• Giovanni Ciatto
    Giovanni Ciatto, 12/07/2019 17:34

    Dear Mr Ciatto,

    You have been listed as a co-author of the following submission: Submission no: JLAMP_2019_10 Submission title: Twenty Years of Coordination Technologies: COORDINATION contribution to the State of Art Corresponding author: Dr Stefano Mariani Listed co-author(s): Professor Andrea Omicini, Professor Giovanna Di Marzo Serugendo, Mr Maxime Louvel, Professor Franco Zambonelli, Mr Giovanni Ciatto

    We are writing to let you know the status of this submission has changed to Revision Requested. The link below takes you to a webpage where you can log in to our submission system using your existing Elsevier profile credentials or register to create a new profile. You will then have the opportunity to view the submission status and see reviewer and editor comments once they become available. http://www.evise.com/profile/api/navigate/JLAMP?resourceUrl=%2Fco-author%2F%3Fdgcid%3Dinvite_email_coauthorupdate23522208%23%2FJLAMP%2Fsubmission%2FJLAMP_2019_10

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    Once again, thank you very much for your submission.

    Journal of Logical and Algebraic Methods in Programming

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  • Stefano Mariani
    Stefano Mariani, 19/08/2019 17:54

    REVIEW EXCERPTS:

    • the new content of the paper is not adequately reflected in the Introduction (mainly page 2). After reading it, I got the impression that the investigation only focuses on the COORDINATION conference series
    • data collected from SpringerLink and its companion service BookMetrix (reported in Table 1 on page 6) have been lastly checked by the authors on February 9th, 2018
    • The story about Klaim and its related technologies X-Klaim, Klava and O’Klaim, is not exact, as well as the main reference papers cited by the authors. This has quite some impact throughout the paper, as e.g. in Table 2 and Table 3, in the analysis (Section 2) and, maybe, in the conclusions (Section 6)
    • Putting it clearly, it is a nice contribution to the history of a conference series (wrt a main topic in its scope — technologies) rather than a survey of how an entire research domain actually evolved.
    • one would expect a more detailed presentation of each of the main trends identified (and pictured in fig 6). The descriptions of TuCSoN (end of page 17). Moses, IWIN, etc fail to give to the reader from a different domain an idea of the main concepts and computational models underlying these technologies. I suggest such descriptions are added to the introduction of each family / technology in section 2, and recovered in section 3
    • Expressions such as “we believe” are more suitable for a theological piece than a scientific paper. Some informed discussion, with appropriate references and sound arguments, on what the future may bring, would be interesting to include probably in a separate section, but these sort of mini, “intuition-driven” comments spread in the text should be removed.
    • The criterium to choose other venues for coordination research dissemination — the intersection of “active authors” (???) with COORDINATION — is another evidence that the authors are reporting on the history of a conference series on a topic rather on the evolution of the topic itself
    • It is not clear why, for these conferences, and differently from what was made for COORDINATION, the analysis focus on (a very small sample of) concrete papers. Why such a disparity of criteria? How was such a selection made?
    • presenting Bag-Era as prime, almost unique example of … is ridiculous (small, recent, peculiar company …)
    • the paper is not about “the state of art of coordination technologies after twenty years of the COORDINATION conference series” and, unfortunately, to a great extent it is unable "to stimulate informed discussion about future perspectives”.
  • Giovanni Ciatto
    Giovanni Ciatto, 28/08/2019 12:46

    Reviewer 1

    • Manuscript Details: Manuscript number JLAMP_2019_10

    Title: Twenty Years of Coordination Technologies: COORDINATION contribution to the State of Art

    Authors: Giovanni Ciatto, Giovanna Di Marzo Serugendo, Maxime Louvel, Stefano Mariani, Andrea Omicini, Franco Zambonelli

     

    Recommendation

    Major Revisions

    Comments to Authors

    Overview and general recommendation

    The manuscript surveys coordination technologies, whereby as a technology it is intended “a software artefact offering an API exploitable by other software to coordinate its components”, and the models and languages which they are based on. The goal is to establish which of these technologies are ready for the industry and to what extent.

    The focus is on the coordination technologies described in papers published mainly in the COORDINATION conference series. The authors present an in-depth analysis which, starting from the publication data collected from the official SpringerLink website and its companion BookMetrix service, lingers on those coordination technologies for which still exist working software artifacts. For the sake of completeness, also those technologies for which the authors were not able to find any working implementation are reported in the paper. Based on this data, the authors then discuss the evolution of technologies and their relationships, compare their features and present reference scenario of each technology. Finally, the authors relate the survey to other reference conferences often attended by researchers within the COORDINATION community and to industrial practice.

