Achiya Elyasaf is a faculty at the Software and Information Systems Engineering department, Ben-Gurion University (BGU), Israel. He received his academic degrees from BGU, all in computer science, and was a postdoc fellow in David Harel’s group at the Weizmann Institute. In 2021, he co-founded Provengo technologies which provides software-testing solutions based on his expertise in software engineering (SE) and artificial intelligence (AI). In his current research, Dr. Elyasaf seeks new synergies between SE and AI to improve their interoperability and contribute to both.
Dr. Elyasaf developed an approach for utilizing expert knowledge for evolving solvers to combinatorial games. This work was recognized as one of the most important achievements of AI in games, placed next to famous achievements, such as the win of Deep Blue over Kasparov and the win of Watson in Jeopardy! (N. Bostrom, 2014. “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies”). Dr. Elyasaf also developed Context-Oriented Behavioral Programming, a novel paradigm for developing context-aware systems centered on a natural and incremental specification of behaviors. This paradigm extends the behavioral programming paradigm, allowing for the direct specification of context-dependent behaviors. In recent work, accepted to a top journal in the field, Dr. Elyasaf identified and demonstrated a weakness of Petri nets (PN) in specifying composite behavior of reactive systems. Specifically, when specifying multiple requirements in one PN model, modelers are obliged to specify mechanisms for combining these requirements. This yields, in many cases, over-specification and incorrect models. The work also compares PN to BP, demonstrating that BP allows for avoiding this over-specification while maintaining the same mathematical characteristics of PN.
Dr. Elyasaf won several prizes, including the I-CORE in Algorithms Fellowship of the Israeli Council for Higher Education (CHE) and the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), an IEEE Outstanding Paper Award, and three HUMIE Awards produced by the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (Gold, 2013; Gold, 2011; Bronze, 2009).