Concurrent Asynchronous Systems

The group's research interests centre around the development and application of formal methods to modelling and reasoning about concurrent asynchronous systems.

We are actively involved in the organisation of various events of the international community working on concurrent asynchronous systems, in particular, theory and applications of Petri nets.

We co-organise the ASL seminar series which provides a forum for research staff and students of Newcastle University to present and discuss work on a wide range of topics related to the theory and applications of concurrent and distributed systems.

Unbounded Buffer

What we do

  • model checking of Petri nets
  • Petri net unfolding techniques
  • verification and synthesis of asynchronous circuits
  • formal techniques for biological networks
  • models and tools for genetic regulatory networks
  • synthesis of Petri nets
  • relationship between Petri nets and process algebras
  • Petri nets and membrane systems

Group members and their areas of research:

Prof. Maciej Koutny
Prof. Maciej Koutny (Group leader for Concurrent Asynchronous Systems)

Maciej Koutny is a Professor of Computing Science in the School of Computing Science at Newcastle University. He received his MSc (1982) and PhD (1984) in Applied Mathematics from the Warsaw University of Technology, Poland. In 1985 he joined the then Computing Laboratory of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne to work as a Research Associate. In 1986 he became a Lecturer in Computing Science at Newcastle, and from 1994 to 2000 he held an established Readership at Newcastle.

His research interests centre on the theory of distributed and concurrent systems, including both theoretical aspects of their semantics and application of formal techniques to the modelling and verification of such systems; in particular, model checking based on net unfoldings. He has also investigated non-interleaving semantics of priority systems, and the relationship between temporal logic and process algebras. Recently, he has been working on the development of a formal model combining Petri nets and process algebras as well as on Petri net based behavioural models of membrane systems. Read more about Maciej's research interests.

Prof. Cliff Jones
Prof. Cliff Jones

Cliff Jones is Professor of Computing Science at Newcastle University. As well as his academic career, Cliff has spent over twenty years in industry. His fifteen years in IBM saw, among other things, the creation -with colleagues in the renowned Vienna Lab- of VDM which is one of the better known "formal methods". Under Tony Hoare, Cliff wrote his Oxford doctoral thesis in two years. From Oxford, he moved directly to a chair at Manchester University where he built a world-class Formal Methods group. During his time at Manchester, Cliff had a 5-year Senior Fellowship from the research council and later spent a sabbatical at Cambridge for the whole of the Newton Institute event on "Semantics". In 1996 he moved to Harlequin, directing some fifty developers on Information Management projects and finally became overall Technical Director before leaving to re-join academia in 1999. Much of his research at this time focused on formal (compositional) development methods for concurrent systems. Read more about Cliff's research interests.

Dr Marta Pietkiewicz-Koutny
Dr Marta Pietkiewicz-Koutny

Marta Pietkiewicz-Koutny received her M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics from the Warsaw University of Technology in 1982. In 1984 she joined the Department of Operational Research, Institute of Econometrics in the Warsaw University of Economics where she worked as a junior lecturer until 1986.

In 1987 she joined the Computing Laboratory of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne first as a Research Associate and then as a Demonstrator (1988-1997). In the period 1997-2000 she was a Ph.D. student at the Department of Computing Science of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and in December 2000 she was awarded her Ph.D. degree. In the period 2000-2003 she was a Research Associate on the EU-funded DSoS (Dependable Systems of Systems) project, and in 2003 she was appointed a lecturer in the School of Computing Science.

Her research interests centre on the modelling and validation of concurrent and distributed systems. She served as a PC member for the Workshop on Teaching Concurrency in Siedlce (2007). Following the PhD work, her main topic of her research is the synthesis of various classes of Petri nets from transition systems. Read more about Marta's research interests.

Dr Victor Khomenko
Dr Victor Khomenko

Victor's research is concentrated on the theory of distributed and concurrent systems, in particular on application of formal techniques to verification and synthesis of such systems. From September, 1999, he has been working on model checking of Petri nets and synthesis of asynchronous (self-timed) circuits using Petri net unfoldings. Currently Victor is working on the Verification-Driven Asynchronous Design (VERDAD) project. Read more about Victor's research interests.

Dr Jason Steggles
Dr Jason Steggles

Jason's research interests centre around the development and application of formal methods to modelling and reasoning about computing systems. This has involved developing techniques and tools based on higher-order algebraic methods to verify stream processing systems (e.g. systolic and dataflow devices, real-time systems, and families of computing devices). Jason has also been investigating applying formal techniques to biological networks and has developed a range of Petri net models and tools which can be used to model and analyse genetic regulatory networks.

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