Seminars at the Faculty of Informatics

The Faculty of Informatics is pleased to announce a seminar given by Dr. Stefano Zacchiroli


TITLE: MANaging the COmplexity of the Open Source Infrastructure

SPEAKER: Dr. Stefano Zacchiroli , Université Paris Diderot, France

DATE: Monday, July 7th, 2008

PLACE: USI Università della Svizzera italiana, room SI-006, Informatics building (Via G. Buffi 13)

TIME: 11.30



Free and Open Source Software distributions raise difficult problems both for

distribution editors and system administrators. Distributions evolve rapidly by

integrating new versions of software packages that are independently developed.

System upgrades may proceed on different paths depending on the current state of

a system and the available software packages, and system administrators are

faced with choices of upgrade paths, and possibly with failing upgrades.


In this talk we give an overview of two research project which are addressing

these problems. On one hand the now completed EDOS project has focused on tools

for the distribution editor. We will present its main achievements on the

encoding of good properties that need to enjoyed by distribution repositories,

such as the possibility to install each of the distributed packages. Similar

problems can be encoded as well-known propositional logic problems such as SAT.

Mainstream distributions are nowadays exploiting this encoding and starting to

use SAT solvers to check repository properties.


On the other hand, the just started Mancoosi project aims at developing tools

for the system administrator. The project pursues two main avenues:

(1) develop mechanisms that provide for rollbacks of failed upgrade attempts,

 allowing the system administrator to revert the system to the state before

 the upgrade;

(2) develop better algorithms and tools to plan upgrade paths based on various

 information sources about software packages and on optimization criteria.


In the talk we will give an overview of Mancoosi research directions and of the

current project state.




Stefano Zacchiroli is a post-doctorate at Laboratoire PPS, Université Paris

Diderot - Paris 7. He got his PhD in 2006 from the University of Bologna (Italy)

for his work on interactive theorem proving and on the development of Matita, a

proof assistant based on the Calculus of (Co)Inductive Constructions. Since 2001

he has also been an official developer of the Debian GNU/Linux project.  His

research interests include: free software and the application of formal methods

to address the complexity challenges posed by software artifacts like GNU/Linux

distributions; type theory, interactive theorem proving, and the role of human

computer interaction in interactive proofs; web technologies, in particular type

systems for XML trees, and wiki-based collaboration technologies. He is

currently a member of the EU-funded Mancoosi <> research

project and of the W3C's XML Schema working group.


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