    On the one hand, I found the paper to be overall well-written and motivated. Its topic is interesting as coordination technologies can be of great help for the ICT systems featuring ever increasing complex interaction schemes that are having a steadily growing impact on our everyday life. With respect to the conference version, the scope of the investigation has been widened. Two new sections have been added: Section 4 relates the survey to other conferences (specifically SAC, SASO, FOCLASA, and ISOLA) often attended by researchers within the COORDINATION community, while Section 5 relates the survey to industrial practice. This extension permits to deliver insights about the relevance of COORDINATION results w.r.t. “the outside world” and is also important for better matching the aim of the paper with the audience interested to know about “alive” coordination technologies, regardless of the venue where they were presented. Also because of the extension just mentioned, the overview of the coordination technologies, models and languages, and the consequent analysis is impressive and quite complete, I think.

    On the other hand, I found that the presentation can be improved in several respects, at least for more precisely introducing the investigation, for updating the data collected and analysed about the COORDINATION conference series, and for correcting the reconstruction of the history of the family of models and technologies stemming from Klaim. I explain my concerns in more detail below.

    Therefore, I recommend that a major revision be requested to the authors in which they specifically deal with each of my comments below.

    Major comments

     I think the authors have made an important effort wrt the conference version of the paper for reviewing also contributions published in other venues. However, it seems to me that the new content of the paper is not adequately reflected in the Introduction (mainly page 2). After reading it, I got the impression that the investigation only focuses on the COORDINATION conference series. It is only at the end of the paragraph “1.1. Structure & Contribution of the Paper”, at page 4, that it is mentioned that other venues are also taken into account.

     It seems that the data collected from SpringerLink and its companion service BookMetrix (reported in Table 1 on page 6) have been lastly checked by the authors on February 9th, 2018. This means that they date back more than a year before the manuscript submission. It seems to me that this time frame is a little too long. I suggest the authors update these data and check that their analysis and considerations still apply (I guess they should).

     The story about Klaim and its related technologies X-Klaim, Klava and O’Klaim, is not exact, as well as the main reference papers cited by the authors. This has quite some impact throughout the paper, as e.g. in Table 2 and Table 3, in the analysis (Section 2) and, maybe, in the conclusions (Section 6).

    Indeed, it is not exact that O’Klaim evolved into X-Klaim, as reported in Table 2 at page 11. In a sense, the opposite is true. O’Klaim (Object-Oriented Klaim) is in fact a linguistic extension of Klaim with object-oriented features.

    Klaim (Kernel Language for Agents Interaction and Mobility) is introduced in

    A R. De Nicola, G. Ferrari, R. Pugliese. “Klaim: a Kernel Language for Agents Interaction and Mobility.” IEEE Trans. on Software Engineering (1998)

    It appeared preliminarily, with the name LLinda (Locality-based Linda), in

    R. De Nicola, G. Ferrari, R. Pugliese. “Locality based Linda: programming with explicit localities.” TAPSOFT’97

    and in the companion paper published in the proceedings of COORDINATION’97

    R. De Nicola, G. Ferrari, R. Pugliese. “Coordinating Mobile Agents via Blackboards and Access Rights.”

    where a type system for checking access rights violations is also introduced. 

    X-Klaim (eXtended-Klaim) is a programming language obtained by extending the kernel language Klaim with a few high-level programming constructs such as variable declarations, operations with time-out, assignments, conditionals, and sequential and iterative process composition. It has been introduced in

    B L. Bettini, R. De Nicola, G. Ferrari, R. Pugliese. “Interactive Mobile Agents in X-Klaim”, in Proc. of the Seventh IEEE International Workshop on Enabling

    Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises (WETICE’98)

    The implementation of Klaim/X-Klaim in the Java programming language is called Klava (which stands for Klaim in Java). It consists of two layers: the X-Klaim compiler and the intermediate language Klava that is obtained by extending Java with a new package, called Klava. Klava is widely presented in 

    C L. Bettini, R. De Nicola, R. Pugliese. “Klava: a Java Package for Distributed and Mobile Applications”. Software -- Practice and Experience (2002)

    and preliminarily described in A,B.

    Therefore, it is not exact that “the O’Klaim language presented in 25 evolved into the X-Klaim project 54 which is still alive, even if apparently no longer maintained.” (as stated at page 15, line 256-257).

