Jane Hillston's Research Interests
My primary research interest is the Markovian process algebra PEPA,and its use for
the performance modelling of computer and communication systems. Much
of my work has focussed on the relationship between the compositional
structures of the process algebra and structure in the underlying
Markov process, especially in cases when this relationship can be
exploited in order to ease the solution of the Markov process.
More recently I have been considering new applications for stochastic
process algebra, particularly those related to systems biology.
This has lead to consideration of new analysis techniques,
particularly those based on fluid approximation and to the
development of some new languages in the PEPA family,
particularly Bio-PEPA and HYPE.
My recent grants include:
- Stochastic Process Algebras, particularly PEPA, PEPA nets,
Bio-PEPA and HYPE; This
involves both developing new theory, investigating ways to
exploit the theory to model large systems, and undertaking case
studies to demonstrate the theory in practice.
- Some of these languages have been inspired by studying
problems in systems biology, particularly biochemical
modelling of signal transduction pathways.
- This has also inspired work on fluid approximations of
large discrete models. My current EPSRC ARF is studying this
problem in a project entitled Process Algebra for
- The work on PEPA is informed by formal studies of the
relationship between Stochastic Process Algebras and other
performance modelling formalisms such as Stochastic
Petri Nets and Stochastic Automata Networks;
- Generally I have an interest in performance
modelling and solution of Markov processes, especially
compositional solution techniques, e.g. product form solutions,
and time scale decomposition, and in formally expressing and
checking properties of performance models.
- The CODA project --- Process Algebra for Collective
Dynamics. Process algebras are very good for describing
the behaviour and interactions of discrete entities. But in
many systems we have large population of such entities and
state space explosion problems hinder the analysis of such
systems using the usual discrete state space semantics. In
this project we investigated techniques to keep the
precise descriptions of individuals but analyse their
properties as populations. Funded by EPSRC and BBSRC, 2005--2010.
- The SIGNAL project --- Stochastic
process algebra for
biochemical signalling pathways analysis. In this joint
project with the University of Glasgow we have explored
ways in which the process algebra apparatus (equivalence
relations, partial orders etc) can be exploited during
analysis of biochemical signalling pathways. Funded by
EPSRC and BBSRC, 2007--2011.
- The CSBE project --- Centre for Systems
Biology at Edinburgh. CSBE's research goal is to
develop broadly-applicable methods and large-scale
infrastructure for modelling the temporal aspects of
biological phenomena, informed by three pilot biological
projects. A key emphasis will be to link diverse data and
models tightly, through multiple iterations, ranging from
static ab initio models to highly-constrained, kinetic models
that cross multiple scales. Our role within CSBE is the
development of a novel stochastic process algebra, BioPEPA,
and investigation of its use against biological exemplar
projects. Funded by BBSRC and EPSRC, 2006--2012.
- The SENSORIA project ---Software Engineering for
Service-Oriented Overlay Computers.Service-oriented
computing is emerging as a new paradigm based on autonomous,
platform-independent computational entities (called services)
that can be described, published and categorised, and
dynamically discovered and assembled for developing massively
distributed, interoperable, evolvable systems and
applications. Our role in this project was the exploration and
development of techniques to assess quality of service in
large distributed systems based on stochastic process
algebras. Funded by EU FET-IST Global Computing, 2005--2009.
- The Mobile VCE Core 4 project ---
Removing Barriers to the Commercialisation of Ubiquitous
Application and Services. This large consortium
project sought to make the anywhere, any time, any
device promise of wireless technology a reality. Our
role within the project was the use of PEPA models to evaluate
protocols which handle both mobility and quality of service,
and to inform the design of a content adaptation
architecture. Funded by DTI and EPSRC, 2005--2009.
Some of my recent papers can be found on this page.
Return to my homepage.
If you are interested in a project on any of these topics (Inf4,
MSc or PhD) then please contact me.
Jane Hillston (Jane.Hillston@ed.ac.uk)
Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science,
School of Informatics,
10 Crichton Street,
University of Edinburgh,
Edinburgh EH8 9AB, UK.