Monday, May 9, 2016

[DMANET] SIGEVO Plenary Lecture, GECCO 2016: Stephanie Forrest

The Biology of Software
Stephanie Forrest
Regents Distinguished Professor, University of New Mexico, USA

SIGEVO Plenary Lecture, Sunday, July 24, 2016
In Memory of John Holland

at GECCO 2016, Denver, Colorado, USA


Biological design principles can potentially change the way we study,
engineer, maintain, and develop large dynamic software systems. For
example, computer programmers like to think of software as the product
of intelligent design, carefully crafted to meet well­specified goals.
In reality, large software systems evolve inadvertently through the
actions of many individual programmers, often leading to unanticipated
consequences. Because software is subject to constraints similar to
those faced by evolving biological systems, we have much to gain by
viewing software through the lens of biology. The talk will highlight
how abstractions of biological processes can lead to new computational
algorithms and engineering principles using examples from my own
research. Specifically, it will show how the biological concepts of
Darwinian evolution and immunology can be applied to problems such as
repairing software bugs and cybersecurity.

The lecture is dedicated to John H. Holland, whose lifelong study of
the mechanisms that produce adaptive behavior in complex systems left
an intellectual legacy that will guide research in intelligent and
complex systems for many years to come.


Stephanie Forrest is the Regents Distinguished Professor of Computer
Science at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She is
renowned for her work in adaptive systems, including genetic
algorithms, computational immunology, biological modeling, automated
software repair, and computer security. Her research accomplishments
include developing the first practical anomaly intrusion­detection
system; designing automated responses to cyberattacks; writing an
early influential paper proposing automatic diversity and introducing
instruction­set randomization as a particular implementation;
developing noncryptographic privacy­enhancing data representations;
agent­based modeling of large­scale computational networks; and
recently, work on automated repair of security vulnerabilities. She
has conducted many computational modeling projects in biology, where
her specialties are immunology and evolutionary diseases, such as
influenza and cancer.

A University of Michigan alum and doctoral student of John Holland,
Prof. Forrest was awarded the NSF Presidential Young Investigator
Award in 1991, the IFIP TC2 Manfred Paul Award for Excellence in
Software in 2009, and the ACM ­ AAAI Allen Newell Award in
2011. She is an I.E.E.E. Fellow. She has contributed exemplary
leadership to the Evolutionary Computation community, SIGEVO and
GECCO. She served as ICGA Chair in 1993, was elected a Senior Fellow
of the International Society for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation
in 2003, shared the ACM SIGEVO GECCO Impact Award in 2009 (for a paper
published in 1999), shared the gold award in the 2009 HUMIES
competition and the bronze award in 2012 and served on the editorial
board of Evolutionary Computation. An outstanding ambassador for
evolutionary computation, she has won highly regarded paper awards at
the International Conference on Software Engineering (2009 and 2012),
held an appointment as Senior Science Advisor for Communication and
Information Policy at the U.S. Dept. of State (2013­2014), co­chaired
the Science Board of the Santa Fe Institute (2010­2013, was a member
of the DARPA Information Science and Technology (ISAT) advisory group
(2001­2004) and held a Jefferson Science Fellowship of the USA
National Academies of Science and Engineering (2013­2014).

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