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Computer Science and Informatics Research (UoA11)

Computer Science and Informatics Research (UoA11)

Middleware software market

Our Arjuna (now Narayana) transaction system software contributes to international transaction processing standards. It also contributes to the middleware products by Red Hat.

Since 2014, our system has increased the scale of its impact. The breadth of its impact increases with each new Red Hat middleware product created.

After IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat in 2019, many of our Red Hat products ship in IBM’s CloudPak4Apps product. This significantly increases our customer base.

The growing global market for application infrastructure and middleware software drives our impact. These markets are worth an estimated at $30.6bn in 2020 and projected to reach $45.7bn by 2027.

The underpinning research also continues to have an impact through economic benefit to the UK.

Red Hat has continued to invest in its European Middleware HQ based in Newcastle.

Faster drug development

Pathogens that cause infectious disease pose one of the gravest threats to human health. They are difficult to detect and when new strains emerge, the process of finding new a antibody can take months or even years.

Bacterial antibiotic resistance means it's harder to find new solutions. As a result, there is potential for outbreaks that spread.

Our Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex BioSystems research group focuses on computing science and biological systems. We are creating the next generation of algorithms. They will provide innovative solutions to problems arising in natural complex systems.

We also provide solutions to synthetic systems too, deriving new knowledge from them.

Our Microbase software is able to analyse the complete genome sequences of all bacteria in the sequence databases. This allows us to predict physiological biomarkers unique to a given group of organisms. The new software will allow medical practitioners to:

  • identify the causative organism in a shorter time
  • design the required antibodies in a shorter time and with more accuracy
  • stop its spread at an early stage

We released Microbase under an open source license.

Efficient power management in consumer electronics

Newcastle University researchers designed a new framework for designing systems. It enhances power conversion abilities.

Their software tool Workcraft helps commercial electronic devices to become:

  • more reliable
  • faster
  • less bulky

The findings from our research results include:

  • improved productivity, performance and more efficient design
  • electronic devices are now more reliable and have a quicker response to the changes in power demand
  • Workcraft is open source and available to the public

Tricky signal designs weren't efficient. Now, they are more efficient and productive. A device such as your smartphone displays many of these benefits.

Railway Safety

Development of station and network signalling for railway is a complex process. It involves various steps, often supported by the simulation tools. The processes rely a lot on the manual work, which make them prone to errors and expensive.

SafeCap is a family of tools incorporating our research on advancing methods of formal verification. The development and deployment assures the safety and consistency of railway signalling.

Researchers are currently work with Siemens Mobility, Network Rail and Systra to help improve safety of rail operations in the UK.

A new small to medium enterprise called The Formal Route will expand this work. It will develop and deploy industry-strength tools for railway safety verification.

Provenance and enabling trust in information

It is of absolute importance to trace the origins of data. We must track its movement between databases and any changes it undergoes.

There are prominent questions we need to ask of any dataset:

  • What is the source?
  • Who collected it?
  • Has there been any modification?
  • Can we rely on it?

Build trust in information and news

Provenance is a key element in ensuring that the news and information we publish online is trustworthy. It answers the key questions we ask of any dataset, as above.

Reproducibility of science

Provenance helps scientists communicate by showing all the steps involved in the derivation of a result. Then scientists can reproduce this, and prior results can be safely re-used.

Accountability, transparency and compliance

We can use provenance to make sure that we use data in compliance with a prescribed process.

Official standard

Provenance is crucial, helping consumers make a judgment on whether to trust a piece of information. It provides a record of people, institutions, entities and activities involved.

This record also shows how the data was produced, influenced, or delivered.

Dr Missier at Newcastle University worked with a team to create 'W3C PROV', the World Wide Web’s first official standard for data provenance. Many organisations who wish to ensure data integrity now use this standard.

This standard is possible through years of academic research on provenance theory and practice. Some of which originated at Newcastle University.