I currently teach a 3rd year and MSc course on the Theory of Distributed Systems. This covers an introduction to process algebra, CSP, as well as the theory and use of refinement. In general my teaching interests are in formal methods, specification, design and testing.
Research InterestsMy research interests are in specification, design and testing using formal methods. Much of the work has been conducted as part of a group applying formal techniques to problems in distributed systems, although my own interests have broadened out to general problems in formal specification. In particular, I have a specific interest in the use and theory of refinement in specifications languages. This covers both state-based languages such as Z and B, as well as process algebraic approaches, eg as found in CSP and LOTOS.
We did a significant amount of work on formal specification and verification of distributed multimedia systems and the use of viewpoints in Open Distributed Processing. More recent interests have looked at the application of model checking techniques to the Erlang functional programming language, this ties in with the above work on specification since we use an abstraction of Erlang to the muCRL process algebra in order to verify liveness properties of OTP Erlang code.
Research themes include the following:
I am recently held a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for two years.
Current interests and projects include the following:
The home pages of the projects:
I have worked with a number of colleagues, at Kent these including: David Akehurst, Clara Benac-Earle, Howard Bowman, Eerke Boiten, Behzad Bordbar, Charles Briscoe-Smith, Jeremy Bryans, Marius Bujorianu, Jovan Cakic, Peter Linington, Ralph Miarka, Maarten Steen, Chris Taylor and Gill Waters.
If you are interested in undertaking a PhD in any of the above topics, please contact me. A list of possible dissertation topics can be found here. Alternatively, if you have a particular theme in mind, I would be interested in hearing of it.
Funding and support for the group has been provided by the EU, EPSRC, the Royal Society, British Council, British Telecom, APM, Eurocontrol, and the DTI.Here is a list of grants held. These include recent EPSRC research projects mentioned above and also work on distributed systems design environments, viewpoints in ODP, consistency checking and a collaboration with Lancaster University on performance analysis. A new EPSRC grant on Model Driven Architecture will begin later in 2009, this is a joint project with King's College, London.
Conferences and events
I am involved in the following:
I organised Integrated
Formal Methods 2004 at Kent in Easter 2004, and FMOODS at Kent in
July 1997. I was co-chair of
workshop at FME'03 on State-oriented vs. Event-oriented thinking in
Requirements Analysis, Formal Specification and Software Engineering.
With Eerke Boiten, I run the series of International Refinement Workshops. These events have included the following:
Workshop, at FME/FLOC in Copenhagen in July 2002.
workshop at ICFEM conference in Manchester in 2005. The meeting co-located with ICFEM 2006
in October 2006. We then co-located with
FM 2008 in Turku.
The next meeting will be held at FM2009 in Eindhoven. More details of these meetings are available: here. Each meeting gives rise to a special issue of a journal, past issues have appeared in Formal Aspects of Computing and Science of Computer Programming.
I am a member of the Verification and Testing research group.
Recent books include the following:
Journal guest editors
A list of Journal and Conference publications is also available: