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Robert Leif <[log in to unmask]>
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Robert Leif <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 12 Sep 2006 16:14:54 -0700
text/plain (61 lines)
Firstly, as a retired Professor of Biomedical Engineering, the most
important factor is that human life could be involved in a subsequent
version of your program and that you may be creating a medical device, which
is regulated by the FDA and whose malfunction could be the source of
significant legal liability. 
Have you performed a requirements and hazards analyses? I hope that as part
of your training that you have read some of Prof. Nancy Leveson
( work. Her book, Safeware: System Safety and
Computers, is a classic. She has a new book that is available for download
on her web site Ada is a wonderful
management tool for life critical systems. The cowboys quit; you do not have
to fire them.
Since you are working at different physical scale levels, you can subtype
these and create simple conversion subprograms. You can also do nucleic
acids by using representation specs. Unfortunately, no one has created a
bounded array type, which would be generic predecessor of a bounded string
and an elegant way to represent nucleic acid sequences.
It is also possible to achieve close to a one to one correspondence between
Ada and XML schema datatypes. This will greatly facilitate report generation
and data entry.
I have published extensively on the use of Ada for medical devices. Many of
the papers can be downloaded from
Lastly, in the one commercial case where I have knowledge, the use of Ada
permitted the software to be finished prior to the hardware.
Bob Leif

-----Original Message-----
From: Team Ada: Ada Programming Language Advocacy (83 & 95)
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of G. Booker
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2006 10:12 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Ada for system biology modeling

I need help proving (or disproving) why Ada is or isn't well suited for a
particular application.
I've been an Ada fan for over a decade, and I'm faced with a possible
application I haven't seen before. 
I'm a PhD student in biomedical engineering.  A major part of my
dissertation will involve getting various mathematical models, of how parts
of the body work, to interact with each other.  The challenge is that the
models are working on different physical scale levels (from sub-cellular to
the whole body), and on many different time scales (millisecond-duration
processes to ones that take months or years).
So my question is:  Is Ada's concurrency capability well suited to this type
of problem?  Why or why not?  Has it been done before in Ada?
TIA for any thoughts, advice, directions to look, etc.
Glenn Booker
Drexel University