Workshop on Higher-order probabilistic computation

17th March to 21st March 2019

Higher-order probabilistic programming languages have become more and more important with burgeoning interest from the machine learning community. Recently a number of independent research programs have produced frameworks for definining the semantics of these languages. These include probabilistic coherence spaces, quasi-Borel spaces and Boolean-valued models of the lambda-calculus. This workshop aims to bring together researchers in these areas to discuss and compare these different approaches.

The workshop organizer is Prakash Panangaden. Attendance is by invitation only. The confirmed attendees are: Prakash Panangaden, Dexter Kozen, Radu Mardare, Dan Roy, Matteo Mio, Giorgio Bacci, Robert Furber, Cameron Freer, Thomas Ehrhard, Christine Tasson, Rafaella Crubille, Marie Kerjean, Bart Jacobs and Ugo Dal Lago.

The practice at these workshops has been to allow the speaker ample time to get to technical details. There should be lots of opportunities for extensive small group discussions; we will not cram the schedule with lots of short talks. The talks are given on primitive chalkboards. Please do not prepare slides for a data projector or plastic transparencies.

Alexandra Silva is organizing a parallel workshop on automata learning.

The workshop runs from 17th March 2019 to 21st March 2019 and will take place at the Bellairs Research Institute in Barbados. Directions and things to know: The airport is on the east-south point of the island and Bellairs is on the west side in the Parish of St. James (about a 40 minute taxi drive).

Here is a map of Barbados. Tell the taxi drivers to take you to Bellairs Research Centre in Holetown. Holetown is small and Bellairs is on the main street - it is just north of Folkstone Park. When filling in the Immigration form at the airport give the address as Bellairs Research Institute, Holetown, Parish of St. James. The taxi ride should cost about $35- $45 U.S. Barbados is safe and one shouldn't worry about travelling alone during the day. US currency is freely accepted at 2 Barbadian dollars per US dollar. Other currencies (Pound sterling, Canadian dollars) are not accepted; you will have to change them at banks or at the airport.  Some people had trouble using their bank cards from Europe, but Canadian and US cards seem to work fine. At the airport if you go around to the departures side just after you arrive you will find cash machines there; strangely there are no ATMs at the arrivals area.

Good things to bring are suntan lotion or dark skin, mosquito repellent, swimwear, papers/books/stationary and light clothing (it will be pleasantly warm or unbearably hot depending on what you are used to). There is wireless hookup for laptops so you can bring your own laptop.

Several of you may have been to Bellairs before but there have been some changes. There is a new manager and new policies in place. The most significant is that there is a substantial increase in prices. All prices shown below are in US dollars.

The rooms are of three types:

Twin room with private bathroom: single occupancy is $166 per night, double occupancy is $90 per night. There are 6 of these.

Dorm style twin room with private bathroom: Single occupancy is $110 per night, double occupancy is $62 and if we can arrange triple occupancy in some cases, $45 per night.

Dorm style twin room with shared bathroom: single occupancy is $98 per night, double occupancy is $56 per night.

Another major change is the meal plan. We either have to select all meals or you can opt out of the meal plan. For this workshop the meal plan is dinners and breakfasts. This costs $40 per day. In the past, some people came for some dinners and skipped others. In the new scheme everyone who chooses to participate in the meal plan will be billed for all meals whether they show up or not. Lunches are usually obtained from food vendors off-site and are up to you to purchase.

Payment can be made by credit card. The room allocations are made by the organizers, please do not contact the Bellairs staff to make room bookings.

Here is a picture of the workshop organizers.