Vijay Anand Saraswat
Mahopac, New York
IM: (AOL, Yahoo, AT&T) vjSaraswat


Professional Interests

Never in the history of mankind has global culture been transforming so profoundly, so quickly. Online communication - as in Instant Messaging, Network Communities, Peer-to-peer networks - is fundamentally altering the way we talk, build, work, play, connect, affiliate, love, persuade, shop, sell, inform ... in short, how we conduct the business of life. The imminent global deployment of wireless technologies - from short-range RF to broad-band wide-area cellular systems - will only accelerate this revolution in the way we live.

Where I work, where I live is at the heart of one of the engines of change underpinning this transformation: the technology of wireless and IP-based communication. To this work I bring a very broad and diverse background in theoretical computer science (logic, semantics, algorithms), programming systems (concurrent, constraint-based computing) and artificial intelligence (model-based computing, diagnosis and natural language processing), and a growing interest in online anthropology. And experience in leading cutting-edge engineering teams from an idea to product in the midst of startup chaos.

Employment and other work

Academic awards and Industry recognition

  • 2004: "Most influential paper in 20 years in Concurrent Constraint Programming'' award from the Association of Logic Programming for POPL90 paper (w/ Martin Rinard).

  • 2002: Invited Expert of the W3C Working Group on Multi-Modal Interaction.

  • 2001: Co-Chair of the WG on Presence and Instant Messaging (PRIM), IETF.

  • 1998-2000: Co-Chair of the WG on Instant Messaging and Presence Protocols (IMPP), IETF.

  • 1994: Excellence in Research Award, Xerox PARC.

  • 1992: Excellence in Support of Research Award, Xerox PARC.

  • 1989: ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award for the best Computer Science PhD Thesis in 1989. Thesis published by MIT Press.

  • 1982: Ratan Swaroop Gold Medal for all-round excellence, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

  • 1982: Scholarship from the Inlaks Foundation for graduate studies at the Programming Research Group at Oxford; Fellowship offers from Univ. of Minnesota; scholarship offer from Carnegie-Mellon, Wisconsin-Madison, Brown, etc. in Computer Science.

  • 1982: Second prize in All-India Student Paper Contest of the Computer Society of India for Design and implementation of the C-code abstract machine for CCN-PASCAL.

  • 1980: Merit Scholarship for being the top-ranked student in the "core'' (first 2.5/5) years at IIT.

  • 1977: Award for ranking in the first 35 (out of over 50,000) in the nation in the All-India Higher Secondary (school-leaving) examination. Awarded a National Merit Scholarship by the Government of India.

  • 1977: Ranked 6th (out of > 60,000) in the Joint Entrance Exam for all the IITs.

  • 1977: Awarded one of five scholarships from India for a Baccalaureate at the United World College, Singapore.

  • Research Grants

    In addition, in 1991 Seif Haridi (Director, Swedish Institute of Computer Science, Stockholm) and I conceived of the ACCLAIM project (Advanced Concurrent Constraint Languages - Applications, Implementation and Methodology). The project was funded for several million ECUs by ESPRIT, the European Community Research Funding Agency, and involved the Max-Planck Institut and DEC Paris Research Lab, INRIA, DFKI, SICS, RISC Linz, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Universita di Pisa, Marseille Luminy and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. The list of deliverables from the project at
    enumerates approximately a hundred papers on concurrent constraint programming.



    Thesis committee member

    Thesis adviser


    Edited journal issues

    Systems work

  • [2004-onwards] Lead designer for the programming language X10 being designed and implemented at the IBM TJ Watson Research Center. Leading compiler development.

  • [2002-onwards] The Java concurrent constraint programming system Implementing the jcc system under the Lesser GPL licence on SourceForge. The system implements the (default) (timed) concurrent constraint programming framework in Java, for embedded and discrete- and continuous-time computing. The implementation is targeted for model-based programming applications in the NASA domain (Mars rovers), and in the systems biology domain.

  • [2001-2002] Kirusa Multimodal Platform.

    As VP Engineering, leading the team that is developing and delivering KMMP. Chief architect for the product, which supports the development of multimodal applications (those which simultaneously use voice and visual interfaces) for wireless devices. The product is primarily based on Java proxy/servlet technology and is designed for 2.5G networks (e.g. GPRS), and processes the XML-based multimodal markup language (M3L), which integrates the WAP Markup Language (WML) and the voice markup language (VoiceXML).

    Chief designer of M3L, and author of the language spec.

  • [2000-2001] Vayusphere Monsoon Real-time Messaging System.

    Director of the group, designer and chief server-side implementer. Monsoon features a scalable, open, extensible architecture for Instant Messaging, with two-way interop with email. All server-side code was in Java 2; the system also used an Oracle Database, and made extensive use of open source components (Apache, Tomcat (servlet runner), James (mail engine)). Designed a simple wire protocol which is used for all server-to-server and client-to-server communication.

    Supervised development of native clients in C and C++ for the RIM Mobitex devices, wireless Palm OS devices, and wireless BREW devices. Supervised development in Delphi of a full-featured Windows desktop client. Supervised development of HDML/WAP clients for phones.