    Furthermore, as far as I know, Klava has evolved over the years and is still a maintained framework used for directly programming in Java according to the Klaim paradigm, while the X-Klaim compiler has been progressively neglected. However, a renewed and enhanced version of X-Klaim has been recently developed by exploiting X-TEXT. This new version of X-Klaim, which comes together with an Eclipse-based IDE tooling, is available as an open source project from:

     https://github.com/LorenzoBettini/xKlaim

    Finally, I am quite sure that the right reference for Klaim is A, that for X-Klaim is B and for that for Klava is C.

    Minor comments

    p.2,l.2-3: “Complexity of computational systems ... is constantly growing along with the increasing complexity of …”: please rephrase as there are some repetitions inside this sentence.

    p.2,l.8: “a a step“ → “a step”.

    p.4,list of items: each item should terminate with a proper punctuation symbol (also other lists in the paper have this same inconvenience).

    p.5,footnote 3: move the footnote to page 2 where the BookMetrix services is referred for the first time.

    p.19,l.321: “process” → “processes”.

    p.19,l.332-333: “recent extension to the ReSpecT language and toolchain published” → “recently published extension to the ReSpecT language and toolchain” ?

    p.20,l.301: “We were able to successfully compile and execute the code: however, no source code is provided,”: apparently there is a contradiction here between source code which is not provided and compilation (of which code?). Please, explain.

    p.21,l.201: “a SBT configuration” → “an SBT configuration”.

    p.23,l.443: “triple” → “tuple”.

    p.25,l.505: “space” → “spaces”.

    p.49,l.1125: “industrial” → “industry” / “industrial products” ?

    p.28,l.584: “Klaim”: I would write Klaim, X-Klaim and Klava with this font, throughout the whole manuscript. Anyway, you should use the same font for all occurrences.

    p.29,l.613: “java” → “Java”.

    p.30,l.627: “them and” → “them”.

    p.30,l.649: “TheOne-SAPERE …” ?

    p.31,l.665: “and, Logic Fragments specifically, ...” → “and Logic Fragments, specifically, ...”.

    p.33, Figure 6: when the manuscript is printed in black and white, the blue arrows are indistinguishable from the black ones. Maybe a different type (e.g. dotted arrow) could be used for one of the two. Moreover, some of the arrows are almost not depicted at all or their direction is not shown. Additional space should be dedicated to this figure.

    p.34,l.712: there are no “red and green arrows” in Figure 6, if anything there are red and green labels.

    p.35, Figure 7: like for Figure 6, when the manuscript is printed in black and white, the blue, red and black arrows are almost indistinguishable. Please, use different types of arrows to improve the Figure.

    p.37: “4. Coordination tech outside COORDINATION” → “4. Coordination technologies outside COORDINATION”.

    p.37,l.793: “remaining one” → “remaining ones”.

    p.37,l.808: “COORDINATIOn” → “COORDINATION”.

    p.38,l.826: “internet” → “Internet”.

    p.40,l.876: “distributed system 104” → “distributed systems 104”.

    p.40,l.876-877: “In fact, in Reo, exchange data via synchronous atomic actions, …”: there is something strange with this sentence.

    p.40,l.891-895: “As for COORDINATION, some technologies are either discontinued or no longer accessible, …”: it is not clear to me, why this paragraph is placed here; maybe it has to be rephrased.

    p.41,l.897: “Coordination Models and languages” → “Coordination Models and Languages”.

    p.42,l.946: “a tuple spaces” → “a tuple space”.

    p.42,l.950: “is bale to solve” → “is able to solve”.

    p.45: “5. Coordination tech in Industry” → “5. Coordination technologies in Industry”.

    p.49,l.1125: “will not be used by industrial” → “will not be used by industry” ?

    p.49,l.1141: “its usability“ → “their usability“.

    p.50,1180: “point of interests” → “points of interest”.

    References: in 77 and 131, the name of one of the authors needs to be corrected: “Nicola” → “De Nicola”.

    References: something strange has happened with reference 133.

  • Giovanni Ciatto
    Giovanni Ciatto, 28/08/2019 12:46

    Reviewer 2

    • The purpose of this paper, as announced by the authors themselves is “to reflect on what happened to coordination models, languages, and (above all) technologies in the last two decades”. This is made taking as a starting point the analysis of trends in the evolution of submissions, use (as measured by downloads) and citations of the COORDINATION conference series. The idea was worth to explore, COORDINATION certainly being a major venue for publication in the target area. A first objection that may be risen concerns to what extent the journal is willing to accept surveys as regular submissions. But this is an issue for the editorial board rather than for authors.

