University of Leicester

computer science

Research Grants




All grants

  • 80days - Around an Inspiring Virtual Learning World in Eighty Days
    FUNDING: European Commission, FP7, Research area ICT-2007.4.1, project 215918, EUR 3,297,000 (Leicester: EUR 346,000)
    DURATION: April 2008 - September 2010
    SUMMARY: Developing educational games that can effectively foster learning with fun and pleasure is a vision for researchers and practitioners in the field of technology-enhanced learning. 80Days is an EC-funded RTD project (2008-2010) that contributes to this vision. It aims to create an adaptive and responsive system, which enables the understanding of active learning processes within a virtual learning environment, adapts to individual needs and abilities, and thus exploits the learners' capabilities. 80Days entails the smooth integration of interdisciplinary work: learning science, storytelling, game and didactic design, game development, and human-computer interaction (HCI). 80Days delivers an innovative and advanced methodological and technological framework for effectively developing successful educational games to be demonstrated by a geography game prototype realising gaming/learning scenarios inspired by Jules Verne's "Around the world in eighty days". It is critical to evaluate and validate systematically the effectiveness of this game from technological, pedagogical and other perspectives. The University of Leicester assumes this significant role in coordinating and implementing the evaluation and validation trials.
    PEOPLE: E Law, M Mirza, X Sun, T Erlebach
    PARTNERS: Listed here.

  • A Fresh Compiler and Identifyer Kind Analyzer with Hybrid Verification
    FUNDING: The Nuffield Foundation, GPB 1,440
    DURATION: July 2009 to September 2009
    SUMMARY: Undergraduate Research Project to develop a small compiler making use of current semantic techniques from category theory and models of variable binding.
    PEOPLE: R Crole

  • Ad-hoc Web Applications
    FUNDING: The Nuffield Foundation Awards to Newly Appointed Lecturers NAL/00760/G, GPB 5,000
    DURATION: May 2004 - November 2006
    SUMMARY: This project investigates ad-hoc composition of services driven by policies that end-users can formulate. The project will establish a framework for a full-scale research initiative. It will develop a prototype language for defining policies and reasoning about their interactions.
    PEOPLE: S Reiff-Marganiec

  • Adaptive and Hybrid Genetic Algorithms for Production Scheduling Problems in Manufacturing
    FUNDING: EPSRC Overseas Travel Grant GR/S79718/01, GPB 6,700, and Waseda University, Japan, GBP 1,750
    DURATION: November 2003 - January 2004
    SUMMARY:This project is supported by EPSRC Overseas Travel Grants for the investigator to carry out research cooperation with Prof. Mitsuo Gen at Graduate School of Information, Production and Systems, Waseda University, Japan for three months while he is on sabbatical. Prof. Gen's Artificial Intelligence Lab is internationally recognized in the areas of applying intelligent methods such as genetic algorithms and artificial neural networks for solving practical optimization problems in industry. This project will combine the Intelligent Optimisation expertise of the investigator and Prof. Gen's Artificial Intelligence Lab into an interesting application research area: Adaptive and Hybrid Genetic Algorithms for Production Scheduling Problems in Manufacturing. The production scheduling problem concerns the allocation of limited resources (or machines) to perform a collection of tasks (or jobs) over time in order to optimise one or more objectives, such as minimizing the completion time of the last job. It plays an important role in manufacturing systems. During the 3 months' visit, based on the investigator's recent work in adaptive genetic algorithms, we will develop new adaptive genetic algorithms specific for static production scheduling problems in manufacturing systems. In addition, we will also investigate new hybrid intelligent methods that combine genetic algorithms with artificial neural networks for solving dynamic production scheduling problems under manufacturing environments. In this project we will mainly concentrate on the job-shop scheduling problem, one of the most complicated and typical production scheduling problems. However the results can be easily extended to solve other production scheduling problems.
    PEOPLE: S Yang.
    PARTNER: Prof. Mitsuo Gen (Waseda University, Japan)

  • AGILE: Architectures for Mobility
    FUNDING: IST-FET IST-2001-32747, EUR 1,377,000 (Leicester: EUR 125,494)
    DURATION: January 2002 - April 2005
    SUMMARY:Architecture-based approaches have been promoted as a means of controlling the complexity of system construction and evolution, namely for providing systems with the agility required to operate in turbulent environments and adapt very quickly to changes in the enterprise world. Recent technological advances in communication and distribution have made mobility an additional factor of complexity, one for which current architectural concepts and techniques are not prepared for. AGILE will provide means for addressing this new level of complexity by developing an architectural approach in which mobility aspects can be modelled explicitly and mapped on the distribution and communication topology made available at physical levels. The whole approach will be developed over a uniform mathematical framework based on graph-oriented techniques that will support sound methodological principles, formal analysis, and refinement.
    PEOPLE: J L Fiadeiro (Site Leader), N Aoumeur, P Kosiuczenko, C Oliveira
    PARTNERS: Listed here.

