Photo of Thierry Harchies

About the seminar

With its many concretizations in self-driving cars, instant machine translation and recommendation systems, to cite a few, it is difficult to ignore the importance of AI in our everyday life. Research in Artificial Intelligence at the Faculty of Computer Science in Namur dates however back to the eighties. It has been pursued since then among others in the FOCUS research center in study of declarative languages, programming methodologies, expert systems and decision support systems.

This seminar fits in this trends of research. We have the pleasure to receive two professors who will report on the application of declarative languages and models to tackle socio-technical systems and decision support systems. The seminar will include both theoretical talks and hands-on sessions for practicing with tools.


The seminar is organized by the FOCUS research group. For any question, please contact Wim Vanhoof, director of Focus, or Jean-Marie Jacquet.


9h30 -- 10h: Opening

Reception of the participants and opening by Prof. Wim Vanhoof, Director of Focus and Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science

10h -- 12h: Hands-On Tutorial by Prof. Joost Vennekens (KULeuven, Belgium)

The IDP Knowledge Base System

Many of the operational decisions that are made in a typical company require a great deal of expert knowledge: there are regulations, laws, best practices, company policies, etc. to take into account. The IDP Knowledge Base System aims at allowing such expert knowledge to be represented in a purely declaratively way, such that it can be flexibly used to support different tasks. This system has been used to build decision support systems to help a notary determine registration duties and to assist a product engineer in designing a specific kind machine component. In this tutorial, we provide some hands-on experience with using this publicly available system.

Slides of the talk: Tutorial on IDP

12h-14h: Lunch

Sandwiches offered by FOCUS. Visit of FOCUS posters.

14h -- 17h: Talk and Hands-On Tutorial by Prof. Stefano Mariani (Unimore University, Italy)

The quest towards Coordination from distributed to socio-technical systems

The increasing complexity of modern IT systems calls for principled approaches to govern interactions between their distributed components---namely, calls for coordination models. In this seminar, we will travel across the landscape of coordination models, languages, and technologies, to witness their evolution and application to heterogeneous domains ranging from distributed computing to socio-technical systems. As a complement to this conceptual overview, a hands-on session will jump-start attendants with selected technologies enabling to put in practice what they learnt.

Slides of the talk: Hands-on --- Main talk --- Coordination and blockchains

17h-18h30: Closing and cocktail

Closing by Prof. Wim Vanhoof and beer cocktail offered by Focus.


Attendance to the seminar is free. However, to help us organize the event, please register on this page.


The seminar will be held in seminar I22 and the computer pool I21, both located at the 2nd floor of the Faculty of Computer Science, whose address is rue Grandgagnage 21, 5000 Namur.

More information on how to reach the University of Namur and the Faculty of Computer Science is available on the web site of the University. In particular, a map of the campus is available at the following link.


For more information, please contact Wim Vanhoof or Jean-Marie Jacquet, or our administrative secretary Babette Di Guardia.