    The paper does a reasonable job, identifying trends and tracing main contributions (in the technological side), typically to find out, as one would expect, most of them were discontinued. Actually, it would not be difficult to guess that most of "technological hints” published in these sort of essentially academic conferences are intended to illustrate an idea or serving as a proof-of-concept.

    The results, however, are a bit disappointing. It seems that rather than reflecting on "what happened to coordination models, languages, and (above all) technologies in the last two decades” using COORDINATION a a means, the paper is essentially a reflection on COORDINATION itself. Putting it clearly, it is a nice contribution to the history of a conference series (wrt a main topic in its scope — technologies) rather than a survey of how an entire research domain actually evolved.

    Even accepting such a restricted scope, one would expect a more detailed presentation of each of the main trends identified (and pictured in fig 6). The descriptions of TuCSoN (end of page 17). Moses, IWIN, etc fail to give to the reader from a different domain an idea of the main concepts and computational models underlying these technologies. I suggest such descriptions are added to the introduction of each family / technology in section 2, and recovered in section 3 towards a deeper discussion of what really matters: the distillation of driving concepts and their comparison. In the end of the day, what really remains are the intuitions build up by/from the computational models (this is actually how theory does its way in a strongly technological field such as Informatics). Fig 6 provides a nice point to such a discussion (briefly initiated by the end of page 34).

    A related criticism concerns some ad hoc comments in which the authors express some sort of personal, informal feelings about what the future will bring. For example, the small comment on the relevance of hybrid data- control driven approaches (end of page 33) would require a proper justification. Expressions such as “we believe” are more suitable for a theological piece than a scientific paper. Some informed discussion, with appropriate references and sound arguments, on what the future may bring, would be interesting to include probably in a separate section, but these sort of mini, “intuition-driven” comments spread in the text should be removed.

    This said, the analysis was conducted in some detail and in a systematic way, the results, assuming their restricted scope, are interesting and, globally, the paper is well structured and well written.

    Further comments:

    Section 2

    • Lines 411-412: Identifying constraint automata as the semantics for Reo is debatable: there a myriad of other, more precise semantics; and constraint automata fail to captures essential features which may make Reo an interesting coordination model (e.g distinguishing between non deterministic choice and absence of context initiative).

    Section 3

    • Not entirely convinced that Reo is "geared toward some forms of space-awareness , be it by promoting mobility or by providing location-sensitive primitives” (page 35). Please exemplify this claim.
    • Similarly, it is not obvious how the authors can infer that "IoT could be the killer-app for coordination technologies". In fact, what they say is that the coordination community has already all the technical models/ingredients to tackle IoT. To discuss further. (page 36)
    • In the same page: what is meant by “industry 4.0”? I would prefer avoiding such ambiguous, media-coined terms …

    Section 4

    The criterium to choose other venues for coordination research dissemination — the intersection of “active authors” (???) with COORDINATION — is another evidence that the authors are reporting on the history of a conference series on a topic rather on the evolution of the topic itself. The criterium is debatable: very interesting contributions to coordination appeared e.g. in venues such as FACS (which has a reasonable overlap with FOCLASA) and even in broader scope conferences — I am just thinking of CONCUR in which some essential topics (on mobility, sessions, reconfigurability) have been discussed in full genericity and later made their way to coordination and interaction models, and from there to technologies.

    • It is not clear why, for these conferences, and differently from what was made for COORDINATION, the analysis focus on (a very small sample of) concrete papers. Why such a disparity of criteria? How was such a selection made?

    Section 5

    The interest of this section is even more debatable. The influence of coordination ideas is much larger, although often implicit in the practice of software engineering. Yes, I agree, it should focus on models rather than on technologies … In any case, presenting Bag-Era as prime, almost unique example of … is ridiculous (small, recent, peculiar company …)

    Section 6

    To be rewritten from a humbler perspective. As explained, the paper is not about “the state of art of coordination technologies after twenty years of the COORDINATION conference series” and, unfortunately, to a great extent it is unable "to stimulate informed discussion about future perspectives”.

    TYPOS Page 7, line 119: the main year (wrt fg 1) seems to be 2009 rather than 2008 Page 37, title section 4: “tech" —> “technologies” Page 42, line 946: “on the two” —> “to the two” Page 44, line 985: “es exemplified” —> “as exemplified” Page 48, line 1018: “often times “ — “often” Page 45, title section 5: “tech" —> “technologies” Page 51, line 1209: “considered as software agent” —> “considered as a software agent”

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