Thursday, September 09, 2010

SOS 2010

On August 30, Pawel Sobocinski and I co-chaired SOS 2010, an affiliated workshop of CONCUR 2010. The workshop programme was interesting and we had 18 participants. (It was hard to compete with EXPRESS 2010, which had 35 registered participants.) The proceedings for the workshop are available as an EPTCS volume.

Apart from five contributed talks touching on a fairly wide variety of topics, the workshop featured two invited presentations. MohammadReza Mousavi kicked off the workshop in style with a talk entitled How to cook a security-enabled semantics. In his talk, which was partly based on this paper, Mohammad introduced notions such as restricted revocable delegation and studied their consequences in language-based security. Listening to Mohammad speak I felt, not for the first time, that language-based security is one of the (alas, many) topics that I should make an effort to understand better.

The second invited talk was joint with EXPRESS, and was delivered by Catuscia Palamidessi. Catuscia had a very large audience for a workshop, and fortunately we had decided to move to a lecture hall that could hold about 100 people before her talk :-). Catsucia's talk, which was entitled Compositionality of Secure Information Flow, dealt with ways in which one can quantify the amount of leakage of confidential information through public outputs in computer systems. Catuscia discussed a proposal for measuring the amount of leakage that is based on the Bayes risk, namely (the converse of) the probability of guessing the right value of the secret, once we have observed the output. In her talk, Catuscia presented a process calculus for the specification of systems composed by concurrent and probabilistic processes, and investigated "safe constructs", namely constructs which do not increase the leakage.

Overall, I like to think that SOS 2010 was a successful workshop. However, I would like to see this workshop series be more visible and receive more submissions. I hope that future chairs will be more successful than I have been in achieving these goals.

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