    Assembled the engineering and QA team from scratch, and had the product ready for beta in under three months. Development and QA teams were scattered over Mountain Lakes (NJ), Mountain View (Ca), San Diego (Ca), Oakland (Ca) and Indiana, and at peak numbered approx 20 people.

    Product released to first customer (major national ISP) in nine months.

  • [1999-2000] AT&T Instant Intercom.

    Founded, staffed and directed the development team that delivered AT&T's instant messaging system into trial with AT&T Wireless in March 2000. I was the main designer and architect, and chief server-side implementer. After I left AT&T, the system was deployed by AT&T Worldnet. In production use today, it has been downloaded by over 120,000 users, and supports approx 20,000 simultaneous users. It has been designed to scale to a million registered and 100,000 simultaneous users.

    The system features a modular architecture with several different kinds of servers (IM servers, Presence servers, Chat room servers). I designed the binary extensible protocol (documented in an IETF Draft) used by servers to communicate with each other and with clients. Supervised the design of a C++ I/O module to circumvent scalability limitations of Java's synchronous I/O architecture.

    Supervised development of a native Windows client in Delphi, a Java applet client, a black-phone voice client (using PML, a precursor to VoiceXML), and of an HDML client (in collaboration with AT&T Wireless).

  • [1997-1998] AT&T Matrix.

    Built the first version of the Matrix system in Java 1.1. AT&T Matrix was a persistent network community server that could be extended by programming world objects in Java. A Matrix server is accessed through a Matrix client (developed in Java using Swing). Servers and clients communicate through a completely self-contained session-oriented Remote Method Invocation (SMI) system designed and implemented after analyzing the very poor design of the initial Java RMI system. SMI uses Java's native object serialization and class loaders. World objects provided their own graphical user interface, displayed in clients.

    Supervised development of a Java Swing-based client, and the development of several world objects (games, bulletin boards, chat rooms). Core team grew to approx. half a dozen people, before project was converted into an Instant Messaging project (see below).

    The system was demonstrated to several people in the Labs, was in use by the development team, and served as the basis for an internal Instant Messaging trial for several hundred people in AT&T Labs in summer 1999.

    The success of this work led to the invitation to form the Network Communities Platform Group (NCPG) in AT&T Labs in November 1998.

  • [1997]Meadows.

    Founded the Meadows online community for parents, school-children and teachers across multiple school districts. Responsible for running the MOO, and extending it with various objects.

    Taught classes in elementary and middle school (2d grade to 6th grade) on Meadows.

  • [1995]Pueblo.

    Founded the Pueblo online community ( 7777), using the MOO system, with Jim Walters and Billie Hughes of Phoenix College, January 1995. As of May 1996, the community had over 1000 characters, including over 300 students from Phoenix and New York, and has over 20,000 objects.

    Responsible for running the MOO, and creating many world objects.

  • [1992-1994]Model-based Computing.

    While at Xerox PARC, initiated and led a project on constraint-based machine control. Implemented the first version of a constraint-based real-time scheduler in C++, and supervised a small team of engineers at Xerox Engineering in Rochester (New York). Code was shipped in the embedded controller for Xerox' digital mid-volume reprographics engines. This work led to several US Patents, and an award for Excellence in Research from Xerox PARC.

  • [1992]QD-Janus

    Collaborated with Saumya Debray on the QD Janus implementation. See "S.K. Debray, QD-Janus: A sequential implementation of Janus in Prolog, Software Practice and Experience, Volume 23, Number 12, December 1993, pp. 1337-1360.''

  • [1986]CRL-Prolog, CRL-OPS

    While a scientist at Carnegie Group Inc., designed and implemented CRL-Prolog - a fast Prolog implementation that compiles into Common Lisp and is closely integrated with the frame-based language CRL. Supervised the implementation of CRL-Ops. CRL-Prolog and CRL-Ops were shipped as part of the product Knowledge Craft.

  • United States patents

    Several patent applications have been filed by Kirusa based on my work in multi-modal systems.

    Some patent applications have been filed by AT&T based on my work in Instant Messaging.

    Patents resulting from model-based scheduling work at Xerox PARC:


    Multi-modal Systems

    Network communities

    Foundations for Capability Programming

    Semantic foundations for concurrent programming

    Real-time and hybrid systems

    Modeling and diagnosis

    Natural language

    Concurrent programming languages and paradigms

    The Janus work has significantly influenced the development of the (distributed, secure) language E, currently being developed by an open source group (, and partly funded by a DARPA grant to Mark S. Miller.

    Concurrent programming: techniques, algorithms

    Visual programming

    This work led to a rich body of work on Visual Programming, cf. Pictorial Janus systems, and also to the company Animated Programs founded by Ken Kahn. The company has introduced a revolutionary product for school-children "ToonTalk'', in the tradition of Logo. See

    Constraint programming in Software Engineering

    Professional activities:

    Invited Panels:

    Invited Presentations:

    Refereeing responsibilities

    Additionally, papers reviewed for:

    Editorial and Review Responsibilities:

    Professional Societies:


    Past member of Association for Logic Programming, IEEE, American Association for Artificial Intelligence, European Association for Theoretical Computer Science, American Anthropological Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, SIAM.

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    Last modified: Apr 9 2006