PSI'99
A.P. Ershov Institute of Informatics Systems
Andrei Ershov Third International Conference «PERSPECTIVES OF SYSTEM INFORMATICS»
 

6-9 July 1999, Novosibirsk, Akademgorodok, Russia


Report on PSI'99

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PSI'99, the 3d in the series of international conferences "ERSPECTIVES OF SYSTEM INFORMATICS" devoted to the memory of late professor Andrei Ershov (1931-1988), took place in Novosibirsk Akademgorodok from July 6 to July 9, 1999. The conference was organized by the A.P. Ershov Institute of System Informatics of the Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the conference chair was Alexander Marchuk and the conference secretary was Natalya Cheremnyh.

Akademgorodok (Academic town) is a big research center, 30 km South from Novosibirsk, the largest city of Siberia. Akademgorodok is located in a picturesque place near the Ob lake. It is surrounded with birch and pine forests and pleasant not only for work but for recreation as well. Silence, beautiful landscape, and pure air are the factors promoting scientific activity and creativity. One can obtain more information about Akademgorodok on the web site http://www.nsc.ru/other/akadem/index.htm.

Andrei Ershov was one of the early Russian pioneers in the field of theoretical and systems programming, a founder of the Siberian School of Computer Science. He came to Akademgorodok in 1959 and lived there until his premature death. In 1974 he was nominated as a Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society. In 1981 he received the Silver Core Award for services rendered to IFIP. Andrei Ershov's brilliant speeches were always in the focus of public attention. Especially notable was his lecture on "Aesthetic and human factor in programming" presented at the AFIPS Spring Joint Computer Conference in 1972. Andrei Ershov was not only an extremely gifted scientist, teacher and fighter for his ideas, but also a bright and many-sided personality. He wrote poetry, translated the works of R.Kipling and other English poets, and enjoyed playing guitar and singing. Everyone who had the pleasure of knowing Andrei Ershov and working with him will always remember his great vision, eminent achievements, and generous friendship.

The first two Ershov conferences were held in Akademgorodok in May 1991 and June 1996 and proved to be big international events. The program of the third conference included many of the topics of the second one: theoretical computer science, programming methodology, new information technologies, and artificial intelligence which are the most important constituents of system informatics. The style of the second conference was preserved to a certain extent: a considerable number of invited papers in addition to contributed papers. However, posters were replaced by short talks mainly given by young researchers.

The international Program Committee consisted of 36 members from 13 countries. It was co-chaired by Manfred Broy (Germany), Dines Bjorner (Denmark) and Alexandre Zamulin (Russia).

This time 73 papers were submitted to the conference by researchers from 21 countries. Each paper was reviewed by three experts, at least two of them from the same or closely related discipline as the authors. The reviewers generally provided high quality assessment of the papers and often gave extensive comments to the authors for the possible improvement of the presentation. As a result, the program committee selected 27 high quality papers as regular talks and 17 papers as short talks. A broad range of hot topics in system informatics were covered by the following invited talks:

K. Apt (CWI, The Netherlands). "A language-independent framework for constraint programming".
V. Basili (University of Maryland, USA). "Understanding software for use: a family of empirical studies".
M.-C. Gaudel (Universite Paris-Sud, France), A. Zamulin (IIS, Novosibirsk). "Algebraic imperative specifications".
N. Jones (DIKU, Denmark). "Some perspectives on mixed computation, including on-line abstract interpretation as a basis for performing program transformation".
D. Mery (Universite Henri Poincare & Institut Universitaire de France & LORIA, France). "Formal modelling of services for getting a better understanding of the feature interaction problem".
R. Morrison (University of St. Andrews, Scotland). "Current directions in hyper-programming".
D. Sannella (Edinburgh University, Scotland). "The common framework initiative for design specification and development of software".

The whole number of participants was 106 with the following distribution by countries:

Russia: 68, 
Germany: 9, 
Denmark: 6, 
France: 5, 
Japan: 3, 
UK: 3, 
USA: 3, 
Netherlands: 2, 
Spain: 2, 
Sweden: 2, 
Austria: 1, 
Switzerland: 1, 
Turkey: 1, 
Uzbekistan: 1.

Conference program consisted of fourteen 1.5-hour sessions: 

ALGEBRAIC SPECIFICATIONS, 
SPECIFICATIONS WITH STATES, 
PARTIAL EVALUATION AND SUPERCOMPILATION (two sessions), 
CONCURRENCY AND PARALLELISM (two sessions), 
LOGIC AND PROCESSES, 
LANGUAGES AND SOFTWARE, 
DATABASE PROGRAMMING, 
OBJECT-ORIENTED PROGRAMMING, 
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (two sessions), 
CONSTRAINT PROGRAMMING, 
MODEL & PROGRAM CHECKING.

The participants stayed at the hotel "Zolotaya Dolina" (Golden Valley) situated in the center of Akademgorodok. All conference sessions were held in the Small Hall of the House of Scientists located up the street from the hotel - approximately a five minute walk. We were very lucky with the weather, the temperature was always in the range 30-35 Centigrades (which is quite typical for this time of the year in this part of Siberia).

Breakfast was served in the hotel restaurant. Lunch was offered in the restaurant of the House of Scientists. The guests enjoyed traditional Russian cuisine, including famous borshch. During coffee breaks various choices of sandwiches and Russian pirozhki were available.

The social program started on the arrival day, Monday, July 5, with an excursion to Novosibirsk in the afternoon and an informal picnic at the beach in the evening.

The welcome party took place the next day in the restaurant of the House of Scientists. It lasted till midnight. A pianist and a good collection of discs provided a wonderful environment for dances.

A barbecue picnic with sauna and steam bath took place on Wednesday afternoon, July 7 at the Blue Lake villa, 10 km away from Akademgorodok. It lasted till 10 p.m. People enjoyed taking the Russian steam bath and swimming in Blue Lake.

An excursion to the Geological Museum was organized in the evening of Thursday, July 8. The participants had a chance to see a wonderful collection of Siberian minerals and treasure stones.

The conference dinner took place in the night of Friday, July 9, in the restaurant of the Zolotaya Dolina hotel. In the first part of the dinner there were plenty of speeches following "go to" procedure (each speaker designated the next speaker). In the second part of the dinner people mainly danced to the accompaniment of a music band with a wonderful saxophonist. The dinner finished at 1 a.m. Many people went to the beach after it where they swam in the warm water of the Ob lake.

PSI'99 was a very well organized high-level conference. The last day the participants thanked the organizers for the good organization of the conference and expressed their desire to come to Akademgorodok once again.

Alexandre Zamulin


 

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