Keynote - Ole Lehrmann Madsen (Aarhus University) and Birger Møller Pedersen (University of Oslo)

What your mother forgot to tell you about modeling - and programming

Abstract: The first object-oriented language SIMULA was designed for modeling as well as programming. The situation today is that we have two more or less disjoint communities: one focusing on object-oriented programming and one focusing on object-oriented modeling. In the programming community, reuse is considered the main advantage of object-orientation with no explicit focus on modeling. The object-oriented modeling community is of course concerned with modeling, but the main focus seems to be on language elements for drawing diagrams, and little about how to actually apply modeling. In this paper, we argue that you need a conceptual framework in order to apply modeling as well as programming. Such a conceptual framework was developed during development of the Beta language, and we describe part of this in this paper. Finally, we discuss some of the implications a conceptual framework may have on object-oriented modeling and/or programming languages. The philosophy underlying this paper is that programing is modeling, and that modeling and programming communities should join forces.


Ole Lehrmann Madsen is a professor of Computer Science, Aarhus University. From 1999-2019 he was also the CEO of the Alexandra Institute A/S, which is a Danish Research and Technology Organization within information technology. His area of research is object-oriented software systems, including programming, modeling, languages, and software development environments. Together with Bent Bruun Kristensen, Birger Møller-Pedersen and Kristen Nygaard he was one of the creators of the Beta programming language. He was project manager for the Danish part of the Mjølner project (1986-91) and the development of the Mjølner Beta software development environment. He was a co-founder and chairman of the board for Mjølner Informatics ltd., which was based on Beta and the Mjølner project until it was acquired by Norlys in 2022. He has a Ph.D. from Aarhus University in computer science. He has previously been a research associate at CSLI at Stanford University (1984-85) and senior research associate at Sun Labs in Mountain View, California (1994-95). He has been member of several research councils and vice-chair of the DG Connect Advisor Forum for the European Commission regarding Horizon 2020 (2013-17).

Birger Møller-Pedersen is a professor emeritus at Department of Informatics, University of Oslo. His research area is object-oriented programming, modeling, languages. Together with Bent Bruun Kristensen, Ole Lehrmann Madsen, and Kristen Nygaard he was one of the creators of the Beta programming language. At the Norwegian Computing Center (1977- 1995) he was, in addition to working with Beta, involved in the last generation of SIMULA implementations. With Dag Belsnes he defined the first object oriented extension of SDL, and from 1989 he was involved in the standardization of this within ITU together with Øystein Haugen, leading to SDL-92. For this work they received the Telenor Nordic Research Prize (extra prize) in 1997. This work was part of both the Mjølner project and the SISU project. At Telenor Research (1995-1997), he was working both with network management and intelligent networks. At Ericsson Research (1997-2004), he worked with UML 2 within OMG, with special responsibility for state machines.

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