A joint team of researchers including INESC-ID researchers Vasco Manquinho and Pedro Orvalho will receive an ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award for their work on a new analysis engine for the popular Alloy modeling language.

The paper “AlloyMax: Bringing Maximum Satisfaction to Relational  Specifications” has been chosen to receive an ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award at  upcoming ACM Joint European Software Engineering Conference and Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE 2021).

The team of authors is composed by Changjian Zhang (CMU), Ryan Wagner (CMU), Pedro Orvalho (INESC-ID/IST, Universidade de Lisboa), David Garlan (CMU), Vasco Manquinho (INESC-ID/IST, Universidade de Lisboa), Ruben Martins (CMU), and Eunsuk Kang (CMU).

Distinguished papers are given to at most 10% of the papers accepted at  an ACM SIGSOFT-sponsored conference. The winners were chosen by the  program co-chairs from those papers that had either a nomination for  distinguished paper award, or at least two accept scores and no  negative scores.  In total eight papers were recognized this year.

“The Alloy language is widely used in software engineering for verification, automatic generation of test cases, or security analysis. Considering that the software is currently pervasive on any device we use, some defects can result in serious failures in the operation and safety of the devices”, mentioned Vasco Manquinho.

The work, in collaboration with the CMU team, extends the Alloy modeling language to enable the generation of optimal solutions according to a given optimization criterion. For example, it enables to obtain solutions that maximize the performance or security of systems. The INESC-ID research team has a long-term collaboration  with Prof. Rúben Martins (CMU) in the development of new  optimization algorithms using computational logic.

“This distinction is important because it allows greater visibility to our work in the field of computational logic. Reality is demonstrating the importance of this area in numerous engineering contexts”, adds the INESC-ID researcher.