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The role of ICL in CONFER-2 is, through our work on designing programming languages and advanced end-user applications, to be serving as a ``laboratory'' in which theoretical results are transferred into industrial usage.
Since the start of CONFER-2 a new research programme, called the ICL GTD framework in Agents and Mobility, has been set up. The programme encourages ICL businesses to take part in the research process from an early stage to ensure they are prepared for knowledge and technology transfer as results emerge. The framework includes setting up a virtual laboratory in collaboration with Fujitsu Laboratories, coordinating sponsored medium/longer term research at universities and external research laboratories (ANSA at APM, Cambridge and IC-Parc at Imperial College), a number of research and development projects with ICL businesses (TeamWare, Financial Services, ProcessWise and DAIS) and coordinating and participating in ICL efforts in defining market and technical strategies, architectural and methodological developments across the company. The participation in CONFER-2 is an integral part of this framework.
Of particular interest to CONFER-2 are activities on understanding the relationship between mobile agents, higher order processes, Milner's action structures, distributed concurrent functional programming languages, such as Facile and Business Process Modeling, in particular the POSD formalism developed by ICL ProcessWise. This is work in progress, but preliminary results may be viewed on the web (http://www.prattens.demon.co.uk/webposd/posdw.htm).
Furthermore, work on understanding the foundation for mobile agent programming and mobile/distributed computing support in general is forming a core of activities in developing ICL's technical strategy in this area.
In addition to the technical work relevant to CONFER-2 Lone Leth Thomsen and Bent Thomsen have assisted Jean-Jacques Levy in the management of the working group.