Second International Symposium on

Formal Methods for Components and Objects

(FMCO 2003)


November 3 7, 2003



The Lorentz Center hosted the second international symposium on Formal Methods for Components and Objects (FMCO) in Leiden form 3 to 7 November 2003 in close cooperation with the University of Leiden and the Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica of Amsterdam. FMCO traditionally builds on invited talks and in 2003 there were 25 invited speakers, leading experts in the fields of Theoretical Computer Science and Software Engineering.


More than 75 participants from 17 countries (including Canada, USA, and Japan) attended the symposium. This year, the symposium included a rich assortment of activities including a pre-conference workshop on Assertional Methods for Java, a meeting on real-time UML held by the member of the European IST project OMEGA, a welcome and farewell drink, and a social event including a visit to the museum of Natural History in Leiden.


The opening keynote speech was by David Parnas (University of Limerick, IE) who presented his ideas on a precise mathematical documentation of software. On the same day, the other keynote speaker Andrew D. Gordon (Microsoft Research Cambridge, UK) presented a collection of formal tools for securing web services, one of the most prominent technologies for the Internet today. Other invited talks on this first day where on specification techniques for object-oriented systems, by Razvan Diaconescu (IMAR, RO) and Heike Wehrheim (University of Oldenburg, DE). In the afternoon, Jeannette Wing (Carnegie Mellon University, USA) returned on the topic of security by presenting a powerful technique for vulnerability analysis. The day concluded with a tutorial talk by Albert Benveniste (IRISA/INRIA - Rennes, FR) on formal modeling of heterogeneous reactive systems.


On the second day, Jan Bergstra (University of Amsterdam, NL) gave a keynote lecture in place of Tony Hoare (Microsoft Research Cambridge, UK), who unfortunately was not able to be present for healthy reasons. The lecture was presenting a grand challenge for computing research, and, as expected, gave rise to numerous discussions and interactions. The other lectures in the morning were in honor of the work of Tony Hoare. Willem-Paul de Roever (University of Kiel, DE) gave a tutorial on data refinement, a research topic initiated by Tony Hoare, whereas Frank de Boer (CWI, Amsterdam, NL) presented the state of the art of Hoare logics for object-oriented programming. In the early afternoon there were two talks, by Jean-Marc Jezequel (IRISA, Rennes, FR) on model-driven software engineering and by Jan Friso Groote (Eindhoven University of Technology, NL) on the problem of visualization of huge state spaces. The day concluded with an interesting visit to the Leiden museum of Natural History and an exquisite dinner at the Faculty club of the University of Leiden.


On November 6, Yuri Gurevich (Microsoft Research Redmond, USA) illustrated in his keynote lecture the semantics of abstract state machines, and immediately afterward, Egon Boerger (Pisa University, IT) showed their utility as formal tool for the analysis of Java and C# programs. The morning closed with a lecture on the verification of cooperating hybrid systems by Werner Damm (University of Oldenburg, DE). The afternoon was dedicated to component composition by means of channel systems. It was opened by a keynote lecture of Joseph Sifakis (Verimag, FR), who presented a component-based construction of deadlock-free systems. Philippe Schnoebelen (CNRS, Cachan, FR) gave an interesting overview on the verification of channel system, where channels may also lose data from time to time, and Bengt Jonsson (Uppsala University, SE) show some interesting results and application challenges for these systems. Finally, Jan Rutten (CWI, Amsterdam, NL) presented signal flow graphs as an example of his coinductive stream calculus.


On the last day, E. Allen Emerson (The University of Texas at Austin, USA) gave a tutorial lecture on model checking, especially focusing on the problem of state explosion. Similar techniques have been applied by Natalia Sidorova (Eindhoven University of Technology, NL) for the verification of asynchronous components of an existing system. Before the lunch, Yassine Lakhnech (University of Grenoble, FR) presented a survey on the modes and analysis of security protocols. The final afternoon session was entirely dedicated to component architectures. It was opened by a keynote speech by Desmond D'Souza (Kinetium, Austin, USA) who tried to find some meeting points of practice, trend, and theory in components architectures. Jose Luiz Fiadeiro (University of Leicester, UK) presented the architecture of a mobile and distributed component model and Gregor Engels (University of Paderborn, DE) studied the problem of consistent interaction of components from a practical point of view.


It was an exciting and successful symposium. The interactions during the lectures as well as the contact established in smaller meetings at the Lorentz Center were very useful to many of the participants. The participants and the speakers unanimously agreed that a repeat of this symposium would be of value for Computer Science, because of the wide range of topics touched by the speakers each with an in-depth character. Indeed, the presented works have been considered by the participants as a exceptional selection of views, approaches, methods and results, which on the one hand were representative of the state of the art in the field of Formal Methods for Component- and Object-based systems, and on the other hand, invited to discussion and cooperation. Finally, the speakers were unanimous in their praise for the facilities and accommodations. Comments were made that the Lorentz Center is one of the finest venues providing an informal working space that they had ever experienced.


As for the previous year, the results of this this symposium will be published in a forthcoming volume of "Lecture Notes in Computer Science.


M. Bonsangue (University Leiden, The Netherlands)

F.S. de Boer (CWI, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

W.P. de Roever (University Kiel, Germany)

S. Graf (Grenoble, France)