and tools about testing, debugging, profiling, verifying and validating software systems based on such paradigms
  • Applications: design and development of real-world applications
  • Teaching: experiences and reflections about using these paradigms in teaching programming (e.g. concurrent, distributed programming- but not only)

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The workshop will take place on Monday 26th October at room Grand Station 4.

Click the icon to download the preprint version of the paper and the icon to download the presentation slides.

Papers marked with have been accepted as full papers to be published on ACM DL.

The ACM proceedings of AGERE! 2015 can be downloaded here, and the companion proceedings are available here.

Start End Title Authors Download
08:30 10:00 Keynote and Session 1: Abstraction
8:30 9:20

Since its introduction as a parallel, agent-based modeling tool in the early 90’s, StarLogo has gone through several iterations that aim to make it more approachable to first-time programmers. The current version under development, StarLogo Nova, employs a blocks-based program editor and 3D visualization engine, all available online, and is used by tens of thousands of students across the United States. Rather than considering concurrent and/or distributed programming to be an advanced topic beyond the reach of beginners, StarLogo Nova is designed to give new learners immediate access to these concepts. Indeed, our current research shows that engaging with this sort of computational modeling in a well-designed curriculum increases student understanding of complex adaptive systems, providing a unifying lens through which to view many other disciplines. This talk will give a brief history of StarLogo, and then examine the language features, metaphors, and patterns of thought that enable novices to meaningfully engage in concurrent and distributed problem-solving during their first computing experiences in StarLogo Nova.

Daniel Wendel
09:20 09:40 Objects as Session-Typed Processes Stephanie Balzer, Frank Pfenning
09:40 10:00 Exploring AOP from an OOP Perspective Rem Collier, Seán Russell, David Lillis
10:00 10:30 Coffee break
10:30 12:00 Session 2: Abstraction and Runtime Environments
10:30 10:50 Bulk-Synchronous Communication Mechanisms in Diderot Lamont Samuels, John Reppy
10:50 11:10 Programming Abstractions for Augmented Worlds Angelo Croatti, Alessandro Ricci
11:10 11:30 Manyfold Actors: Extending the C++ Actor Framework to Heterogeneous Many-Core Machines using OpenCL Raphael Hiesgen, Dominik Charousset, Thomas C. Schmidt
11:30 11:50 A Performance and Scalability Analysis of Actor Message Passing and Migration in SALSA Lite Travis Desell, Carlos Varela
12:00 13:30 Lunch
13:30 15:00 Session 3: Types and Verification
13:30 13:50 Deny Capabilities for Safe, Fast Actors Sylvan Clebsch, Sophia Drossopoulou
13:50 14:10 Jacco: More Efficient Model Checking Toolset for Java Actor Programs Arvin Zakeriyan, Ehsan Khamespanah, Marjan Sirjani, Ramtin Khosravi
14:10 14:30 Actario: A Framework for Reasoning About Actor Systems Shohei Yasutake, Takuo Watanabe
14:30 14:50 A model-based approach to secure multi-party distributed systems Najah Ben Said, Takoua Abdellatif, Saddek Bensalem, Marius Bozga
15:00 15:30 Coffee break
15:30 17:00 Session 4: Runtime Environments and Discussion
15:30 15:50 Akka.js: Towards a portable actor runtime environment Andrea Peruffo, Gianluca Stivan, Philipp Haller
15:50 16:10 Connect.js: A cross mobile platform actor library for multi-networked mobile applications Elisa Gonzalez Boix, Christophe Scholliers, Nicolas Larrea, Wolfgang De Meuter
16:10 16:30 Optimizing Communicating Event-Loop Languages with Truffle Stefan Marr, Hanspeter Mössenböck
16:30 17:00 Brainstorm and discussion session

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The goal of the workshop is to serve as a forum for collecting, discussing, and confronting related research works that typically appear in different communities in the context of (distributed) artificial intelligence, distributed computing, computer programming, language design and software engineering.

The workshop will be organized as a one-day workshop, integrating both:

  • a part featuring a mini-conference style, like previous editions, reserving some time slots for the presentation and discussion of those accepted contributions that are meant to be published on the formal proceedings on the ACM DL.

  • a part featuring a brainstorming style, more targeted to solicit the discussion of ideas/challenges/new directions, etc. raised by the set of position/work-in-progress papers submitted to the workshop and selected by the PC.

The workshop welcomes three main kinds of contributions:

  • Mature contributions: full papers presenting new previously unpublished research in one or more of the topics identified above. They will be published on the ACM Digital Library as an official ACM SIGPLAN publication.

  • Position papers and work-in-progress contributions: short papers introducing a contribution (an idea, a viewpoint, an argument, work in progress...) which may be in its initial stage and not fully developed but which is worth being presented given its relevance to the AGERE! topics, to trigger discussions and interactions. They will be included in the informal proceedings.

  • Demos: these contributions should be about a technology/system that will be presented and discussed during the event.

  • Posters: these contributions are aimed to exploit the event to discuss with other participants about an idea and get feedback for future work. Posters will be presented and discussed during coffee breaks; some topics may be selected for inclusion in the discussion session.