  • APPSEM II: Applied Semantics
    FUNDING: IST Thematic Network IST-2001-38957, EUR 400,000 (Leicester: not fixed)
    DURATION: January 2003 - December 2005
    SUMMARY: The objective of this work is to maintain and further develop an existing European network for technology transfer in the field of application-oriented semantics of programming languages. Programming languages are (next to algorithms and software engineering) one of the essential ingredients of software development. They therefore have a huge economic impact: better programming languages and a better understanding of existing ones will lead to higher productivity, reduced maintainence, and increased software reuse. Europe is a hotbed of programming language research with many internationally respected experts, both in semantic theory of programming languages, and in implementation. The theoretical results and expertise that are available in the consortium will be used to solve problems relating to programming languages. At the same time, and enabled by these practical problems, the theoretical toolbox will be further developed.
    PEOPLE: N Ghani (Site Leader), Simon Ambler, R Crole
    PARTNERS: Listed here.

  • BCTCS 2005-2007
    FUNDING: EPSRC Standard Research Grant EP/C00745X/1, GPB 24605 (administered by Swansea)
    DURATION: 11 April 2005 - 10 July 2007
    SUMMARY: The British Colloquium for Theoretical Computer Science (BCTCS) is an annual event for UK-based researchers in theoretical computer science. A central aspect of BCTCS is the training of PhD students, providing an environment for students to gain experience in presenting their work, to broaden their outlook on the subject, and to benefit from contact with established researchers.
    PEOPLE: S Reiff-Marganiec
    PARTNERS: Prof Faron Moller (Principal Investigator, University of Wales Swansea), Dr Graham Hutton (University of Nottingham)

  • BCTCS 2008-2010
    FUNDING: EPSRC Standard Research Grant=EP/F057164/1, GPB 65235 (administered by Swansea)
    DURATION: 01 April 2008 - 30 June 2010
    SUMMARY: The British Colloquium for Theoretical Computer Science (BCTCS) is an annual event for UK-based researchers in theoretical computer science. A central aspect of BCTCS is the training of PhD students, providing an environment for students to gain experience in presenting their work, to broaden their outlook on the subject, and to benefit from contact with established researchers.
    PEOPLE: S Reiff-Marganiec
    PARTNERS: Prof Faron Moller, Principal Investigator (University of Wales Swansea), Dr Graham Hutton (University of Nottingham)

  • Coalgebraic Logic: Expanding the Scope
    FUNDING: EPSRC EP/G041296/1, GPB 366,165
    DURATION: September 2009 to January 2013.
    PEOPLE: A Kurz, T Litak
    A Jung (University of Birmingham)

  • Coalgebraic Probabilistic Logic over Measurable Spaces via Stone Duality
    FUNDING: EPSRC EP/H04714X/1, GPB 26,261
    DURATION: April 2010 to October 2010.
    PEOPLE: A Kurz
    PARTNERS: A Jung (University of Birmingham)

  • Coalgebras and Modal Logic
    FUNDING: The Nuffield Foundation Awards to Newly Appointed Lecturers NAL/00795/G, GPB 5,000
    DURATION: July 2004 - June 2006
    SUMMARY: In the last decade, computer science has seen the rise of the theory of coalgebras as a new and promising approach to the study of dynamical systems. Universal coalgebra (Rutten, 2000) describes systems in terms of a very general notion of type and then studies systems of all types in a uniform way. In particular the coalgebraic notions of final semantics and coinduction have applications in such different areas, for example, automata theory, combinatorics, control theory, object-oriented programming, process calculi , probabilistic transition systems, and component-based software development. Since we are interested in the specification and verification of systems, the question arises what appropriate specification languages are and whether they can be described in a similar general and uniform way. Recent research suggests that these languages should be (variants of) modal logics. The aim of the proposed research is to explore the connections between coalgebras and modal logic.
    PEOPLE: A Kurz

  • Coalgebras, Modal Logic, Stone Duality
    FUNDING: EPSRC First Grant Scheme EP/C014014/1, GPB 118,516
    DURATION: August 2005 to July 2007.
    SUMMARY: Transition systems pervade much of computer science. This projects aims at a general theory of specification languages for transition systems. More specifically, transition systems will be generalised to coalgebras as in (Rutten, 2000). Specification languages together with their proof systems, in the following called (logical or modal) calculi, will be presented by the associated classes of algebras (eg propositional logic by Boolean algebras or intuitionistic logic by Heyting algebras). Stone duality (Johnstone, 1982) will be used to give a coalgebraic semantics for the logics represented by algebras. Stone duality has been used in the ground breaking work of (Jonnson and Tarski, 1951) and (Goldblatt, 1976) in modal logic and (Abramsky, 1991) in computer science. The coalgebraic approach to systems allows us to formalise the notion of a type of systems as a functor F. The generality of coalgebras resides in the possibility to build into F many different features like input, output, choice, nondeterminism, probability distributions, etc. The aim of this proposal is to develop the theory of logics for coalgebras not separately for each of these features but parametrically in F. This involves the following issues.
       1. Associate to any type F (possibly satisfying some mild conditions to be determined) a corresponding modal logic such that the logic is sound and complete and the semantics fully abstract.
       2. Use the parametricity in the type F to describe modularity principles allowing to build complex proof systems from simpler ones. Show how this modularity is useful for the specification and verification of systems.
       3. Develop a coalgebraic model theory of modal logic that is parametric in F.
       4. Applying the general theory (which will be developed for the items above), it will typically be the case that one wants to relate a set-based semantics to a logic that has a topology-based Stone dual.
    Thus, the relationship of topologically-based structures and set-based structures will have to be investigated.
    PEOPLE: A Kurz

