Invited talk by Walid Taha (Halmstad University)


Walid Taha (Halmstad University)


Improving Support for Modeling and Simulation of Cyberphysical Systems


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A broad and important and resource-intensive class of computational
codes are simulators for physical (or "natural'') systems. Too often,
such simulation codes are written in general purpose languages that
promote a programming style that is too centered on the details of how
the computation is performed, rather than the model itself. This makes
life hard for the users and for compilers. This is further
exacerbated by the fact that general purpose programming languages do
not generally encourage the programmer (or engineer) to pay attention
to programming choices that can lead to high resource costs at

This talk describes some of our preliminary results with the design of
Acumen, a cyberphysical modeling language that we are designing with a
specific goal of promoting writing models that simultaneously
intuitive and can easily be mapped to parallel execution
platforms. The key features underlying the language's design are
promoting a programming style that supports a "globally parallel,
locally imperative'' view of the world, as well as preserving
deterministic execution even when the underlying computation is
performed on a highly parallel platform. The approach appears to be
promising, although it is still too early to say whether or not it can
be useful in practice.


Walid Taha is a Professor at Halmstad University. His current
research focus is on modeling, simulation, and verification of
cyberphysical systems, and in particular the Acumen language

Taha is credited for developing the idea of multi-stage programming,
and is the designer of several systems based on it, including
MetaOCaml, ConCoqtion, Java Mint, and the Verilog Preprocessor. He
contributed to several other programming languages innovations,
including statically typed macros, tag elimination, tagless staged
interpreters, event-driven functional reactive programming (E-FRP),
the notion of exact software design, and gradual typing.

In 2011, Taha's publications had over 2,200 citations, and his h-index
was 28.

Taha was the principal investigator on a number of research awards and
contracts from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Semi-conductor
Research Consortium (SRC), and Texas Advanced Technology Program
(ATP). He received an NSF CAREER award to develop Java Mint. He
founded the ACM Conference on Generative Programming and Component
Engineering (GPCE), the IFIP Working Group on Program Generation (WG
2.11), and the Middle Earth Programming Languages Seminar (MEPLS).
Taha chaired the 2009 IFIP Working Conference on Domain Specific