While many mobile device applications are backed by cloud servers and storage, the current programming technology is tedious and potentially error prone. Developing individual application parts is not difficult, but developing an entire system is far more challenging and there’s currently no way to map user-level application code to the computational resources available in a flexible way. In this invited talk, Agha talks about a new methodology for building mobile cloud applications that can leverage cloud resources in a scalable way, while dramatically simplifying the development effort. This is the subject of the NSF-funded project entitled “Model-based, Event-Driven Scalable Programming for the Mobile Cloud,” lead by Agha along with Illinois computer science professor Darko Marinov, in collaboration with Daniel Jackson at MIT. The project aims to develop a high-end interface language that’s simple for programmers, while back-end programming could still be done using an actors model, which is optimal for scaling and was developed by Agha in 1985. This will make it easier to program web applications without compromising their efficiency and scalability in execution, using the actors model.
Gul Agha is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research is in the area of programming models and languages for open distributed and embedded computation with applications to cloud computing. Dr. Agha is a primary developer of the Actor model of concurrent computation. He is also known for his work on testing, statistical model checking, and sensor networks. Dr. Agha is a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical Engineering and Electronics (IEEE) and a Golden Core of the IEEE Computer Society. Dr. Agha is a past Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Concurrency: Parallel, Distributed and Mobile Computing, and of ACM Computing Surveys. He has given over one hundred lectures at universities and research laboratories and over dozens of invited and keynote lectures. Dr. Agha is a co-founder of the startup Embedor Technologies which is developing sensor network solutions for applications in the Internet of Things.