  • Compressed indexable representation of XML data
    FUNDING: PPARC e-Science studentship, equiv. GBP 60K
    DURATION March 2004 - Feb 2007
    SUMMARY: e-Science presents computer scientists with new challenges in terms of handling huge volumes of data. The student allocated on this project will work closely with people involved in the AstroGrid project, and is concerned with the efficient storage and processing of large XML files that arise in the context of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA). VOTable is an XML-based astronomical data format developed by the IVOA for tables and (later) images.

    Unfortunately XML-based files are larger than the binary equivalent (such as FITS), and network bandwidth will be a scarce resource for the Virtual Observatory. Different VOTable encodings allow trade-offs between efficiency and ease of parsing. Even within the XML community at large there is growing concern that inefficiency arising from document size will hinder adoption and use of XML. A few XML-specific approaches can compress XML files better than generic algorithms such as gzip However, compression ratios can vary greatly (from 3:1 to 66:1) on different kinds of data. One issue then is to to understand the characteristics of astronomical XML files and invent or discover a compression method for these files.

    Although compressed files are much smaller, their contents become inaccessible until uncompressed. Indeed, it would be impossible even to support the most rudimentary approaches to searching a compressed XML database, such as searching for sections that match an Xpath expression. Thus, another issue is to develop a compressed file representation that supports sequential searching through the file for the necessary structural and semantic components.

    As XML-based formats such as VOTable become the norm for the extraction of data from astronomical archives, XML is likely to follow FITS in being used not only for data interchange but also for data storage. XML-based databases will therefore assume increased importance. However, current XML technology is not efficient enough to scale well. A final issue is to develop a compressed in-memory representation that supports complex queries.
    PEOPLE: R Raman.

  • Denotational Semantics and Verification of Hybrid Automata
    FUNDING: The Nuffield Foundation Awards to Newly Appointed Lecturers NAL/32589, GPB 5,000
    DURATION: May 2006 - April 2008
    SUMMARY: A hybrid automaton is a digital, real-time system that continuously interacts with an analogue environment. Hybrid automata are ubiquitous in all areas of modern engineering and technology. They typically operate in safety critical areas, such as the highway control systems and air traffic control. The aim of the proposed research is to introduce a new approach, based on exact real number computation, to the algorithmic analysis of hybrid systems.
    PEOPLE: D Pattinson

  • EVOL: Software Evolution
    FUNDING: ERCIM Working Group, no fixed budget
    DURATION: October 2004 - ???
    SUMMARY: The main goal of the Working Group is to identify a set of formally-founded techniques and associated tools to support software developers with the common problems they encounter when evolving large and complex software systems. With this initiative, we plan to become a Virtual European Research and Training Centre on Software Evolution.
    PEOPLE: R Heckel (Site Leader), M El-Ramly, J L Fiadeiro, P Kosiuczenko
    PARTNERS: Listed here.

  • Evolutionary Algorithms for Dynamic Optimisation Problems: Design, Analysis and Applications
    FUNDING: EPSRC EP/E060722/1 , GPB 307,469
    DURATION: January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2010
    SUMMARY: Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) have been applied to solve many stationary problems. However, real-world problems are usually more complex and dynamic, where the objective function, decision variables, and environmental parameters may change over time. In this project, we will investigate novel EA approaches to address dynamic optimisation problems (DOPs), a challenging but very important research area. The research has three main aspects: (1) designing and evaluating new EAs for DOPs, (2) theoretically analysing EAs for DOPs, and (3) adapting developed EA approaches to solve dynamic telecommunication optimisation problems. This project is a collaborative project between Universities of Leicester and Birmingham, British Telecommunication Plc (BT) and Honda Research Institute Europe GmbH.
    PEOPLE: S Yang, H Cheng

  • History Dependent Automata for Service Oriented Computing
    FUNDING: The Nuffield Foundation Awards to Newly Appointed Lecturers, GPB 5,000
    DURATION: May 2006 - April 2008
    SUMMARY: Nominal calculi are moving toward "service" calculi where the emphasis is on publishing, searching, binding and invoking services. This will likely lead to extend existing calculi with sophisticated searching mechanisms where queries contain semantic (rather than simply "syntactic") information. HiDea4SOC will exploit History Dependent automata in the search phase. The idea is to specify behavioural aspects of services along with their interfaces so that searching will be driven by exploiting the information about the behaviour of searched services. HD-automata will be used to check the equivalence between the behaviour specified in the search query and that of the searched service. The outcome of HiDeA4SOC will be a framework that can uniformly verify searching conditions. More precisely, a query might specify the preferred behavioural equivalence to be used rather than simply the preferred behaviour. An innovative feature of HiDeA4SOC is the possibility of specifying the notion of behavioural equivalence in the search query. For instance, it will be possible to express verify conditions like "a service that is equivalent to a behaviour B under testing equivalence".
    PEOPLE: E Tuosto

