Karl J. Lieberherr


Professor Lieberherr’s research focuses on two areas: applied programming languages and software engineering, and robotic trading games.

He co-developed the theory of P-optimal algorithms for NP-complete MAX-CSP problems which is used to determine Nash equilibria in robotic trading games.

He was also the principal designer and implementer of the hardware-description language Zeus, which influenced the design of VHDL.

Professor Lieberherr joined Northeastern University in 1985 and established the Demeter research group, which developed Adaptive Programming (AP). AP abstracts out traversals from programs, which makes programs both simpler and more powerful. AP helps to control tangling between structure and behavior, and prevents unnecessary duplication of structural information. Aspect-oriented programming (AOP), a generalization of AP that Lieberherr’s group developed with Xerox PARC, advises arbitrary code, not just pure traversal code.

DemeterF is the latest incarnation of AP using functional programming. DemeterF creates a balance between programming flexibility, traversal adaptability, and safety. DemeterF can be compiled with very minimal user intervention to multi-core architectures for fast execution. While the Demeter project initially focused on good design principles (such as the Law of Demeter) it also takes on the challenge of fast performance of adaptive programs on modern architectures.

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