Topics

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This page gives you an overview of the various topics that are actively researched at the Software Languages Lab.
The topics often overlap with each other, and many researchers are active in more than one topic.

Reactive and Event-based Languages & Systems (REBLS)

REBLS focuses on research related to participatory sensing, ambient-oriented programming (AmOP) and reactive programming:
Participatory sensing provides the enabling technology to deploy so-called citizen observatories. Our research is centred around the notion of orchestrating participatory sensing campaigns, more specifically we want to provide configurable construction tools that enable domain experts (but non-ICT-experts) to specify campaigns.
In AmOP, programs operate in mobile environments where connection failure is the rule rather than the exception, e.g. smart phones or tablets connected over a wifi network. This requires new programming techniques to reference and discover remote entities, abstractions to coordinate and interact with remote parties over volatile connections and finally, replication techniques to increase data availability. Today, the REBLS group specialises in the cloud, research that is the result of an evolution from ambient-oriented programming to full-fledged web applications.
The reactive programming paradigm is a paradigm that is generally accepted as well suited for the development of event-driven and interactive applications. Our research in this field is threefold. First, we focus on making the reactive programming paradigm accessible for imperative, mainstream languages. Secondly, we investigate in radical new reactive progamming ideas such as logic reactive programming. Third, we examine how this reactive data can be distributed over multiple machines/hosts.

Parallel Programming, Multicore Programming & Exascale Computing (PPP)

This theme focuses on language design and implementation for multi- and many-core platforms. We are interested in refining existing parallel programming models (actors, software transactional memory, data parallelism etc.) as well as optimizing virtual machines, interpreters and compilers. Additionally, we work on application-specific solutions, e.g., for quantum computing. What sets us apart is the fact that most of our research is done in the context of dynamic languages like e.g. Common Lisp and Smalltalk.
Furthermore, we host our own many-core lab. Thus, we are equipped with a wide range of different systems to experiment with state-of-the-art architectures to validate our research results.

Code Analysis and Manipulation (CAMP)

CAMP groups together people involved with the theory and practice of source code analysis and manipulation. Our research advances the state of the art along three main axes:
The first axis considers multi-language systems. Analyses need to consider the impact that annotations as well as embedded domain-specific languages have on the semantics of the host program. The second axis considers the analysis of highly dynamic languages such as Javascript and Scheme. Here, the semantics of higher-order procedures with side-effects have to be taken into account. The third axis considers multiple versions of code in an analysis. Here, the state of the art is challenged by the scale of version repositories and the complexity of the temporal relations between versions. Along these axes, our analyses provide a solid foundation for the validation, transformation and understanding of software systems. We support validation by identifying bug patterns and violations of architectural regularities in code. We apply software transformations to the problems ofAPI migration, automatic parallelization and multi-language refactoring. Finally, we provide support for the understanding of version repositories through advanced visualizations and dedicated query languages.

Rich Internet Applications (RIA)

This team focuses on language design and implementation for rich internet applications. There is an increasing demand for web-based services that offer collaborative and off-line functionality. Realizing these qualities brings about a number of essential complexities. This team focusses on aleviating these complexities through novel language abstractions and frameworks. In this field our research advances the state of the art along four main axes:
The first axis focusses on the design of tierless programming languages to enable developing the typical server, client and database tiers of a web application as a single mono-linguistic program. The second axis considers maintaining consistency of shared application assets that can be used by clients both off- and on-line. For this topic we advance research on Cloud Types and other eventual consistency mechanisms. A third axis considers safeguarding the security guarantees on the integrity and confidentiality of critical parts of the application data and functionality. For this aspect we focus on programming constructs for implementing confinement-related security policies. A fourth axis considers the specification of constraints on web APIs. There is currently often only a textual version of an API specification. For this work we focus on the development of machine-readable API specification that allows API providers to explicitly list the parameters of a request and their constraints together.