  • iCamp: Innovative, inclusive, interactive & intercultural learning campus
    FUNDING: IST-2004-027168, EUR 2,700,000 (Leicester: EUR 380,000)
    DURATION: October 2005 - December 2008
    iCamp (innovative, inclusive, interactive and intercultural learning campus) pursues the idea of bringing people together within a common virtual learning environment: an environment that does not consist of a single software system, but is composed of various interoperable tools and platforms; an environment that does not stop at conventional boundaries, but facilitates multidisciplinary co-operation and networking in an enlarged Europe; an environment that does not only deliver learning experiences, but scaffolds for self-directed learning, catalyses social networking, and fosters cross-cultural collaboration. iCamp is a research project targeting higher education in the enlarged European Union. Its aim is to research, develop and validate a distributed infrastructure for learning solutions - the iCamp space - compliant with a pedagogical model built upon a social-constructivist approach. iCamp validates its pedagogical model against its interoperable system and tools portfolio - the iCamp building blocks. The efforts result in guidelines on pedagogical and technical issues as well as in an open-source software package of constructivist learning tools.
    PEOPLE: T Erlebach, E Law, AV Nguyen-Ngoc
    PARTNERS: Listed here.

  • ICFI'05
    FUNDING: EPSRC Standard Research Grant EP/D000122/1, GPB 8,253
    DURATION: May 2005 - October 2005
    SUMMARY: The International Conference on Feature Interactions in Telecommunications and Software Systems (ICFI) has been the primary international forum for discussion and reporting on research in the feature interaction problem in telecommunications and software systems since 1992. Feature interaction occurs when one feature modifies or subverts the operation of another one. This phenomenon is not unique to the domain of telecommunications systems: it can occur in any software system that is subject to changes.
    PEOPLE: S Reiff-Marganiec
    PARTNERS: Dr M Ryan (University of Birmingham)

  • ICOPER - Interoperable Content for Performance in a Competency-driven Society
    FUNDING: eContentPlus Programme, BPN, Grant 417007, EUR 4,800,000 (Leicester: EUR 153,000)
    DURATION: September 2008 - February 2011
    SUMMARY: Higher education institutions and continuing education centers face a growing number of challenges in delivering competency-driven educational content with their learning services. The current lack of widely accepted standards and their adoption hinders the effective implementation of learning technologies. Driven by a consortium of key players in the European arena ICOPER has access to a critical mass of integrated educational content. Based on this beneficial infrastructure the project systematically analyzes the implementation of existing specifications. ICOPER's underlying pedagogical framework will guide a consensus building approach to developing Best Practices. ICOPER will provide mechanisms to ensure European-wide user involvement, cooperation, and adoption of standards within a large community to support all phases of standardization.
    PEOPLE: E Law, AV Nguyen-Ngoc, T Erlebach
    PARTNERS: Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, UK Open University, University of Cyprus, Open University of the Netherlands, and many more.

  • InContext: Interaction and Context Based Technologies for Collaborative Teams
    FUNDING: IST IST-2006-034718, EUR 2,497,264 (Leicester: EUR 309,564)
    DURATION: May 2006 - January 2009
    SUMMARY: To meet the requirements of dynamic, multiform team working, current Internet-based Collaboration Working Environments must evolve towards large-scale, loosely-coupled, trusted service-oriented systems, with increased emphasis on P2P capabilities. inContext will develop a novel scientific approach focused on a new blend of human collaboration and service-oriented systems that explores two basic research strands: efficient and effective support for human interactions and collaboration in various teams through dynamically aggregated software services; use of human-to-human or human-to-service interactions in applying intelligent mining and learning algorithms that can detect interaction patterns for pro-active service aggregation.
    PEOPLE: J L Fiadeiro (Site Leader), R Heckel, S Reiff-Marganiec
    PARTNERS: Comverse, Electrolux Home Products, European Microsoft Innovation Centre (EMIC), Hewlett Packard, National University of Ireland Galway (DERI), Softeco Sismat, Technical University of Vienna (coordinators) and West Midlands LGA.

  • Leg2Net: From Legacy Systems to Services in the Net
    FUNDING: Marie-Curie TOK-IAP MTK1-CT-2004-003169, EUR 417,775
    DURATION: June 2004 - May 2008
    SUMMARY: Leg2Net resumes a partnership between industry and academia that, over several years, developed internationally recognised expertise in re-engineering of legacy applications and correct code generation from high-level specifications with the ability to target specific architectures and support an architecture-driven evolution of systems. The goal of Leg2Net is to make this expertise available to the wider IT community through postgraduate programmes of studies and industry-targeted training actions, and to develop a second generation of these methods and tools over service-based technologies that can be used to address the challenges that companies and organisations are facing for evolving their systems to operate and compete in the e-Economy.
    PEOPLE: J L Fiadeiro (Coordinator), R Correia, M El-Ramly, R Heckel, P Kosiuczenko, S Reiff-Marganiec
    PARTNERS: ATX Software

