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.
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.
The Big Data Processing (BDP) group focuses on the design and implementation of new programming languages for large systems. Large systems include multi- and many-core machines, clusters of small-scale hardware such as raspberry-pies, industry-scale cluster configurations, cloud infrastructure, etc. The Big Data Processing group puts together those involved in advancing the state of the art along the following axes:
Distributed reactive programming models: Applications nowadays have to work under the assumption that the dataset they are operating on is constantly evolving. Any newly arriving datapoint needs to be reactively reflected in the application's behaviour. For this we explore the design and implementation of new distributed push-based reactive programming models.
Multi-paradigm concurrency and distribution models: Over the years many programming models for concurrency and distribution have emerged. Application developers often require different models to implement the various components of their applications. Modern programming languages such as Scala and Clojure have recognised this trend and already integrate different concurrency models. However, currently, the integration does not always preserve the guarantees of each individual model. Therefore, we design and implement new multi-paradigm concurrency and distribution models that can be safely integrated.
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:
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.