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Workshop: October 26, 2015

SPLASH early registration deadline: September 25, 2015

Full papers

  • Abstract deadline: August 1, 2015
  • Paper deadline: August 7, 2015 Extended: August 14, 2015
  • Notification: September 7, 2015
  • Camera ready: September 14, 2015

Position/work-in-progress papers, demo and posters

  • Deadline: September 7, 2015 Extended: September 14, 2015
  • Notification: September 21, 2015

All deadlines are at 11:59 PM American Samoa Time (UTC-11).

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Authors are invited to submit their papers in PDF using the ACM SIGPLAN style. Papers should be submitted via EasyChair.

  • Updated:long papers: up to 12 pages, including references
  • short papers and demos: up to 4 pages, excluding references
  • posters: authors may send 2-pages extended abstract + poster draft to agere2015@easychair.org

A special issue on a reference journal will be organized with the extended and revised version of the best papers accepted and presented to the workshop. This special issue follows a previous one published in Science of Computer Programming, collecting best papers from AGERE! 2011 and 2012, and a twin special issue published in Computer Languages, Systems and Structures and in Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, collecting best papers from AGERE! 2013 and 2014.

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Program Committee

  • Gul Agha, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
  • Tom Van Cutsem, Alcatel-Lucent, Belgium
  • Travis Desell, University of North Dakota, USA
  • Wei-Jen Wang, National Central University, Taiwan
  • Amal El Fallah Segrouchni, LIP6, Paris, France
  • Takuo Watanabe, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan
  • Rem Collier, UCD, Ireland
  • Sylvan Clebsch, Causality, UK
  • Francisco Sant'Anna, PUC-Rio, Brazil
  • Damien Zufferey, MIT, USA
  • Shams Imam, Rice University, USA
  • Stefan Marr, Johannes Kepler University, Austria
  • Jomi Hubner, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brasil
  • Nobuko Yoshida, Imperial College, UK
  • Ludovic Henrio, INRIA, France

Steering Committee

  • Gul Agha, University of Illinois-Urbana, USA
  • Rafael Bordini, FACIN-PUCRS, Brazil
  • Alessandro Ricci, University of Bologna, Italy
  • Assaf Marron, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

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Elisa Gonzalez Boix is Assistant Professor at the Software Languages Lab (SOFT) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium. She obtained her Master in Informatics Engineering in 2004 from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (Spain) and her PhD in Sciences in 2012 from VUB on programming language abstractions and tools for handling partial failures in distributed applications running on mobile ad hoc networks. Her PhD heavily relied on reflection and meta-level programming. She has also been active in the design and development of the distributed actor-based AmbientTalk language, prototyping its first concurrency model based on active objects. In the recent past, she has co-organized the SCRIPT 2013 workshop (Secure Cloud and Reactive Internet Programming Technology) and the prior edition of AGERE! in 2014. Her current research focusses on implementation technology to support the design of both programming languages and tools for mobile and cloud systems.

Philipp Haller is Assistant Professor in the Theoretical Computer Science Group at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. He was a co-organizer of the 2014 edition of AGERE! held in conjunction with SPLASH. Prior to his current appointment, he was a consultant and researcher at Typesafe Switzerland. Dr.~Haller received his Dipl.-Inform. with distinction (2006) from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and his PhD (2010) in Computer Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). He previously held appointments at Stanford University (2011-2012) and EPFL (2011-2012). Dr.Haller has served on the program committees of the 2nd and the 3rd ACM SIGPLAN International Workshop on Programming based on Actors, Agents, and Decentralized Control (AGERE! 2012, 2013), and the 27th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP 2013), among others. He has also served as co-chair of the 4th and the 5th Scala Workshop (SCALA 2013, 2014).

Alessandro Ricci was one of the co-organizers of the previous editions of AGERE! held in conjunction with SPLASH (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). His main research interests are about high-level programming paradigms for designing and developing complex software systems, in particular based on agents and multi-agent systems, so agent-oriented programming, agent-oriented software engineering. His previous experience in co-organizing events includes: ProMAS (“Programming Multi-Agent Systems”), a workshop inside the AAMAS (Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems) conference in 2007, AT2AI-6 (Sixth International Workshop ‘From Agent Theory to Agent Implementation”) at AAMAS 2008, ESAW (“Engineering Societies of Agents”) work- shop in 2006, and ACM Symposium of Applied Computing (SAC), Special Track on Coordination Models, Languages and Applications (in 2006 and 2007).

Carlos A. Varela Carlos A. Varela is Associate Professor of Computer Science and Founding Director of the Worldwide Computing Laboratory at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Varela received his B.S with honors, M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science, all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Varela is Associate Editor of the ACM Computing Surveys and the IEEE Transactions on Cloud Computing. Dr. Varela was the Program Committee Chair for the 2011 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Cluster, Cloud, and Grid Computing (CCGrid 2011) and the 2012 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Utility and Cloud Computing (UCC 2012.) Dr. Varela has been a member of approximately fifty other conference and workshop Program Committees. Dr. Varela has given eleven invited plenary lectures at international and national venues. He has supervised three Ph.D. dissertations and nine M.S. theses. Dr. Varela received Best Paper awards at HPDC-GECO'2006, eScience'2007, CCGrid'2007, and CLEI'2010. He is also a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, two IBM Innovation Awards, and an Amazon Research Award.


For questions please contact: agere@soft.vub.ac.be.
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