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"System Design"
1st-4th July 2003


In connection with the conference SOLINET sponsored the SDL '03 Design Contest.

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The first SDL Forum held in Florence in September 1982 was concerned only with SDL, the Specification and Description Language first standardized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), more than 25 years ago. The original language and domain of application have both evolved significantly. The foundations of SDL as a graphical, state-transition and process-communication language for real-time systems have remained. SDL has also grown to be one notation in the set of modeling languages recommended by ITU (ASN.1, MSC, SDL, ODL and TTCN) that can be used in methodologies taking engineering of systems from requirements capture through to testing and operation. Today the SDL Forum is therefore concerned with System Design Languages and not just with the SDL language.

The SDL Forum is held every 2 years and has become the most important event in the calendar for anyone involved in the related System Design Languages and technology. The SDL Forum Society that runs the Forum is a non-profit organization to promote and develop languages - in particular (but not restricted to) MSC and SDL. The SDL Forum is the primary conference event where the evolution of these languages is discussed. Topics raised at the previous events have led to changes in the languages to meet market requirements.

The telecommunications industry is still reorganizing after some rapid changes in profitability. Organizations have to be very careful to get a return on expenditure, and the SDL Forum has always had an industrial focus where best practice is discussed. The evolution of methods, tools and languages that has been discussed at past events has been fuelled by the industrial need to do development better, quicker and cheaper. In the current telecommunications economic climate, this need has never been stronger. The Forum is where new ideas, methods and tools can be publicized to practicing engineers, and engineers can form liaisons. Potential users of the languages get an insight into why languages such as SDL and MSC have been a long-term success. The Forum also enables users to meet the ITU Study Group members maintaining the languages and therefore influence the contents of future standards.

The System Design Languages are not just used in telecommunications. They are suitable for many real time applications and have been widely applied in other fields. Moreover there is a significant convergence between the ITU-T languages work and the UML set of notations of OMG (Object Management Group).

Attendees and Proceedings

Attending an SDL Forum benefits engineers and researchers who are applying or are considering using the languages mentioned above. While the Forum is essentially a technical conference, the selection of items for the programme covers both theoretical topics and the practical application of the languages in real product development. The conference and proceedings are entirely in English. Participants received the proceedings which are published as volume LNCS2708 in the Springer LNCS series.


Tuesday 1st July was a tutorial day. There was a small additional charge for attending tutorials. Participants received documentation for the tutorials, lunch and refreshments.There were tutorials in two tracks -- one on: MSC-2000, SDL-2000; and the other track on: Component development;the UML Testing profile.


A workshop was organized as an evening event. Workshops provide an opportunity to meet and discuss issues that may not be adequately handled by the formal technical programme.

Best Paper Prizes

The SDL Forum Society agreed at its meeting in June 2002 to award best paper prizes at the 11th SDL Forum. Total prize money of 2500.00 Euros was be awarded to the best papers in the opinion of the 2002-2003 SDL Forum Board members (Glässer, Prinz and Reed). The awards of 1250, 750 and 500 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize respectively. The prizes were open to everyone presenting a paper at the Forum, except the Board members themselves or their close associates. Factors taken into account included (but were not limited to) the best promotion of the system design languages (SDL, MSC, TTCN, ASN.1 etc.), the most innovative use of these languages, most promising suggestions for improving these languages, consistency with the aims of the Forum Society, and the quality of the paper and its presentation.

The announcement of the allocation of the prizes was made in the last session of the Forum together with the winners of the separate SDL '03 Design Contest.

Forum Society Best Papers:

  1. Ferhat Khendek (Concordia University) "Refining Timed MSC's";
  2. Daniel Amyot (University of Ottawa) "Synthesising SDL from Use Case Maps: An Experiment";
  3. Philipp Schaible (University of Kaiserslautern) "Development of Distributed Systems with SDL by Means of Formalised APIs".

Solinet Design Contest Winners:

  1. First prize:  Alkis Yiannakoulias (National Technical University of Athens)
  2. Second prize:  Alan Williams (University of Ottawa)
  3. Third prize:  Keith Moss (The Open University, United Kingdom)

Organizing a Forum

A small organizing committee, which consists of the board of the SDL Forum Society and the local organizers (representing SOLINET for SDL-2003), make all the logistic arrangements for the Forum to support the technical programme that is decided by the programme committee.

The programme committee decides the whole of the final technical programme including presentation of papers, tutorials, workshops and other parts of the Forum based on submissions.

Programme committee SDL '03 - System Design:

Daniel Amyot, University of Ottawa, Canada; Gyula Csopaki, Budapest University, Hungary; Sarolta Dibuz, Ericsson, Hungary; Fabrice Dubois, France Telecom Research, France; Anders Ek, Telelogic, Sweden; Joachim Fischer, Humboldt University Berlin; Uwe Glässer, Simon Fraser University, Canada; Reinhard Gotzhein, University of Kaiserslautern, Germany; Jens Grabowski, University of Lübeck, Germany; Susanne Graf, Verimag, France; Peter Graubmann, Siemens, Germany; Øystein Haugen, Ericsson, Norway; Dieter Hogrefe, Georg-August Univerity Göttingen, Germany; Eckhardt Holz, Humboldt University Berlin; Olle Hydbom, Telelogic, Sweden; Clive Jervis, Motorola, United Kingdom; Ferhat Khendek, Concordia University, Canada; Yair Lahav, Textology, Israel; Nicolai Mansurov, Klocwork Systems, Canada; Sjouke Mauw, University of Eindhoven, Netherlands; Ostap Monkewich, Nortel Networks, Canada; Anders Olsen, Cinderella, Denmark; Birger Møller-Pedersen, Ericsson, Norway; Andreas Prinz, Dresearch, Germany; Robert Probert, University of Ottawa, Canada; Steve Randall, PQM Consultants, United Kingdom; Rick Reed, TSE Ltd, United Kingdom; Richard Sanders, SINTEF, Norway; Amardeo Sarma, NEC, Germany; Ina Schieferdecker, Fraunhofer Fokus, Berlin; Edel Sherratt, University of Wales Aberystwyth, United Kingdom; William Skelton, SOLINET, Germany; Daniel Vincent, France Telecom Research, France; Thomas Weigert, Motorola, United States of America; Milan Zoric, ETSI, France.

In connection with the conference SOLINET sponsored the SDL '03 Design Contest .

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