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Re: Introductions

From: Hassan At-Kaci <hak@ilog.com>
Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2005 02:26:03 +0100
Message-ID: <4393972B.1050202@ilog.com>
To: public-rif-wg@w3.org

--> Principal for ILOG - will not attend F2F (ILOG' alternate will).

- a bio summarizing experience you have that's relevant to the
   work of this group

--> My name is Hassan At-Kaci. PhD: 1984 (CIS), Penn; HdR: 1990,
     Paris-7 (Informatique).  I have been a senior scientist at ILOG's
     R&D since 2001. Before that, I was a professor of CS at SFU, in
     Canada. Before that, I was a member of research staff at Digital's
     Paris Research Lab, in France, and before that at MCC, in Austin,

     My interests have revolved around languages (all aspects, whether
     syntax or semantics, and whether natural, mathematical, or
     computational), automated reasoning and knowledge representation,
     deterministic and non-deterministic inference.  I favor formal
     approaches, although I have no preset preference for any particular
     formalism per se, be it basic set theory, logic, algebra, type
     theory, automata theory, graph theory, or whatever.  My worry:
     trying to keep things simple and intuitivily appealing.

     Over the past 20 years, I have contributed with some ideas in
     knowledge representation using a feature-structure formalism of
     constrained object approximations, and its use in (constraint) logic
     programming, functional programming, and computational linguistics.
     Along with colleagues and students, I designed a few multi-paradigm
     languages based on these ideas (LogIn, LeFun, LIFE). I now work on
     constraint-based abstraction, verification of rule-based processes,
     and probabilistic graphical models.

- as much contact info as you care to share on this public list

--> Hassan At-Kaci

     ILOG, Inc.
     Product Division R&D
     email: hak@ilog.com
     tel: +1 604 930 5603
     fax: +1 604 930 5603

- what you expect to get out of this WG

--> I would be happy if this WG could arrive at a clear and intuitive
     standard rule representation format enabling as much as possible
     interoperability between arbitray business rule systems. (A daunting
     task, to be sure!) I will feel satisfied if this standard was
     expressive enough for a substantial set among prominent BR systems,
     which would of course include ILOG's Rules Language...

- what you hope/expect to contribute.

--> I am here mostly to learn. This group assembles an impressive set of
     credentials. It is both exciting and satisfying to have so many
     qualified experts for the task. I hope to explicate the point of
     view of ILOG as an industrial player in the Business Rule market
     eager to be involved in a well-defined interchange standard for
     business rules.

     Like many here, I have paid great attention to the development of
     XML as a data-encoding lingua franca and the ever-growing nebula of
     its satellite derivatives. I am, too, intrigued at the "semantic
     web" endeavor. Surely, something good is bound to come out of it!
     Perhaps other old-timers like me in this group will remember several
     similar inspiring intellectual surges in their research career where
     the enthusiasm that was created and the serendipitous results it
     enabled were as interesting as (if not more than) the stated
     objectives, regardless of whether or not these objectives have been
     eventually met.

     Finally, an inspiring quote - lest we forget ... :

     	"The languages people use to communicate with computers differ
	in their intended aptitudes, towards either a particular
	application area, or in a particular phase of computer use (high
	level programming, program assembly, job scheduling, etc). They
	also differ in physical appearance, and more important, in
	logical structure. The question arises, do the idiosyncrasies
	reflect basic logical properties of the situations that are being
	catered for? Or are they accidents of history and personal
	background that may be obscuring fruitful developments? This
	question is clearly important if we are trying to predict or
	influence language evolution.

	To answer it we must think in terms, not of languages, but of
	families of languages. That is to say we must systematize their
	design so that a new language is a point chosen from a
	well-mapped space, rather than a laboriously devised

	---Peter J. Landin, "The Next 700 Programming Languages", CACM,
            9(3):157-166, March 1966.

Looking forward to interesting discussions,

Hassan At-Kaci
ILOG, Inc. - Product Division R&D
tel/fax: +1 (604) 930-5603 - email: hak @ ilog . com
Received on Monday, 5 December 2005 01:28:40 UTC

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