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5 The Twelfth OOPSLA Workshop on Behavioral Semantics— Striving for Simplicity

Monday, 27 October – 8:30-17:00 Full day

Haim Kilov, Independent Consultant and Stevens Institute of Technology, haimk@acm.org
Kenneth Baclawski, Northeastern University, ken@baclawski.com

The goal of this workshop is to foster precise, explicit, and elegant OO specifications of business and system semantics, independently of any (possible) realization. Substantial progress has been made in these areas, both in academia and in industry. However, in too many cases only lip service to semantic issues has been provided, and as a result the systems we build or buy are all too often excessively complex or (this is not an exclusive or) are not what they are supposed to be. Doing better than that requires both a clear understanding of the problem semantics within the context of their business and technological environments, and an abstract, precise and explicit specification of that semantics.

The specific theme this year is on striving for simplicity. In order to simplify IT systems, we need to use abstraction — in C.A.R.Hoare's words, "only abstraction enables a manager or a chief programmer to exert real technical control". The same considerations apply to understanding, modeling and making (strategic, tactical and operational) decisions about businesses.