  • Mechanized Operational Semantics
    FUNDING: EPSRC Standard Research Grant GR/M98555/01, GPB 151,724
    DURATION: July 2000 - September 2003
    SUMMARY: The aim of the project is to investigate the viability of using a theorem prover for reasoning about programming language properties in general, and compiler optimisations in particular. The project will be a large scale development of both the theory and practice of computer aided (or mechanised) reasoning and will deliver an end product of a monadic calculus for analysing compiler optimisations, together with a library of tools for syntax representation and tactical verification for: a) the specification of program syntax and semantics of a (functional) higher order imperative language, ML-small, at varying levels of abstraction and detail: b) formal verification of the relative correctness of such semantics: c) proofs of language properties, such as type soundness: and d) proofs of equivalences of program code, and correctness of compiler optimisations. While the entire programme will be of general interest to language designers and compiler writers, it is the compiler optimisation proofs which may have the most direct payoffs. We will be providing a framework in which the details of such optimisations can be studied effectively, potentially producing results which could have an impact on real compilers.
    PEOPLE: R Crole (Principal Investigator) and Simon Ambler
    OTHER INFORMATION: This project resulted in the founding of the MERLIN workshops, 2001 (at IJCAR), 2003 (at PPDP), 2005 (at ICFP). RC is on the steering committee, and the 2005 PC.

  • MeRLab - Innovative Remote Laboratory in the E-training of Mechatronics
    FUNDING: European Commission, Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013, Leonardo da Vinci, Leicester: EUR 22,000
    DURATION: December 2007 - June 2009
    SUMMARY: MeRLab aims to introduce good practices into the vocational training in mechatronics (an interdisciplinary field amalgamating knowledge and skills from mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and information technologies) with state-of-the-art ICT and established methodological and didactic approaches. MeRLab prepares an e-mechatronics course, with both theoretical and practical training being implemented fully online. Practical work will be realized by means of an innovative remote laboratory supported by internet technology (i.e. innovative transfer), and will enable concrete mechanical-electronic and programming-related experiments, which take place in a physical laboratory, to be conducted; this is an integral part of the mechatronics training. It is essential to systematically evaluate the efficiency and other usability qualities of the e-mechatroncis course thus designed. Pilot training involving representative end-users will also be delivered and evaluated. The University of Leicester will carry out these critical evaluation activities in close collaboration with the other MeRLab partners.
    PEOPLE: E Law, T Erlebach
    PARTNERS: Listed here.

  • Midlands Graduate School in the Foundations of Computer Science 2010
    FUNDING: EPSRC, approx. GPB 3,200
    DURATION: April 2010 to April 2011
    SUMMARY: The Midlands Graduate School (MGS) provides an intensive course of lectures on the Mathematical Foundations of Computing Science. It has run annually since 1999 and has been held at either the University of Birmingham , the University of Leicester, the University of Nottingham, or the University of Sheffield. The lectures are aimed at graduate students, typically in their first or second year of study for a PhD.
    PEOPLE: R Crole
    PARTNERS: University of Birmingham, University of Nottingham, University of Sheffield

  • Midlands Graduate School in the Foundations of Computer Science 2007-2009
    FUNDING: EPSRC, approx. GPB 45,000
    DURATION: February 2007 to November 2009
    SUMMARY: The Midlands Graduate School (MGS) provides an intensive course of lectures on the Mathematical Foundations of Computing Science. It has run annually since 1999 and has been held at either the University of Birmingham , the University of Leicester, or the University of Nottingham The lectures are aimed at graduate students, typically in their first or second year of study for a PhD.
    PEOPLE: R Crole
    PARTNERS: University of Birmingham, University of Nottingham

  • Midlands Graduate School in the Foundations of Computer Science 2004-2006
    FUNDING: EPSRC Standard Research Grant GR/T06087/01, GPB 12,514
    DURATION: 28 March 2004 - 27 April 2006
    SUMMARY: This application is for a modest amount of money to support a week-long, summer school in the Foundations of computing held under the auspices of the Midlands Graduate School in the Foundations of Computer Science held during Easter 2004, 2005 and 2006. The overall goal of the summerschool will be to further the training of PhD students by exposing them to a wider range of research topics than they would normally encounter during their research. To achieve this aim, the summer-school will consist of about 10 short lecture courses of five hours each. These courses will be presented by internationally leading researchers from the universities of Nottingham, Leicester and Birmingham. Although primarily aimed at research students from across the UK, we also expect to attract interest from European students. The school builds upon the experience gained from running a similar and highly successful event last year which was also supported by EPSRC.
    PEOPLE: N Ghani
    PARTNERS: Dr T Altenkirch (University of Nottingham)

  • New Paradigms in Data Structures: Word-Level Parallelism and Self-Adjustment
    FUNDING: EPSRC Grant GR/L92150/02, GBP 152K
    DURATION August 1998 - May 2002
    SUMMARY: The project considers data structuring problems which involve maintaining dynamically changing data, such as sets of integer or floating-point keys and networks (graphs). The data structuring problems to be considered include searching, priority queue operations and dynamic tree operations. We aim to obtain significant practical and theoretical efficiency gains for these problems by using two new paradigms: namely, word-level parallelism (WLP) and self-adjusting data structures (SADS). To demonstrate the practical efficiency gains of data structures based on WLP and SADS, we will use them in a number of network algorithms, including shortest paths, network flows and local search methods (simulated annealing, genetic algorithms) for NP-complete network optimisation problems.
    PEOPLE: R Raman.

