Date Posted: 4/09/2015

Nate Foster, Michael Greenwald, Jon Moore, Benjamin Pierce, and Alan Schmitt
were awarded the 2015 POPL Most Influential Paper Award for their paper
"Combinators for Bidirectional Tree Transformations: A Linguistic Approach to
the View Update Problem" from POPL 2005.

This award is presented annually to the author(s) of a paper presented at the
POPL held 10 years prior to the award year.

Award citation:
The "view-update problem" is a classic problem in databases: when operating on a
partial view of a data structure, how should updates to the view be propagated
to the original data structure?  This POPL 2005 paper was instrumental in
bringing the view-update problem to the attention of the programming languages
community and demonstrating the broad relevance of the problem beyond
databases.  The immediate contributions of the paper were (1) to introduce a
general mathematical space of well-behaved bidirectional transformations called
"lenses," and (2) to develop a specific instantiation of this framework in the
form of a domain-specific language of combinators for tree transformations,
which served as the basis for subsequent tools for editing XML and HTML.  More
broadly, the paper sparked a great deal of follow-on work in the area of BX
("bidirectional transformations"), leading to a fruitful collaboration between
the worlds of databases, programming languages, and software engineering.