The John von Neumann Minerva Center for the Development of Reactive Systems

David Harel, Director
The William Sussman Professorial Chair in Mathematics

The John von Neumann Center was established in December 1997, thanks to a generous endowment from the ministry for Science and Technology (BMFT) of the Federal Republic of Germany, through Minerva, the joint committee for German-Israeli cooperation. Prof. Amir Pnueli was director until March 31, 2005, and Prof. Harel took over on April 1, 2005. The title of the center also changed somewhat.

The mission of the center is to advance and promote the state of the art of developing complex reactive systems, mainly through the processes of specification (modeling) and analysis.

Our research concentrates on visual formalisms and supporting tools for modeling, and on powerful simulation and analysis methods, including verification. We emphasize both intra-object and inter-object approaches, using state-based and scenario-based languages and methodologies (e.g., statecharts and live sequence charts). Recently, we have been working on a general approach, which we call Behavioral Programming. We also work on related topics, such as natural language specification, reactive animation and GUI-based programming.

Throughout, the relationship between our work and accepted standards, such as the UML, is carefully maintained and extended. We also cultivate joint work with industry and case studies, so that our work does not result in academic advances only.

We also work quite heavily on several application areas, first and foremost amongst them is biological modeling, using similar techniques taken from reactive system development. Others include service-oriented computing, tactical simulators and health care processes. Some of our work on odor analysis and synthesis is also under the Centerís umbrella.