October 3 – 7 , 2016, Dagstuhl Seminar 16402

Programming Language Techniques for Incremental and Reactive Computing


Camil Demetrescu (Sapienza University of Rome, IT)
Sebastian Erdweg (TU Delft, NL)
Matthew A. Hammer (University of Colorado – Boulder, US)
Shriram Krishnamurthi (Brown University – Providence, US)

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Dagstuhl Report, Volume 6, Issue 10 Dagstuhl Report
Aims & Scope
List of Participants


We sought to hold a Dagstuhl Seminar that would bring together programming language (PL) researchers focusing on incremental and reactive computing behavior. The meta-level purpose of this seminar was to take an initial step toward developing a community of experts from the disparate threads of successful research. In that this seminar provoked discussion about common and differing motivations, techniques, and future challenges, this event was successful in starting to cultivate this culture.

Short-term concrete outcomes: Thus far, there are been two concrete outcomes of this seminar:

  • Wikipedia article outlines and edits (Section 3.3)
  • First Workshop on Incremental Computation (IC) at PLDI 2017 (Section 5)

Section 3 gives an overview of the event structure of the seminar, and details some of the event’s outcomes, including outline brainstorming and Wikipedia editing, and the creation of a new Workshop on Incremental Computing (IC). In later sections, this report gives further background on research in reactive and incremental computing (Section 4), and further details on the new IC Workshop (Section 5).

Aknowledgments. Co-organizing this seminar with Camil, Sebastian and Shriram was a pleasure. I am especially thankful to Shriram for organizing the event's structure, and moderating group discussions and group decision making during its execution. We organizers are all thankful to the participants, who all brought a unique insight to the seminar, which in my humble opinion, succeeded in its aims.

Summary text license
  Creative Commons BY 3.0 Unported license
  Matthew A. Hammer


  • Data Structures / Algorithms / Complexity
  • Programming Languages / Compiler
  • Semantics / Formal Methods


  • Caching
  • Memoization
  • Dynamic dependency graphs
  • Dataflow graphs
  • In- cremental algorithms
  • Change propagation
  • Static program transformation
  • Reactive languages and systems


In the series Dagstuhl Reports each Dagstuhl Seminar and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop is documented. The seminar organizers, in cooperation with the collector, prepare a report that includes contributions from the participants' talks together with a summary of the seminar.


Download overview leaflet (PDF).

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Furthermore, a comprehensive peer-reviewed collection of research papers can be published in the series Dagstuhl Follow-Ups.