Manuel Hermenegildo#

Short laudatio by Krzysztof R. Apt#

The contributions of Prof. Hermenegildo cover a broad number of topics related to the development of advanced program development tools, global program analysis, optimization, verification, abstract interpretation, abstract machines, parallelizing compilers, resource-aware distributed execution and logical agents, automatic documentation tools, constraint/logic/functional programming theory and implementation, visualization, and parallel computer architecture. All his theoretical ideas are supported by practical implementations, some like the Ciao system, described below, being of professional quality.

Here are his main contributions, divided into research areas.


One of Prof. Hermenegildo's first contributions in this area, in the early to mid 80's, was to propose an extension of the quite complex and subtle "Warren Abstract Machine", widely used in implementing logic programming languages, to deal with parallelism. This was a highly non-trivial achievement that formed the basis for many subsequent contributions in the subject.

Analysis based on abstract interpretation

In the late 80's and early 90's he developed and implemented algorithms for static analysis of CLP programs. This work has been highly influential and led to the use of Prof. Hermenegildo's work on analysis of logic and constraint abstract interpretation techniques in many advanced compilers and programming environments.


More recently Professor Hermenegildo and his research team have designed and implemented a new constraint logic programming language, Ciao, which includes extensive run-time and compile-time support for debugging as well as an innovative program development environment. Its main innovation is the extremely expressive language of program assertions that are verified using a mixture of compile-time program analysis, largely based on abstract interpretation, and run-time tests. The Ciao system is arguably one of the most advanced and comprehensive constraint logic programming systems currently available, representing the state-of-the-art.


Prof. Hermenegildo has also pioneered the use of logic programming in internet applications. The Ciao system includes as a library his PiLLoW ("Programming in Logic Languages on the Web") system which makes it possible to write internet applications in a highly efficient and declarative way. The PiLLoW library is now included in most logic programming systems.

Mobile code security, Abstraction Carrying Code (ACC)

In his most recent research Prof. Hermenegildo has worked on extending the applicability of his results in constraint logic programming to the object oriented and imperative programming worlds. In particular, he has developed highly innovative code certification methods for security purposes, including for trusted computing over the internet. In this area he has proposed, in collaboration with his co-workers, the highly promising "Abstraction Carrying Code" (ACC) approach that builds on his earlier work on program analysis and debugging.

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