A bio summarizing experience you have that's relevant to the work of this group
My name is Hassan Aït-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, Texas.
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 Aït-Kaci ILOG Distinguished Scientist IBM Canada Ltd ILOG Research Projects email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 construction."
Peter J. Landin, "The Next 700 Programming Languages", CACM, 9(3):157-166, March 1966.
Looking forward to interesting discussions,
-hak -- Hassan Aït-Kaci, IBM Canada Ltd, ILOG Research Projects http://wikix.ilog.fr/wiki/bin/view/Main/HassanAitKaci