Trustworthy Real-Time Embedded Systems

The computer scientist Joseph Sifakis will attend the 2nd Heidelberg Laureate Forum

Whether by land, by sea or in the air: Whoever took a train, a cruise or was on board an Airbus during their summer vacation probably made use of what is called a real-time embedded system. One of the groundbreaking architects of embedded systems, the computer scientist and software engineer Joseph Sifakis, will give a talk on September 23, during the 2nd Heidelberg Laureate Forum on the topic “Is Computing a Science?”. Sifakis conducts research on real-time embedded systems and develops computer-aided design tools that are used today in numerous industries. In 2007, Sifakis received the ACM A.M. Turing Award, which is conferred annually by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) to researchers who have gained particular recognition in the development of computer sciences.

Today, real-time embedded systems are used in any place where particularly critical decisions must be made quickly or wherever there are particularly complex situations. This is the case, for example, in intelligent transport systems, smart buildings and modern power distribution systems. Highly complex situations can quickly present themselves at power plants or when trading stocks.  In order to maintain an overview of the situation, all relevant information on the situation needs to be assessed and evaluated. This can be done by people; however, machines also present themselves as a more efficient solution, as such machines use real-time software to assess any given situation. The software provides an assessment within a predetermined time period and, if necessary, can instigate any possible action to be taken. The theory on the development of trustworthy real-time embedded systems and their model-based validation, what has come to be known as model checking, was first published by Joseph Sifakis in France in 1981 and simultaneously, albeit independently of his research, by Edmund Clarke and Allen Emerson in the United States. All three computer scientists received the ACM A.M. Turing Award from the ACM for their research. Model checking is one of the most important innovations in the field of software and hardware development. It is a fully automated method to verify that a (computer) system meets given requirements and specifications: The model checker – a computer algorithm – tests whether or not the system meets the desired specification by exhaustive analysis of the system’s behavior. Model checking is now used in numerous industries, for example Intel, IBM, Microsoft and Airbus.

Joseph Sifakis, who is currently Professor at the „École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne“ (EPFL), has taught and conducted research at the “Centre national de la recherche scientifique” (CNRS) in Grenoble for forty years and founded there the internationally renowned laboratory “Verimag”. He will be available during the 2nd Heidelberg Laureate Forum taking place from September 21 to 26 to talk with over 200 young computer scientists and mathematicians from all over the world as well as journalists from technical and scientific publications.

The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation organizes the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) every year. The HLF is a networking event for mathematicians and computer scientists from all over the world and will take place for the second time from September 21 to 26, 2014. The HLF was initiated by the German foundation Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS), which promotes natural sciences, mathematics and computer sciences, and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS). The Forum is organized by the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation in cooperation with KTS and HITS as well as the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the International Mathematical Union (IMU), and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (DNVA).

To the editors:
With this press release, we would like to extend an invitation to attend the next Heidelberg Laureate Forum as well as to report on the event. Journalist registration:

Press inquiries/Contact for journalists:
Sabine Kluge
Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation
Schloss-Wolfsbrunnenweg 33, D-69118 Heidelberg, Germany
Telephone: +49-6221-533-385

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