Team Contraintes

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Section: New Results

Traces

Participant : Pierre Deransart.

It is common understanding that a process equipped with a tracer produces a single trace. It is indeed here what we call actual trace , the one that has a physical sense. It is less obvious to involve another trace that we qualify of virtual because it has no physical existence but only a conceptual one, which results from an abstraction of observed artefacts. The virtual trace can be seen in two ways: as a result of a succession of abstract states of the observed process equipped with a tracer (observational semantics), or as an interpretation of the events of the actual trace (Interpretative Semantics). It is these relationships between these two forms of traces that we study here. This conceptual loop of trace construction is the basis of the way trace are practically elaborated with the purpose to understand observed processes.

This approach is based on the concept of full trace (actual or virtual), full in the sense that the totality of knowledge regarding the observed process is there explicitly or implicitly contained. This constitutes a basis for studying the modular construction of tracers and traces, using only the notions of trace enrichment, sub-trace, fusion, trace abstraction. We also study the notion of genericity of a trace, i.e. the possibility to give semantics to a tracer, which covers a family of observed processes.

We started to elaborate a general theory of trace construction based on the observation of the way trace files are accumulated as knowledge bases and elaborated in differents fields of activity like software engeneering, rule based systems and resolution, learning in context, or personal experience storing systems. We are currently investigating the use of the fluent calculus as modeling tool for the observational semantics in the framework of the projets C4RBCP. At the moment only working documents have been produced [32] .


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