  • Priorities in Operational Semantics and Term Rewriting
    FUNDING: EPSRC Overseas Travel Grant EP/D001307/1, GPB 7,270
    DURATION: April 2005 - March 2008
    SUMMARY: Operational semantics and term rewriting are well established fields of theoretical computer science. Priority, according to Oxford Paperback Dictionary, means "being earlier or more important" and indicates that an object has "precedence in rank" when compared with other objects. In the context of this project, priorities specify the order of application of operational rules and rewrite rules when deriving transitions and rewrites of terms. The initial research on priorities in operational semantics and term rewriting shows that they extend expressiveness. Priorities replace awkward negative premises in SOS rules and they help to control the ambiguity of term rewriting and to improve the modularity and confluence. The aim of this project is to establish new (and strengthen the existing) collaboration links with the scientists in the Netherlands and Japan in order to explore further the potential of priorities in operational semantics and term rewriting. We intend to extend the Ordered SOS framework with additional features such as predicates and complex terms in the premises, prove congruence results, investigate fully expressive formats and explore their applications in concurrency. In term rewriting with priorities, we plan to re-investigate its operational semantics, find methods for internalising rewrite strategies with priority orders, and explore reasoning for systems with infinite behaviour. Finally, we aim to study Term Deduction Systems with priorities as uniform formalisms for representing such diverse notions as Ordered SOS, priority term rewriting and logic programming languages such as Prolog.
    PEOPLE: I Ulidowski

  • PAIS: Process Algebras for Interaction and Spatiality (in System Biology)
    FUNDING: British Council, Italian Partnership Programme 2009, GPB 3,000
    DURATION: January 2009 - December 2009
    SUMMARY: Recently Computer Science has provided conceptual frameworks that have been applied, among others, to biological phenomena. Remarkably, several results have been obtained by exploiting computer science methodologies to Systems Biology (eg, executable models of biological phenomena).
    As a matter of fact, the evolution of biological system may be modelled in terms of interactions of its components (reactant, metabolites, etc.) very much like a computation is carried by a distributed computer system (eg, peer-to-peer networks, like Skype or Gnutella).
    This project applies process algebras techniques (tiny but powerful and expressive "programming languages" featuring interactions among separated components) to model and analyse aspects related to the effect of spatial distance in biological (and computer) interactions.
    PEOPLE: E Tuosto
    PARTNERS: Dr Andrea Bracciali (Pisa, Italy)

  • RELEASE: Research Links to Explore and Advance Software Evolution
    FUNDING: European Science Foundation Scientific Network 106, EUR 93,660 (Leicester: not fixed)
    DURATION: November 2002 - October 2005
    SUMMARY: The goal of this network is to facilitate interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and interaction on software evolution in a broad sense. In general, the focus of interest will be on guiding principles of, and better tools for software evolution. The goal will be to suitably link theory-based and empirical approaches, to enhance mutual exchange of ideas and to foster collaborative research amongst the leading European groups on these topics. The topics will naturally include the use of mathematical formalisms as a foundation for industrial tools and processes to support software evolution. This cross fertilisation between mathematics and computer science on the one hand, and between process aspects and technological aspects on the other hand, is intended to lead to a better understanding of software evolution as a whole, which should lead to better tool support for all aspects of software evolution.
    PEOPLE: R Heckel (Site Leader), M El-Ramly, J L Fiadeiro
    PARTNERS: Listed here.

  • Representing Re-Formation: Reconstructing Renaissance Monuments
    FUNDING: AHRC/EPSRC, GPB 60,137 (total project: GBP 497,907)
    DURATION: October 2010 to September 2013.
    PEOPLE: E Law
    PARTNERS: P Lindley (PI, History of Art and Film, University of Leicester), R Parry (Museum Studies, University of Leicester), G Fraser (Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester), S Gunn (University of Oxford)

  • ROLE - Responsive Open Learning Environments
    FUNDING: European Commission, FP7, Leicester: EUR 497,420
    DURATION: February 2009 - January 2013
    SUMMARY: ROLE aims to deliver and validate prototypes of highly responsive technology-enhanced learning environments, offering breakthrough levels of effectiveness, flexibility, user-control and mass-individualisation. It will advance the state of the art of several related domains: human resource management; self-regulated and social learning; psycho-pedagogical theories for adaptive education; service composition and orchestration; ICI-enabled lifelong learning. ROLE offers personalisation in terms of content, navigation and the entire learning environment of which elements can be mashed up to generate new components and functionalities, which can be adapted by individual or collaborating learners to meet their specific needs. Users are thus empowered to establish a livelier and personally more meaningful learning context and learning experience. ROLE's generic framework uses an open source approach, interoperable across software systems and technologies. A tool/service created by an individual can become a shared item of a pool accessible to all learners via the Internet. Results of ROLE will be disseminated to the targeted international markets in Higher Education and corporate training.
    PEOPLE: A Chatterjee, E Law, T Erlebach
    PARTNERS: Fraunhofer FIT, RWTH Aachen, TU Graz, KU Leuven, EPF Lausanne, etc.

