Early papers by Gregor v. Bochmann - Historical aspects

Paper describing the results of a physical experiment done at CERN (Geneva), in the context of which I did my master project. I was responsible for programming a PDP-8 computer in assembler for real-time data acquisition and analysis. Some of the papers resulting from my PhD work with Prof. Margolis at McGill University. I did many scientific calculations in Fortran, PL-1 and also used an symbolic formula manipulation system. My first work as a post-doctoral researcher was on neural networks (although this term was not yet invented) in collaboration with Prof. Armstrong.
  • [Arms 74] W. W. Armstrong and G. v. Bochmann, Properties of Boolean functions with a tree decomposition, BIT, 14 (1974), pp. 1-13.
  • Some contribution to "structured programming"
  • [Boch 73c] G. v. Bochmann, Multiple exits from a loop without the goto, Comm. ACM. 16, pp. 443-444 (1973).
  • A seminal paper which introduces the notion of a predetermined evaluation order for semantic attributes. This work was inspired by a paper by Knuth introducing the concept of attribute grammars in 1968.
  • [Boch 76c] G. v. Bochmann, Semantic evaluation from left to right, Comm. ACM 19, pp. 55-62 (1976).
  • My first work on the specification and analysis of communication protocols appeared in 1975. I used the FSM model (the 1978 paper has been much cited) and also a programming language oriented description model involving assertions and invariants. The combination of these approaches was described in 1977 under the title "unified method", which later has been called "extended FSM model". Much of my later work in this area uses this description framework. Around 1980, the work on Formal Description Techniques (FDT) for communication protocols and services started in the ISO standardization committee on Open Systems Interconnection (OSI). There was much hope in industry and academia that formal protocol specifications could be used to obtain communication systems with less errors and interworking problems. Research work concentrated on the development of languages, such as SDL, Estelle and LOTOS, and their use for semi-automatic protocol verification, implementation and testing. Our research team was in the forefront of these developments. The papers below include the first review on formal protocol description methods, the description of one of the first compilers of an FDT that generates implementation code, and two early papers describing the use of FDTs for the development of protocol standards. Later we were also among the first to propose FDT extensions for describing performance aspects. In the early eighties, the issue of conformance testing for OSI protocols came up and there was much interest in methods for automatic test development. Our research group took a leading role in this area, starting with the presentation of the first paper on protocol testing using FSM models at the second International Workshop on Protocol Specification, Testing and Verification (now joint with the FORTE conference), which was held in 1982. Later we introduced new concepts, such as the synchronization problems, test development based on extended FSM models (Sarikaya's PhD thesis), automatic test result analysis and verification of test verdicts, support tools for ASN.1 data types, and testing of non-deterministic systems (more recent references on these topics are also included under the headings above). I learned about temporal logic during my sabbatical year at Stanford University in 1980. The first paper below on hardware specification has been much cited. Later, we considered the introduction of the temporal logic concept of fairness within the FDT LOTOS. A distributed implementation of the LOTOS rendezvous mechanism, including fairness, was also developed. In 1992, the Canadian Institute for Telecommunication Research (CITR, a federal network of centers of excellence) invited me to organize a Major Project in the area of distributed multimedia applications. This was the starting point for my work in the area of quality of service management. The CITR project was later led by Dr. Wong from the University of Waterloo.

    This page was prepared by G.v. Bochmann in July 1999.