Cartesian Programming: The Power of the Index

26/10/2009 - 11:30
26/10/2009 - 12:30
Seminar Topic: 
CSIRO ICT Centre Seminars
John Plaice
School of Computer Science and Engineering , UNSW
The current development of increasingly diverse physical computing architectures, with large numbers of distinct computational nodes, forces the creation of a unique formalism in which programmers can simply write equations and for which compiler designers can write implementations for the different architectures. This formalism must be sufficiently powerful and simple to ensure that the semantics of an entire system can be written directly, even if it encompasses reactivity, context-awareness, mobility, uniquity or pervasiveness. ------- Cartesian programming provides a multidimensional context, in the form of an index, to programming, using an infinite dimensional space. In the same way that René Descartes's coordinate geometry allowed for the algebraisation of geometry, Cartesian programming makes it possible to have a single formalism in which to describe the entire development of a software system, with multiple heterogeneous components, in a fully declarative manner. -------- In this talk, we present the TransLucid programming language, through which the concepts of Cartesian programming have been developed, and demonstrate that with a very restricted set of primitives, it is possible to write massively parallel systems, incorporating real-time streaming and system reconfiguration, with full tracking of provenance.
Speaker's biography: 
John Plaice (BMath 1979, University of Waterloo, Canada; PhD 1984, Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble, France) is Associate Professor at The University of New South Wales, Australia. ------- He wrote the first semantics and compiler for Lustre (Synchronous Real-Time Lucid), the core real-time programming language in Esterel Technologies's Scade Suite, the leading solution in Europe for developing embedded software meeting stringent avionics standards. Since then, he has developed numerous techniques for adaptation to context, in programming languages, software configuration, electronic documents and digital typography.
Location Details: 
CSIRO Marsfield Lecture Theatre, Cnr Vimiera and Pembroke Rds, Epping, NSW