Her initial area of interest is the study of formalisms able to describe the data type for functional and imperative languages, with a particular interest for partiality (non-termination, uncomplete specifications, dependent types and such) and non-strictness (error dealing and don't care conditions).
Her main achievements in that area are the introduction and systematic
study of formalisms supporting different features, culminating in the of
partial first-order logic, that has been chosen as a foundation for the
algebraic specification language Casl, within the
She has also been invited to be an editor of the second edition of the annotated bibliography on algebraic specifications.
From the studies in this area, she found a number of similar results in
different contextes, often proved with closely matching proofs.
This lead her to investigate the independence of specifications and
results from the logical formalisms in which they are formulated, with
a particular interest for the possibility of translating (theoretical) results
and (theoretical) tools from one frame into another one.
Such studies are developed in the theory of institutions and her main results in this field are mostly connected with reuse of logical systems (and tools), with foundations of multiparadigm specification languages and implementation relation connecting different languages (ideally a specification and a programming language).
Maura Cerioli is currently acting as cohordinator of the FLIRTS (Formalism Logic Institution Relating, Translating and Structuring) forum, collecting all the active researchers in the filed of institutions and connected theories.
Elaborating on her systematic studies on partiality, Maura Cerioli has been actively involved in the COmmon Framework Initiavive for the development of a common specification language from the very beginning of the Casl language design. In particular, she had a central role in the decisions on the treatment of (and the corresponding constructs for) partiality and subsorting in Casl. Furthermore, she is one of the authors of the formal semantics of the language and is currently involved both in the investigations on methodologies supported by Casl and in the extensions of the language oriented to reactive systems. In particular, she is part of the interest group studying the relationships of Casl with UML, leading toward an integration of the algebraic specification language and the object-oriented visual modelling.
She is also responsible for the algebraic specification group
within the project Sistemi Formali per la
Specifica, l'Analisi, la Verifica, la Sintesi e la Trasformazione di
A complete summary of Cerioli's publications is available here.
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