School of Computing Science


UNCOVER - UNderstanding COmplex system eVolution through structurEd behaviouRs

The project aims to develop theories and implement prototype software tools for formal verification, synthesis and analysis of complex evolving systems. Typical examples are a large hardware system which suffers component break-downs, reconfigurations and replacements, a large distributed system whose software is continually updated (or patched), a multi-organisational computer system whose human operators undergo regular re-training, or a typical large bureaucracy. The importance of structure in helping designers to cope with design complexity is well-accepted, especially in the software engineering and VLSI design domains. The effective use of such structuring notations greatly reduces the cognitive complexity of designs, and the resources, both storage and computational, involved in their representation and manipulation. The UNCOVER project, which is centred on the use of a new formalism, structured occurrence nets (SONs), aims to bring similar benefits to the problems of representing and exploiting representations of system behaviour (as opposed to design). One application area that the project will investigate is the design of crime investigation support systems. This will be in cooperation with the company that produces the CLUE system, now in use by various UK police authorities and investigative agencies.

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