Kings College Distinguished Lecture: Professor Jane Hillston

The Department of Informatics, King’s College London, is delighted to invite you to the Distinguished Lecture of Professor Jane Hillston (University of Edinburgh).

Choosing not to be discrete — the benefits of fluid approximations in dynamic modelling

Monday 27 April 2015, 18:30-19:30

JKTL Nash Lecture Theatre (K2.31), 2nd Floor of the King’s Building, Strand Campus.

A drinks reception will follow this lecture.

Abstract: Discrete representations of systems are usual in theoretical computer science and they have many benefits. Many discrete state models have been shown to be useful for capturing and analysing dynamic system behaviour. Examples include finite state machines and continuous time Markov chains. Unfortunately these models suffer from the problem of state space explosion, sometimes termed the “curse of dimensionality”. In recent years, research has shown that there are cases in which we can reap the benefits of discrete representation during system description but then gain from more efficient analysis by approximating the discrete system by a continuous one. In this talk I will give the intuition behind this shift of perspective and explain how it allows us to study and predict the behaviour of the systems which would otherwise have been beyond analysis.

Biography: Jane Hillston is Professor of Quantitative Modelling in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. Her principal research interests are in the design of formal modelling languages, particularly stochastic process algebras, to model and analyse dynamic systems and the development of efficient solution techniques for such models. These models capture both engineered computer systems and naturally occurring systems such as biochemical pathways and the spread of disease within a population. Prof Hillston received the BA and MS degrees in Mathematics from the University of York (UK) and Lehigh University (USA), respectively. She received the PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh in 1994. Her work on the stochastic process algebra PEPA was recognised by the British Computer Society in 2004 who awarded her the first Roger Needham Award. She was elected to fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2007. She is also a fellow of the British Computer Society and a member of the executive committee of Informatics Europe.

If you would like to attend, please register here.

The Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences at King’s College London has a Code of Conduct, which we expect participants at our events to abide by. This is intended to ensure an inclusive and productive environment and can be read here.

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