Klaus-Dieter Schewe received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Bonn in 1985 and his D.Sc. in Theoretical Computer Science from the Brandenburgian Technical University in 1995. He held positions in industry, at the Universities of Hamburg, Cottbus, Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Linz and at Massey University, and he worked as CSO of the Software Competence Center Hagenberg. Since 2019 he is full professor at Zhejiang University at its international Campus in Haining. His main research interests are in rigorous methods, theoretical computer science, logic and database theory.
Title: Practical Theory of Computation on Structures
There are hardly two fields in Computer Science that are further apart than Software Engineering and Theoretical Computer Science. The lack of theoretical foundations in the field of Software Engineering, which is alien to other engineering disciplines, has a counterpart in a lack of interest in practical usability of computation theory. Nowadays we are dealing with complex systems of systems, but it seems that the theoretical foundations have not caught up with the development. This raises the question how a theory of computation should look like that modernises the classical theory and at the same time is suitable for practical systems development.
This presentation is dedicated to a sketch of such a theory of computation centred around the notion of algorithmic systems, which are harder to define than computable functions, in particular, when all developments in computing are to be taken into account. I will argue that behavioural theories are key to the understanding, i.e. we require language-independent axiomatic definitions of classes of algorithmic systems that are accompanied by abstract machine models provably capturing the class under consideration. The machine models give further rise to tailored logics through which properties of systems in the considered class can be formalised and verified, and to fine-tuned classifications on the grounds of complexity restrictions. I will outline that all extensions will be (1) conservative in the sense that the classical theory of computation is preserved, (2) universal in the sense that all practical developments are captured uniformly, and (3) practical in the sense that languages associated with the abstract machine models can be used for rigorous high-level systems design and development, and the logics can be exploited for rigorous verification of desirable properties of systems.