  • SEGRAVIS: Syntactic and SEmantic InteGRAtion of VIsual modelling techniques
    FUNDING: Research Training Network HPRN-CT-2002-00275, EUR ? (Leicester: EUR 50,000)
    DURATION: October 2002 - September 2006
    SUMMARY: Model-driven approaches to software development require precise definitions for modelling languages, their syntax and semantics, notions of consistency and refinement, as well as their mappings into implementations. To advance the state of the art and disseminate the knowledge, the SegraVis network offers research training grants to young researchers, allowing them to cooperate with the leading experts in the field. Solutions identified and developed in the network are employed to existing visual techniques, like the UML family of languages as well as graph and net-based languages, and they are evaluated with respect to their support for specific domains like software architecture and evolution, mobility and natural computing.
    PEOPLE: R Heckel (Site Leader)
    PARTNERS: Listed here.

  • SENSORIA: Software Engineering for Service-Oriented Overlay Computers
    FUNDING: IST-FET IST-2005-16004, EUR 8,158,000 (Leicester: EUR 742,380)
    DURATION: September 2005 - February 2010
    SUMMARY: Service-oriented computing is an emerging paradigm where services are understood as autonomous, platform-independent computational entities that can be described, published, categorised, discovered, and dynamically assembled for developing massively distributed, interoperable, evolvable systems and applications. These characteristics pushed service-oriented computing towards nowadays widespread success, demonstrated by the fact that many large companies invested a lot of efforts and resources to promote service delivery on a variety of computing platforms, mostly through the Internet in the form of Web services. Tomorrow, there will be a plethora of new services as required for e-government, e-business, and e-science, and other areas within the rapidly evolving Information Society.
    PEOPLE: J L Fiadeiro (Site Leader), J Abreu, D Bisztray, L Bocchi, A Boronat, R Heckel, Y Hong, S Reiff-Marganiec, M Solanki, P Torrini, E Tuosto, I Ulidowski, H Q Yu
    PARTNERS: Listed here.

  • sKTP with Comtec Translations Ltd
    FUNDING: Grant Reference: sKTP 1000106, GBP 20,009.30
    DURATION: January 2010 - May 2010
    SUMMARY: This project is inspired by some work from the inContext project and investigates the processes and ranking models in the translations industry in order to prepare for better software support for the existing processes within Comtec Tranlations Ltd.
    PEOPLE: S Reiff-Marganiec (PI), Daniel Howe (Associate)
    PARTNERS: Comtec Translations Ltd.

  • Structural Operational Semantics Workshop
    FUNDING: EPSRC Standard Research Grant EP/C001885/1, GPB 3,000
    DURATION: September 2004 - November 2004
    SUMMARY: The Structural Operational Semantics Workshop will be the first ever meeting devoted solely to an exciting theme in computer science research called Structural Operational Semantics (SOS for short). It will provide scientists and postgraduate students with a rare and valuable opportunity to present and discuss the state-of-the-art SOS research, establish new collaboration links, and strengthen the existing ones. It will also provide an opportunity for new researchers to become acquainted with the foundations of SOS. The workshop will take place in conjunction with the 15th International Conference on Concurrency Theory CONCUR 2004. As indicated above, one of the main aims of the workshop is to widen the knowledge of SOS among postgraduate students and young researchers from the U.K. and abroad. In order to achieve this aim, the workshop will have several internationally leading scientists giving invited lectures and tutorials, as well as a number of carefully selected talks presenting the recent developments in SOS research. The invited tutorials and, to some extent, the invited lectures will target postgraduate students specifically, and will provide the training in the SOS methodology as well as stimulating interest in SOS research. This application is for partial financial assistance towards the cost of travel and subsistence for up to 15 PhD students from the U.K. to attend the SOS Workshop, and for inviting two eminent scientists from abroad to deliver the invited tutorials. The total amount applied for is 3000 pounds.
    PEOPLE: I Ulidowski

  • The Complexity of Problems in Infinite Groups
    FUNDING: EPSRC Standard Research Grant GR/L37175/01, GPB 120,531
    DURATION: October 1997 - September 2000
    SUMMARY: Our intention is to systematically investigate the complexity of word and related problems in different classes of infinite groups where by "complexity" we mean both computational complexity and complexity as a formal language. In more detail, we intend to: examine proper sub-classes of the class of context-free languages with respect to the (reduced) word problem: examine the algebraic structure of groups whose word problem is a proper subclass of the context-sensitive languages; and examine potential classes of groups for which some natural problems might be P or NP complete. We also intend to investigate the notion of an automatic group when the associated automata are replaced by other models of computation. Such a thorough and concerted consideration of computation in classes of infinite groups has not before been undertaken. We envisage that our research programme will use techniques and methods from formal language theory, complexity theory and finite model theory.
    PEOPLE: R Thomas (Principal Investigator) and I Stewart

