DLS: Formal Modelling and Analysis of Deployed Systems by Prof Muffy Calder

Event details

  • When: 8th April 2013 10:30 - 16:30
  • Where: St Andrews
  • Series: Distinguished Lectures Series

Formal Modelling and Analysis of Deployed Systems

Professor Steve Linton and Dr Adam Barker with Professor Muffy Calder.

Professor Steve Linton and Dr Adam Barker with Professor Muffy Calder.

Formal methods are traditionally used for specification and implementation in a waterfall model. In contrast, I am interested in formal models of concurrent, interactive systems that may/may not be in software, and   may already be deployed, i.e. they are systems to be observed.  Can formal models and reasoning expose how a system actually works?  Can formal models and reasoning suggest improvements based on how a system is actually used?

In these talks I will investigate these questions through case studies, from biochemical signalling pathways, to wireless home networks and (shock horror) mobile app games.

I have been at the Department of Computing Science, University of Glasgow since January 1988. Until 2012 I was Dean of Research in the College of Science and Engineering and Senate Assessor on Court and before that I was Head of Department of Computing Science for four years, from 2003 to 2007. I currently work for the Scottish Government 60% of the time, as the Chief Scientific Adviser.

Previously, I worked at the Departments of Computing Science and Mathematics, University of Stirling, and Computer Science, University of Edinburgh. My research is in modelling and reasoning about the behaviour of complex software and biochemical systems using mathematics and automated reasoning tools.

I have a BSc. from the University of Stirling, and a PhD. from the University of St. Andrews. My PhD thesis: The Imperative Implementation of Algebraic Data Types, was supervised by Dr. Roy Dyckhoff. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical
and a Fellow of the British Computer Society. I was awarded an OBE for service to computer science in the 2011 New Years Honours List.

I have had short spells in industry at British Ship Research Association and Burroughs Computers, and I was a visiting scientist at DEC SRC (Digital Equip. Corp. Systems Research Centre) in California, and a short-term BT Research Fellow at the BT Labs at Martlesham. In the distant past I was a tutor for the Open University Technology course T101.

I was chair of the UKCRC (UK Computing Research Committee) 2008-2010 and I was a member of the Scottish Science Advisory Committee, which reports to the Scottish Executive, for five years. I am a member of TOP (Technical Opportunities Panel) of the EPSRC and secretary of the Adam Smith club. I am currently chair of the BCS Academy of Computing Research Committee.

I have been external examiner for computer science degrees at University of Edinburgh, University College Cork, Ireland, University of St. Andrews and University of Warwick.I am currently external examiner for MSc degrees at Manchester University.

I am married to David and we run for Westerlands Cross Country Club; I play a bad violin in a quartet with this lot.

A detailed biography of Prof. Muffy Calder.


  • 10:30 – 11:00 Tea / Coffee
  • 11:00 – 12:00 Lecture 1 – Engineered Systems: Bigraphs with sharing for runtime verification system of wireless home networks.
  • 14:00 – 15:00 Lecture 2 – Evolved Systems: Modelling biochemical systems from chemical species to pathway to tissue – what can computer science offer to the life sciences?
  • 15:00 – 15:30 Tea / Coffee
  • 15:30 – 16:30 Lecture 3 – Overview of two more examples: i) Ubiquitous computing and mobile apps. Developing new kinds of formal models for populations of user activity patterns and varieties of software structures. ii) Critical communications infrastructure for Navigational services. New ways of predictive modelling and reasoning about status infrastructure to ensure provision of safe operation and quality of service in a safety critical, highly regulated industrial setting.

Venue: Upper College Hall

Slides: Slides are available here.