Hassan Aït-Kaci

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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,
    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: hak@ca.ibm.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 Aït-Kaci, IBM Canada Ltd, ILOG Research Projects