CoFI Working Group (CoFI WG, ESPRIT Working Group 29432)

CoFI WG is now over; you can read a paper about what was accomplished.

CoFI itself continues as an unfunded collaboration; look here for more information (Edinburgh mirror, Paris mirror).

Objectives and Approach of CoFI WG

CoFI, the Common Framework Initiative for algebraic specification and development of software, is an open international (but predominantly European) collaboration. CoFI participants have designed CASL, intended as a common language for formal specification of functional requirements and modular software design. CASL will support interoperability of prototyping and verification tools, and it subsumes many previous specification languages.

The Working Group will coordinate the completion of and disseminate the Common Framework, demonstrate its practical applicability in industrial contexts, and establish the infrastructure needed for future European collaborative research in algebraic techniques. Work will be organized around a series of Working Meetings, some of which will take the form of satellite events at relevant conferences, together with short-term exchanges of researchers for intensive collaboration on specific topics. Near the end of its life the Working Group will organize a Summer School on Algebraic Techniques and the Common Framework in order to disseminate its results.

The long-term industrial impact of the Common Framework is to encourage the adoption of algebraic techniques, which should be beneficial for both efficiency of production and quality of products, while the industrial impact in the short term is limited to the experimental use of algebraic techniques by a few industrial groups who are already interested. To this end, the consortium has contacts with industrial groups who support CoFI, and who have expressed interest in collaborating in case studies to evaluate the applicability of the Common Framework. Apart from contributing to dissemination and awareness, this will provide feedback about any mismatch between the needs of industrial users and what the Common Framework provides. This feedback will be taken into account before further industrial groups are targeted as potential users.

Contact Point

Don Sannella, Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science, Division of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3JZ, Scotland. E-mail:, Phone: +44 131 650 5184, Fax: +44 131 667 7209. Secretary: Margaret Davis (, +44 131 650 5132)

News for CoFI WG participants concerning major technical milestones and upcoming meetings will be broadcast on the (moderated) mailing list to which everybody should subscribe. Each task group has a separate moderated mailing list for technical discussion. Information about these mailing lists, including subscription instructions and archives, is here.


Overall coordinator: Don Sannella, LFCS, University of Edinburgh
Language Design coordinator: Bernd Krieg-Brückner, BISS, University of Bremen
Semantics coordinator: Andrzej Tarlecki, Institute of Informatics, Warsaw University
Methodology coordinator: Michel Bidoit, LSV, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan
Tools coordinator: Hélène Kirchner, INRIA Lorraine, Nancy
Reactive Systems coordinators: Egidio Astesiano, DISI, University of Genova and Heinrich Hussmann, TU Dresden
External Relations coordinator: Peter Mosses, BRICS, University of Aarhus

Start and End Dates

1st October 1998 to 30th April 2001

Don Sannella
Last modified: Tue Jun 29 14:42:51 BST 2004