  • The Use of Normal Forms in Solving Word Problems
    FUNDING: EPSRC Standard Research Grant GR/M86347/01, GPB 46,717
    DURATION: October 2000 - February 2004
    SUMMARY: We propose to carry out theoretical and practical research in the computational aspects of finitely presented groups. (particularly combable groups, automatic groups, and word-hyerbolic groups), and in the associated formal language theory. This work involves the development, implementation and, where possible, the complexity analysis of mathamatical algorithms. Some specific examples are mentioned in the objectives section. The software that we write will be available as standalone code, but will also be implemented in and made available form the GAP, magma and Magnus computation algebra systems. The theoretical side of the proposal involves studying combings of groups. We shall by analysing the complexity and formal language class of known combings, such as those of Gromov mentioned above. At the same time, we shall be trying to find new combings for more general classes of groups, such as non-nilpotent soluble groups. In addition we shall be studying the formal language class of the word problem of further classes of groups, which will involve considering language classes higher up the Chomsky hierarchy (such as context sensitive languages) than have been studied in this context to date.
    PEOPLE: R Thomas (Principal Investigator) and I Stewart
    OTHER INFORMATION: Joint project with GR/M86194/01 (S. E. Rees, University of Newcastle, GBP 146,994) and GR/M86972/01 (D. F. Holt, University of Warwick, GBP 20,670)

  • Theory and Applications Of Containers
    FUNDING: EPSRC Standard Research Grant EP/C511964/1, GPB 228,561
    DURATION: May 2005 - April 2008
    SUMMARY: How can we design better programming languages? Clearly this is a fundamental question, but to answer it we had better decide upon what makes a good programming language. For us, the central observation is that computers are good at some things and people at others. Computers can add up millions of numbers in a fraction of second - much more than humans could. On the other hand, humans excel at abstract thinking as one can find in poetry, art, music, mathematics etc. Given these observations, programming languages should allow the programmer to concentrate on high level design patters for programs and allow the low level details, such as the actual management of the memory, to be delegated to compilers and other specialised optimising programs. This proposal takes this idea and applies it to the representation of data structures. That is, we want a way of representing data structures which is as abstract as possible so as to correspond closely to the way we think about data structures while formal enough that we can write programs to manipulate and optimize definitions written using this representation. Of course much work already exists in this direction, typically the development of advanced programming languages which companies such as Microsoft are now investing in. However, our new idea of "containers" seems to be an advance in the representation of data and we have already used them to produce a number of new results detailed in the proposal. We now want to go further and apply them to state of the art problems in computing with advanced data structures. The applied research we have in mind, when applied to our current containers, will produce significant new results, while applying them to the extensions of containers we propose to develop will produce qualitative advances.
    PEOPLE: N Ghani
    PARTNERS: Dr T Altenkirch (University of Nottingham), Dr CT McBride

  • Tracing Networks: Craft Traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean and Beyond
    FUNDING: The Leverhulme Trust, Research Programme Grant, GBP 1,729,180 (Department of Computer Science: GBP 277,674)
    DURATION: October 2008 - September 2013
    SUMMARY: The overall aim of the project is to investigate networks of crafts-people and craft traditions across and beyond the Mediterranean region, between the late bronze age and the late classical period (c.1500-c.200 BCE).
    The project focuses on asking how and why traditions, techniques and technologies change and cross cultural boundaries, and exploring the impact of this phenomenon on new paradigms for global ubiquitous computing that can improve interactivity, resource consumption and distribution efficiency.
    PEOPLE: J L Fiadeiro, Y Hong , E Law , M Solanki, E Tuosto,
    PARTNERS: Listed here.

  • WEE-NET: Web Engineering Network of Excellence
    FUNDING: ALFA II-0359-FA, EUR 334,950 (Leicester: not fixed)
    DURATION: September 2005 - August 2007
    SUMMARY: The Web has become more than a distribution medium for resources: it is now a full development and runtime environment for large-scale and complex systems. However, application development in Web environments is mostly anarchic and ad hoc; methods and techniques for ensuring the interoperability, integrity, quality assurance and maintainability of web applications are still lacking. WEE-NET will address the increasing demand for qualified Web Engineers by organizing advanced training events, by enhancing learners mobility, and by bringing together leading R&D groups so that, through the exchange of know-how and experiences, they can help raise the current state of awareness and practice in Web Engineering.
    PEOPLE: J L Fiadeiro (Site Leader), P Kosiuczenko, S Reiff-Marganiec
    PARTNERS: University of Peireus (coordinator), Politecnico di Milano, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, University of Trento, University Linz, Universidad Nacional de La Pampa (AR), Universidad Nacional de La Plata (AR), Universidad Catolica "Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion" (PY), Pontificia Universidad Católica do Rio de Janeiro (BR)

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