Workshop on Declarative Programming with Sets
Paris, France

Scope of the workshop

The use of sets, set operations, and various forms of set-theoretical constructs in programming and specification languages has attracted the interest of a number of researchers in the past few years. Various extensions to incorporate set-based features have been put forward in the field of imperative languages (e.g., SETL), functional languages (e.g., Miranda, SEL), (constraint) logic languages (e.g., LDL, CLPS, {log}, SuRE), as well as in the field of specification languages (e.g., Z). Also, some proposals have appeared in the field of visual languages based on sets (e.g., SPARCL). (see also the WEB pages on Programming with Sets).

The new emerging notion of declarative programming can constitute a common denominator for all these proposals that so far has been lacking. Indeed, set constructs and operations are by their own nature highly declarative entities. They provide a natural and very abstract way to describe non-deterministic solutions to complex problems. Dealing with them as constraints further enhances their declarativeness. Suitable set operations and data structures (e.g., intensional sets, partial-order clauses) may help render clear and concise formulations to problems involving set collection and aggregate operations. This paradigm is intended to be particularly well-suited to solve problems from graph theory, program analysis, database query, and problems that involve search in general.

This workshop is aimed at providing an opportunity for discussing the many different ways in which sets have been dealt with so far, with a view to establish some common basis for the new paradigm of declarative programming with sets. The focus of the workshop will be on showing that set-based programming languages constitute a true enhancement over traditional paradigms for the solution of all these problems, encouraging a true declarative style of programming. In addition, theoretical and implementation issues are of interest to the workshop, and contributions from the related fields of set constraint languages and computable set theory are also welcome.